Sugar Mountain Resort opens for season

By Sam Calhoun (

Article Published: Nov. 11, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Sugar Mountain Resort opens for season

Sugar Mountain Resort opened its slopes Nov. 6, three weeks earlier than its 2009 opening. Sugar's snowmakers revved their engines on Nov. 4.

Photo submitted

After pictures of snowmaking at Sugar Mountain Resort went viral starting on Friday, Nov. 5, the talk of Avery and Watauga counties - and across the state, for that matter - took a turn for excitement over the approaching ski season, which suddenly seemed closer than popular thought would have theorized.

Patrons of multiple restaurants and businesses across Avery County bolstered the rumor that manmade snow was blowing atop Sugar going into the weekend, and shortly before 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, Sugar Mountain Resort made it official, opening that morning to start the 2010-11 ski season in North Carolina.

"It was a fantastic weekend of skiing and conditions," said Kim Jochl, marketing director of Sugar Mountain Resort. "We had a good crowd on Saturday and an even bigger crowd on Sunday."

Sugar Mountain Resort is still open as of press time, and its staff foresees no sign of closing until the end of the season.

"We see the ability to stay open when we make the decision to open for the season," Jochl explained. "We don't conceive the idea of a soft opening."

Sugar Mountain Resort's opening date of Nov. 6 is three weeks earlier than last season and just one day shy of Sugar's earliest opening on record, which was on Nov. 5, 1976.

Snowmaking began on Thursday, Nov. 4, and is ongoing, weather permitting. Over the weekend, a manmade powder surface covered the Upper and Lower Flying Mile slopes with the Summit Lift No. 1 in operation to the 3/4 Station.

According to Jochl, ice skating at Sugar Mountain Resort will probably open in two weeks.

Historical opening and closing data, as well as recorded annual natural snowfall, can be found by clicking to For a real-time look at the slopes through the live, streaming web cam, click to

Sugar's Turkey Treat Special is coming up from Nov. 25 to 28, and plan to spend the weekend of Dec. 11 and 12 enjoying an array of activities during SugarFest. For more information on each event, click to and

For more information on Sugar Mountain Resort and the 2010-11 snowsport season, call (828) 898-4521 or click to

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