Sugar Mountain set for earliest ever Opening Day | Business
SUGAR MOUNTAIN - Wednesday is set to be the earliest ever Opening Day for the Sugar Mountain Resort. The super storm that included Sandy, brought cold temperatures, strong wind, and heavy snow to some parts of the North Carolina high county.
"Our snow making system has produced inches and feet of snow and actual snow of 10-14 inches when all is said and done. That will get us open," Kim Jochl of Sugar Mountain told WBTV.
Two of twenty slopes will be open to start, and they are expecting a big crowd.
"The interest is definitely exciting and huge," Jochl added.
Snow making began Sunday evening, October 28th and continues around the clock. On Wednesday, skiers and snowboarders can expect a natural and man made powder surface covering the Upper and Lower Flying Mile slopes. The Summit #1 Lift will be in operation to the ¾’s station. For a real time look at the slopes through the live, streaming web cam please log on to www.skisugar.com/sugarlive.
Inside the resort Chad Fisher is changing out more than 300 pair of boots for new ones, but he's not complaining.
"It's awesome, it's super, we're stoked that it's snowing already before Halloween," Fisher told WBTV.
At the base of the mountain and in Banner Elk the roads were passable on Tuesday, but there were some slick spots and the temperature hovered in the high 20's with a stiff wind.
And while skiing before Halloween may be unprecedented, snow before the first of November isn't.
"I've seen it in October, I've seen it in about every month, maybe one or two, maybe not this bad," one local resident said.
By opening tomorrow that will shatter the previous record for the earliest opening of Sugar Mountain. That was on a November 5th, 1976.
And Sugar won't be the only resort welcoming skiers in North Carolina.
For the second time in its history, Cataloochee Ski Area will be open for skiing in October, with lifts ready to roll for opening day on Wednesday, October 31, at 9:00am. The area has been making snow round the clock since 6:00 am on Monday, October 29, with 4 inches of natural snowfall from Superstorm Sandy. Cataloochee’s continued dedication to snow making technology allows them to be consistently one the first areas in the country to open each season, averaging 119 days of skiing and riding each winter in the last seven years.
Located high in the mountains of Western North Carolina, they are a snow sports playground to many in the Southeast.
Cataloochee will operate Wednesday from 9:00am until 4:30pm with skiing on three slopes, Lower Omigosh, Rabbit Hill and Easy Way, serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift to midstation and the Easy Way Triple Chairlift.
Current base on these slopes is 8-12 inches, with continued snow making to increase that number throughout the day and evening. Lift tickets will be a special rate of $25 per person, for all guests. Children 4 and under receive a free lift ticket with a ticketed adult and adults 65 and over, ski free any day. Regular rental rates will apply. Cataloochee also offers all persons renting equipment a free 1 ½ hour beginner lesson as part of their rental package, any non-holiday Monday through Thursday.
As an added Halloween “treat,” guests purchasing a lift ticket on opening day will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for an all session season pass for the 2012-13 season; value of this pass is $625. Cataloochee will continue to operate on a daily basis for day skiing only, as long as conditions allow. For more information or an up-to-date snow report, please visit their website www.cataloochee.com.
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