By Jesse Wood
Dec. 1, 2014. The High Country was buzzing with visitors flocking to the ski resorts and Christmas tree farms on Thanksgiving weekend.
While this time of year is always the choice time to bring home a Christmas tree, sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate for a stellar weekend of skiing, snowboarding and tubing on the slopes. This year, however, the conditions were splitter and local resort operators have described this past weekend as a “record” or the best in recent memory.
Kim Jochl of Sugar Mountain Resort described the weekend as a “record Thanksgiving holiday” with many folks enjoying the new bold slope called “Gunther’s Way.”
“The Thanksgiving weekend was terrific [and featured] outstanding conditions for November and big crowds for all activities – skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and tubing,” Jochl wrote in an email.
Jochl added that the 10 inches of natural snow prior to Thanksgiving started the weekend off on the right foot, and blue skies after Turkey Day was icing on the cake.
Lenny Cottom, co-owner of Hawksnest Tubing, which has more lanes (30 plus) this year than ever before, noted that his resort saw big crowds enjoying the great weather. Cottom added that this Thanksgiving holiday business was a “little better” than previous years.
“It probably had to do with it snowing early in the week,” Cottom said. “The snow always brings them out.”
App Ski Mtn. had nine of its 12 slopes open and all of its chairlifts and two to three of its surface lifts operating over the holiday weekend. It had previously opened on Nov. 20 to historic snow conditions.
“We had a lot of happy families and happy people on the slopes over Thanksgiving time,” App Ski Mtn. General Manager Brad Moretz said on Monday. “It was really great to get off to such a strong start.”
Beech Mountain Resort, the highest ski resort east on the East Coast, opened on Friday and a spokesman said that this was the best opening weekend in many years atop Beech Mountain.
“We had a great crowd. Our customers seemed impressed with the improvements and the conditions were excellent. We couldn’t be more pleased with the natural snowfall thus far,” Beech Mountain Resort spokesman Talia Freeman said. “It was the best opening weekend we have had in many years!”