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Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the slopes at Appalachian Ski Mountain on opening day Nov. 30. Local resorts were forced to close in recent weeks due to mild weather but hope to reopen this weekend. Kellen Moore | Watauga Democrat.

Originally published: 2012-12-20 13:32:28
Last modified: 2012-12-20 13:32:28

Ski resorts plan to reopen

After a lengthy dry spell, the High Country’s ski resorts are working to reopen this weekend to take advantage of the Christmas holiday.

Sugar Mountain Resort relied on an early snowfall to open Oct. 31, while Appalachian Ski Mountain and Beech Mountain Resort followed suit a month later on Nov. 30. All three slopes had to close in recent weeks as mild and dry weather settled into the area.

The resorts plan to restart their snow guns late this week as cold, blustery weather and snow showers are expected to enter the region.


App Ski Mountain

Anticipating positive conditions for snowmaking, Appalachian Ski Mountain will open “as much terrain as possible” to skiers and snowboarders Saturday.

“There is a chance that Appalachian could have a majority of slopes open by Sunday,” staff wrote on the resort website.

The terrain park will offer mellow, fun rail and box options daily while snowmaking continues. Along with Recess Ride Shop, App will host the Rome Pre-Jib snowboard competition Sunday, with free competition entry and free prizes.

Ice skating will continue on a regular schedule with three daily sessions. Santa will also visit the slopes from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

Visit or call (828) 295-7828 for updates on conditions.


Beech Mountain Resort

Beech Mountain Resort plans to open Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will offer regular weekday pricing, according to its website. Snowmaking will continue as temperatures allow.

From 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Santa will visit the View Haus at Beech to bring holiday cheer and listen to visitors’ Christmas wishes.

The resort also will host a “holiday sweater party” from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday with live music from Wise Old River. Holiday beverages will be sold, and prizes will be awarded for the best holiday sweater outfit.

Ice skating also will be offered, and a Christmas Eve service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the ice rink. Free hot chocolate will be provided.

Visit or call (828) 387-2011 for updates on conditions.


Sugar Mountain Resort

Sugar Mountain Resort had not made any final decisions about opening as of mid-day Thursday, but marketing director Kim Jochl said she expected the slopes to open Friday or Saturday.

“We’re pretty confident we’ll be open by the weekend,” Jochl said. “We’re shooting for as soon as possible, as soon as we can get snow on the ground.”

Ice skating remains open for five daily sessions, and snow tubing also will be offered as weather conditions permit, she said.

The SugarFest/Alpine Ski Center Rail Jam, postponed from earlier in December, is now set for Saturday. A maximum of 50 participants will be admitted into the competition, and hopefuls must register before 10 a.m. Saturday. The Rail Jam begins at noon.

Santa also will be skiing, ice-skating and tubing throughout the weekend until Christmas Eve, Jochl said.

Visit or call (828) 898-4521 for updates on conditions.