The leaves have fallen and nights are cold, for adventure seekers one thing is on the horizon and that is ski season. Luckily, North Carolina is equipped with plenty of great ski resorts and Beech Mountain has been working on some major improvements during their off season including a new, revamped terrain park.As the highest ski resort east of the Rockies, Beech Mountain is situated at 5,506 feet and home to 17 slopes. The terrain park just received a facelift and relocation, formerly situated on the Powder Bowl slope, it now has its own dedicated area. Known as ‘The Park’ adjustments include a larger park, advanced lighting, a state-of-the-art snowmaking system, grades and shapes designed specifically for a terrain park, as well as a rotating inventory of 50 features. Yet, perhaps the best enhancement is the new, designated surface tow-lift. The lift allows those on the terrain park to ride day-in-and-day-out while avoiding lines on other lifts.Resort general manager Ryan Costin noted the significance of the addition, “Guests can make as many runs as they want and conceivably be there all day long without ever riding the lift to the top,” Costin says. “We made it a facility that really highlights that type of activity. And a lot of people who participate in freestyle skiing and snowboarding come at night, so we enhanced that aspect with a really good lighting system.”In comparison to the former location, which was smack dab in the middle of a very popular blue trail, both general skiers and adrenaline junkies will have their own area to practice the sport. The relocation adds more space to the Upper and Lower Powder Bowl Trails, which are popular with all levels of skiers and it connects to one of the most popular lifts on the mountain the High Speed Quad, which takes you to the top.Aside from the enhancements to the terrain park, Beech Mountain also added five, brand new SMI snow guns. Additionally more water pumps and additional storage capacity have been added to enhance their snowmaking abilities.Other improvements come in the form of aesthetics, like a new general paint scheme for the main lodge at the resort, View Haus. Last year, the resort debuted a new, 700 ft. tube park in the resort center, which garnered much popularity, Costin says he feels confident it will be even more popular this season.As far as a good season goes, season passes are already on sale and ski season usually begins in late November, sometimes extending until the end of March. Talia Freeman, director of marketing said, “We will open as soon as possible. Our goal is always to open with quality conditions. We look for a consistent cold weather pattern before we can begin making snow. It does appear the weather pattern is changing, so we could be open as early as next week. We had a great season last year, so I think this year will be even better!”Popular ski days include Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well as around the Christmas season. Here’s a secret, from one skier to another, the best time to go is Christmas Eve, no lines and great conditions.
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