Skiing back to the 80s at Beech Mountain

In its sixth year, the Totally 80s Retro Ski Weekend at Beech Mountain lets all walks of life re-experience the 1980s with a weekend packed full of decade-inspired events.

Many attend to seethe sight of colorful

BEECH MOUNTAIN — It’s one thing to dream of time travel, it’s another to feel like you’ve discovered it. Big hair, shoulder pads, even spandex and leotards — the ’80s came to life on the slopes at Beech Mountain.In its sixth year, the Totally ’80s Retro Ski Weekend has grown into the ultimate nostalgia event where people attend to experience the decade and also re-experience the fun of Retro Weekend.People came from all over the state as well as the region, including Georgia, Alabama, and even Florida, like the winners of the $500 retro apparel contest. Justin Gilman dressed as painter and TV host Bob Ross with Danielle Deatherade dressed as his subject, happy trees. The crowd at Beech Tree lodge chose the winners, roaring for their win while The Breakfast Club, deemed “America’s Favorite 1980s Tribute Band” pounded out classic tunes. The runners-up were a group of five friends who dressed as American Gladiators after spending the past two months planning and purchasing their costumes.Visiting Beech Mountain itself can feel like stepping back in time. Incorporated in 1981, it’s a place you visit time and time again where nothing really changes. Director of Tourism and Economic Development Kate Gavenus said, “Beech is very retro. It does have that old classic ski resort look to both the resort and the town. It really is a unique partnership between the ski area and lodging companies, restaurants, and town government — everyone plays into the weekend.”Some employees from Brick Oven Pizzeria were adorning their best ’80s dresses in order to seamlessly blend in with the decor that has been a part of their business for decades. The pizzeria has multi-colored light bulbs in the ceiling fans, an arcade in the back, and an unexpected bar decorated with house plants perched out front. The classic Beech Mountain View Haus has remained a bastion old-school welcome on the mountain. Beech Mountain is a place that stays comfortably the same, which adds to the draw.Retro Weekend brought all different walks of ’80s life to the mountain. Two moms from Davidson, Julie and Adelle attended with their daughters. One daughter was wearing her mom’s dress from the decade, including puffy shoulders with a dramatic floral print in muted pastels and to top it all off, chunky clip-on earrings. Adelle said she loved bubblegum punk clubs in the ’80s. That was something they could experience again during the weekend, while also introducing their daughters to the fun of it for the first time.Another attendee, Brian Rhodes, from Columbia, South Carolina, has been coming to the event from the start and this year was his favorite. He said the weekend “makes people feel like they’re living the ’80s all over again.”While the snow conditions were lackluster, the experience and schedule of events made up for it. For the first time, there were three nights of music. Raleigh-based Rockzilla played Thursday night at Fast Eddie’s, on Friday night Cassette Rewind from Charlotte transformed Mile High Tavern into something reminiscent of a 1980s college cocktail mixer, and The Breakfast Club took the stage on Saturday night.The daytime also saw a wide range of activities. The Hot Tub Time Machine Trivia contest drew some very serious competition, and kids loved the Rubik’s Cube contest, some even completing the puzzle in under a minute. As a nod to the glorious automobiles that populated television shows back in the day, the ski village featured a talking Knight Rider KITT car and a stainless steel DeLorean. By Friday afternoon, people started pouring in. Girls in spandex and leotards soared down the slopes and instead of the usual black and white ski suits they were purple with lightning bolts and cheetah prints.Gavenus reflected on the progression of the event saying, “In the beginning, we focused more on the ski resort itself and over the years we’ve added more things in with the town. We added the ‘Pac-Man’ contest, third night of music, and we’ve been able to pull in more partners and businesses around town so you don’t necessarily have to be a skier to enjoy the retro ’80s feel of everything.”