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Great Turnout, Fantastic Conditions at Sugar Mountain Resort for SugarFest

Conditions were great for SugarFest at Sugar Mountain Resort this past weekend. In the above image, folks check out Ski Country Sport’s Demo Day. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

With temperatures dropping just in time for the annual SugarFest, Sugar Mountain Resort hosted an array of winter activities this past weekend including pre-season ski clinics, ski/snowboard demos, Edge of the World mini-games, a fireworks display and more.

“We had a great turnout. The conditions were fantastic, and we had a fair amount of terrain open,” Sugar Mountain Resort Vice President Kim Jochl said.

SugarFest flag flies over the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, Ski Country Sports presented the SugarFest demo that featured the latest equipment, gear and accessories from ski and snowboard manufacturers. About a dozen vendors set up tents for the event.

“We probably had many, if not more, [people] sign up for the demo this year than ever had before,” Ski Country Sports owner Bill Leonard said.

Leonard noted that a few of the products that stood out this year were the Jones snowboards, which have been out for a couple years now and are “riding really well and looking good;” the Arbor snowboards, which in addition to riding well have the wood-grain look; and the Head skis, which are described as a “great all-mountain type of ski [that has] a lot of play and a good quick response.”

Leonard commended Sugar Mountain Resort for its ability to cover the slopes on short notice: “Surprisingly, as I told people, if you looked at the webcam on Thursday, you wouldn’t know they had really good skiing on Saturday and Sunday.”

Looking forward, Jochl noted that the temperature on Wednesday and Thursday will get down into the teens, and while the current rain isn’t “nice for skiers,” it won’t affect the slopes, tubing lanes or ice skating rink all that much.

“It will replenish some of the water ponds that we have, so that is helpful for sure,” Jochl said. “I think the rain and freezing will firm up the snow and the base we have and give us a great opportunity to make snow on top of a very hard and firm base that we hope will last through March.”

“It’s a promising forecast,” Jochl added. “Although the rain is not great, in a way it has some advantages.”