Shaping Up To Be Great MLK Weekend For Ski Resorts With Natural Snow, Sustained Cold

Published Friday, January 15, 2016 at 12:58 pm

Sugar Mountain Resort on Thursday.

By Jesse Wood

The next few days are shaping up to be a great holiday weekend for the ski industry and winter enthusiasts who want to play in the snow.

Any rain the High Country sees on Friday should taper off tonight as the temperature drops and stays below freezing for pretty much the foreseeable forecast, according to

“The conditions are good. The weather is good,” Bill Leonard, owner of Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk, said earlier this week. “There’s now reason to think we aren’t going to be busy.”

With the way 2015-16 ski season has started, a cold holiday weekend with natural snow to fall is certainly something to rejoice. Not only that, but the local ski resorts have been able to build a solid base in excess of 50 inches over the past two weeks.

“Conditions are wintery!” Sugar Mountain Resort Vice President Kim Jochl said on Friday. “We’re seeing a favorable forecast throughout the weekend and next week too. All variables are creating ideal conditions to visit Sugar. “

Sugar Mountain Resort has a base of 21 to 57 inches with seven lifts and 12 slopes currently open. More trails are expected to open in the next day or so. Ice skating and tubing are open for some winter fun as well.

Across the High Country in Blowing Rock, Appalachian Ski Mtn. is also ecstatic about the holiday weekend, especially because it has 100 percent of its slopes and terrain parks open to its skiing and snowboarding guests.

“Conditions are shaping up to be great,” ASM. spokesman Drew Stanley said. “It looks like some natural snow throughout the weekend, and we plan to make additional snow on the majority of our slopes to improve conditions even more.”

On Friday, ASM hosts the third round of the K2 highest ollie tournament, and throughout the weekend, ASM’s Ice Arena is open for bonus sessions. In addition to the normal sessions, ice skating is open for evening and night sessions on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Also, don’t forget about the Midnight Blast sessions, which are offered every weekend this year. For MLK weekend, this Sunday is also part of the night skiing sessions. For more on the Midnight Blast, click here.

Beech Mountain Resort, the highest ski resort on the East Coast, has a base of 20 to 56 inches with 12 trails open and six lifts.

“Conditions are great. We were able to put down a lot of snow this week,” said Beech Mountain Resort spokeswoman Talia Freeman. “Additionally, we had some help from Mother Nature. I think we will have a great weekend!”

On Friday at 5:30 p.m., Wise Old River will perform at the Beech Tree Bar and Grille. Wise Old River is an award-winning “eclectic-Americana” quartet.

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