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Totally ’80s Retro Ski Weekend Feb. 21-23

By Frank Ruggiero (

Article Published: Feb. 14 | Modified: Feb. 23
Totally ’80s Retro Ski Weekend Feb. 21-23

Contestants in the Totally Retro Apparel Contest compete in a worm-off before a crowd of neon-
clad onlookers. Beech Mountain’s Totally ’80s Retro Ski Weekend returns Feb. 21 to 23.

Photo by Amy Morrison

Junk the DeLorean, hang up the phone booth, and drain the hot tub.

Who needs a time machine when you’ve got a Totally ’80s Retro Ski Weekend?

From Feb. 21 to 23, Beech Mountain presents its third annual callback to big hair, neon collars and Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars.

“That’s right — we’re talking the 1980s,” said Craig Distl, idea hatcher and public relations representative for Beech.

Distl based the idea on a scene from the 2010 comedy, “Hot Tub Time Machine,” in which four friends take a ski trip, only to accidentally travel back in time to 1986. Unaware of what’s actually transpired, they assume they’ve attended a retro ski weekend.

“I started thinking about that,” Distl said. “What if we could get all the people at Beech Mountain in their retro ski clothes from the ’80s?”

“What if” quickly turned into “what next,” as Distl and his friends at the Beech Tourism Development Authority expanded the concept into a full-fledged annual event.

Now in its third year, this trip back in time features bands specializing in the best music the 1980s had to offer, a Totally Retro Apparel Contest, the inaugural Mile-High Moonwalk Contest and appearances by the Carolina Ghostbusters, a group of “Ghostbusters” re-enactors who actually work as real-life paranormal investigators.

Although the weekend officially starts Friday, organizers have turned back the time dial for some fun Thursday night, with a karaoke party at Famous Fast Eddie’s (1005 Beech Mountain Parkway). On Friday, rockers Buick MacKane pull into the Mile-High Tavern (1003 Beech Mountain Parkway) for a 9 p.m. show, the intermission for which will feature the Mile-High Moonwalk Contest. The winner takes home $150, along with the respect of all Michael Jackson fans in attendance.

On Saturday night at the Beech Tree Lodge at Beech Mountain Resort, The Breakfast Club band will perform classic ’80s hits, as sharply dressed contestants compete for the $500 grand prize in the Totally Retro Apparel Contest.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the slopes will turn a different color or 14, as skiers decked out in ’80s apparel cut some tracks — Lane Meyer style.

“Last year was unavailable,” Beech TDA’s Amy Morrison said. “It got a lot more attention … so we expect it to be a pretty big turnout this year. People are already talking about, and we’ve already been getting phone calls.”

While she wouldn’t necessarily call herself a child of the ’80s, Morrison admitted that the weekend offers retro fun for skiers (and snappy dressers and Moonwalkers) of all ages.

“It’s definitely pretty fun to get in the spirit,” she said. “I dressed up last year, and so did a lot of people who were my age and younger.”

“We get a nice mix of people who probably weren’t even born in the ’80s and those who remember them well,” Distl said. “It’s a fun get-away from our hectic life. Channel your inner ’80s and have a crazy weekend.”

For more information, including detailed schedules and lodging rates, visit

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