Post holiday season, families around the state begin searching for activities to unwind and enjoy the outdoors. North Carolina’s mountains feature many ski and snowboarding options for individuals to get a taste of winter weather.
Appalachian Ski Mountain opened in 1962, the first ski area in northwestern North Carolina, and was known as Blowing Rock Ski Lodge. In 1968 the resort was bought and became what is now Appalachian Ski.
This ski resort features ten slopes and two terrain parks with varying difficulty levels for beginners to professionals. Ticket purchasing is made easy with a flex ticket option that allows people to purchase a ticket at any time and have a full eight hours on the snow after time of purchase.
“I like the variety, I like that our goal is to see people have fun on the snow,” marketing director for Appalachian Ski, Drew Stanley said. “In the winter time your recreation options are somewhat limited because of the weather but being able to embrace the cold and snow and enjoy it is very exciting.”
They also offer lessons for first time skiers and beginners to help individuals learn how to use equipment, turn and stop in the snow, and practice mounting and dismounting the chair lifts.
“We have a constant commitment to upgrading our snowmaking and grooming to make conditions as good as they can be,” Stanley said.
Not only does Appalachian Ski Mountain offer skiing and snowboarding, they also have an ice skating rink and rental skates for those looking for time on the ice. A 200-foot observation deck with a view of the slopes is also an option for those who prefer watching the sport in action.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, north of Asheville, is a family-oriented ski resort well known for their attentive staff and faculty.
“I enjoy getting people who have never skied before the chance to get on the mountain and to see people who have never seen snow to be able to see snow,” Will Walker, sales director for Wolf Ridge Ski.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort features a wide variety of slopes for all levels as well as chairlifts. The ski lodge at the resort has a comfortable setting to ensure visitors feel as nestled in the mountains as possible, including a pizzeria with a broad menu for all taste buds.
“We’re a family run resort, we have a much more intimate atmosphere than most resorts,” Walker said. “There is really nothing commercial about us, we have very high customer service.”
Burrowed in the Blue Ridge mountains lies Beech Mountain Ski Resort, a spot fit for those looking for a relaxing weekend in the mountains.
Opened in winter of 1967, brothers Grover and Harry Robbins founded the resort and began developing. In 1986, the Costin family purchased the resort and began creating what is now one of the premier recreation destinations in the area. Beech Mountain Ski is still owned and operated by the Costin family today.
Along with skiing and snowboarding on some of the highest elevated slopes in the region, Beech Mountain Ski Resort also offers snow tubing located near their resort village.
“We own and operate a brewery here in the resort village, there’s fire pits, the brewery, and a nice little coffee shop. The atmosphere in general is just really comfortable,” marketing director for Beech Ski Resort, Talia Freeman said.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort also features live music and events throughout the year. During the warmer months, mountain biking and disc golf are offered to guests along with a popular summer concert series.
Sugar Mountain Resort, located just north of Grandfather Mountain State Park, is a skiing and snowboarding spot for all levels of skill. With twenty trails, eight lifts, an ice skating rink, snowshoeing, and snow tubing area, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort welcomes a variety of individuals with open arms.
“We have excellent terrain all around, from a terrific beginners area to our double black diamond called Whoopdedoo,” vice president of Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, Kimberley Jochl said. “We also have a wonderful children’s program, the sugar bear ski school and polar bear snowboard school.”
Sugar Mountain Resort gains a lot of popularity through its night skiing option. Fourteen of their twenty slopes stay open with lighting for individuals interested to ski from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.