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Most Area Ski Resorts Planning to Close this Weekend; App Ski Holding Meltdown Games, $10 Tickets for Locals

By Paul T. Choate

The Pond Skim is always a favorite at ASM's Meltdown Games. Photo submitted
The Pond Skim is always a favorite at ASM’s Meltdown Games. Photo submitted

March 20, 2013. Spring is here and it is just about time to wrap up the 2012-13 winter sports season at most of the area resorts. Despite the arrival of spring though, it is still going to feel like winter for the next several days and the conditions at the area skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing resorts are ideal. 

“The forecast is looking cold and wintery and we’re going to be the only resort in the region making snow, so conditions are going to be perfect this weekend,” said Appalachian Ski Mountain Marketing Director Drew Stanley. 

Through the remainder of the week and this weekend, ASM will be offering a special deal for locals. Lift tickets will only cost $10 for any Watauga residents with proof of residency. 

ASM will be holding their Meltdown Games this weekend with a lineup of events throughout the weekend including classics like the Pond Skim and Costume Contest, Big Air Competition, Chinese Downhill, Cardboard Box Derby and more (Meltdown Games schedule below story). 

With the continued winter temperatures, the resort is maintaining peak season conditions with ongoing after-hours snowmaking. High Country skiers and snowboarders will be blessed with one of the best closing weeks in over a decade, thanks to fresh snow from nighttime snowmaking and even some natural snow in the forecast.

“We are excited for our guests to know that we are making snow right up to the day before we close to give everyone a peak season experience through our scheduled closing day, Sunday, March 24,” said ASM General Manager Brad Moretz.

Beech Mountain Resort will also be closing this weekend, with the final day set for Saturday. The resort will only offer the day session and will close at 4:30 p.m.

For their final day, Beech will be having a full slate of games and activities as well as having a DJ and several giveaways for those in attendance, according to Beech Marketing Director Talia Freeman. 

“We’re going to make it a pretty fun day for our customers,” Freeman said, added that due to the cold temperatures and snow in the forecast, conditions are going to be very good for the closing weekend. 

“Actually we’ve got a lot of snow,” Freeman said. “It’s the most I’ve seen in March in a long time.”

Hawksnest Snow Tubing Resort is also planning to close up this weekend, according to General Manager Lenny Cottom. He added that a closing date has not been set in stone due to the wintery weather on the way and that the resort could possibly continue snow tubing operations even after this weekend. 

With the season almost over, Hawksnest is offering up 10 percent discounts on tickets, with weekday passes costing $22 and weekend passes costing $27. 

The one resort that is definitely not closing this weekend is Sugar Mountain Resort, according to Owner/General Manager Gunther Jochl. 

“Really — with the weather forecast — we haven’t made that decision yet,” Jochl said. “The conditions are fantastic. We still have folks out here.”

Though planning to remain open as long as possible, Jochl said Sugar has ceased snowmaking operations for the season. 

All three of the local ski resorts reported having solid bases still and said that with the natural snow in the forecast it will only make things better for skiing and snowboarding this coming weekend. 

For more information about the local resorts, visit appskimtn.com, beechmountainresort.com, hawksnest-resort.com and skisugar.com.

Winter Meltdown Games Schedule

Saturday, March 23
-11 a.m. –The Impossible Lift Tower Contest
-12 p.m. – Cardboard Box Derby
-1:30 p.m. – Ski and Snowboard Big Air
-4:00 p.m. – Trash Bag Downhill Race

Sunday, March 24
-12 p.m. – High Ollie Contest
-2:00 p.m. – Pond Skim and Costume Contest
-5:00 p.m. – Chinese Downhill

2013 Meltdown Games Prize Categories:

The Impossible Box Contest:
-12 and Under Best Grind (Snowboard)
-12 and Under Best Grind (Ski)
-13 and Over Best Grind (Ski)
-13 and Over Best Grind (Snowboard)

Cardboard Box Derby:
(3 people max)
-12 and Under Most Original Box Design
-12 and Under Fastest Box
-13 and Older Most Original Box Design
-13 and Older Fastest Box

Big Air:
-Intermediate Ski 1st
-Intermediate Ski 2nd
-Intermediate Ski 3rd
-Intermediate Snowboard 1st
-Intermediate Snowboard 2nd
-Intermediate Snowboard 3rd
-Advanced Ski 1st
-Advanced Ski 2nd
-Advanced Ski 3rd
-Advanced Snowboard 1st
-Advanced Snowboard 2nd
-Advanced Snowboard 3rd
-Womens Ski 1st
-Womens Ski 2nd
-Womens Ski 3rd
-Womens Snowboard 1st
-Womens Snowboard 2nd
-Womens Snowboard 3rd

Trash Bag Downhill:
-12 and Under Fastest Finish
-13 and Over Fastest Finish

High Ollie:
-12 and Under 1st
-12 and Under 2nd
-12 and Under 3rd
-13 and Over 1st
-13 and Over 2nd
-13 and Over 3rd

Chinese Downhill
-12 and Under Fastest Finish
-13 and Over Fastest Finish

Pond Skim
-Best Finish
-Best Splash
-Best Costume