beech mountain retro 80s weekend

There are WIND CHILL WARNINGS and WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES out all across the mountains for today. Wind gusts as high as 70 mph are forecasted for some of the North Carolina mountain ranges for this evening, while a somewhat “calmer” 50 mph winds are forecasted into Snowshoe and the WV ski resorts.

snowshoe village windsI’m betting if any of you are up at Snowshoe today or this evening, that there will be some 70 mph gusts in the Village today and tonight. It’s windy in THAT wind-tunnel on days where it’s not forecasted to BE windy!

Joe Stevens used to joke that they could do NASCAR Wind-Tunnel testing in that bad boy.

CHECK THE SNOW REPORT this morning for ALL of the details, as I’m just talking about an assortment of resort and weather news today. However suffice to say that ALL of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic ski areas are in awesome shape for today. I’m fairly certain that every resort is right at or exceeding full capacity in terms of rooms booked. The slopes will be packed and the lift lines long at times although the WIND CHILLS might lessen the wait times after one or two trips down the mountain.

A LOT of people will be shocked at HOW COLD it will feel today and that will make for good times for those who want to brave the cold and winds. All I can say is dress in layers, dress warm and cover all exposed areas.

With these kind of cold temps and wind chills frost bite can occur in five minutes.

There’s NO NEW, NATURAL SNOW to report in the last 24 hours, but all of the resorts received some ambiance snow in the last 48 hours. Of course, Snowshoe, Canaan and Timberline saw from 7-9″ of powder on Thursday.

image001Kristy Ronchetti, one of Snowshoe’s “marketing babes” (she KNOWS I call her that), sent me an awesome POWDER shot. You just can’t beat that.

(You should CLICK ON the image to the right to see a SWEET POWDER shot enlarged!!!)

Happy Valentine’s Day and President’s Weekend

I’m going to predict some “CUPID SIGHTINGS” today. I know Massanutten Resort will have the arrow-shooting-love-bug out and about and Snowshoe usually does those kinds of things. Speaking of Snowshoe, they saw 9″ of snow over the last 48 hours and it’s forecasted for 2-4″ more today.

Ridiculous, Ridonculous Pass…

canaan valley season pass
Move over Snowshoe as Canaan Valley is one-upping Snowshoe’s “Ridiculous Pass” deal which goes on sale this week at Snowshoe Mountain with their OWN “Outrageous, Totally Incredible, Amazing, Crazy, Wonderful Pass”. I didn’t make up that name – Canaan did! Anyway the pass is on sale for the crazy rate of $199 for the rest of this season and ALL of next season.

Snowshoe’s “Ridiculous Pass” was an amazingly successful campaign over the last two seasons. Snowshoe released a PRIVATE INVITE to past season pass holders today that they ARE doing the pass again this season, but I can’t SHARE that with you guys just yet! Since they let the cat out of the bag this morning, I will at least tell you guys that it IS coming TUESDAY. It WILL be $209 this season, but we’ll wait til then to release that information in full, marketing mode.

Canaan Valley is 25° milder this morning than 24 hours ago when it was MINUS 10!!! That makes it 15° this morning for those of you who don’t want to do math this early.

Hold On To Your Kids Today and Tonight

I just pulled this from NOAA for Banner Elk.

Snow showers likely today, mainly after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 29. Wind chill values as low as zero. Windy, with a west wind 24 to 32 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Tonight Snow showers, mainly before 10pm. Low around -3. Wind chill values as low as -32. Very windy, with a west northwest wind 41 to 44 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

I had to chuckle when I looked at Bryce Resort’s update where they are reporting that today’s conditions will be “breezy”.

Trust me – on some of these mountain tops, you’d better hold on to small children as the winds will take them 50 yards down a slope if they’re on skis – if you’re not there to anchor them down 😉

2015-02-14-appfireI had to laugh about the fact that Appalachian Ski Mountain is scheduled to fire off some fireworks tonight! If they DO, those bad boys COULD end up being seen in Hickory with these winds!

App is hosting a “Grill on the Hill” and Fireworks tonight. We may have to go watch that one!

SPEAKING OF APPALACHIAN, LET’S ALL HOPE THE WEATHER HOLDS as App announced that they will ski and ride until Sunday, April 5th (Easter Sunday) and donate ALL Ski-Ticket sales to the Middle Fork Greenway initiative.

For the benefit of the Middle Fork Greenway, let’s hope the winter weather lasts until Easter.

On Thursday, Appalachian Ski Mtn. President Brad Moretz announced that he will extend the ski season through Easter Weekend – Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5 – and that all ski-ticket sales on Saturday will be donated to the Middle Fork Greenway initiative.

The Middle Fork Greenway is a 6.5-mile pedestrian and cycling trail located in between Boone and Blowing Rock. Of the proposed 6.5 miles, only one mile of trail has been developed so far.

2015-02-14-appfire2“Each dollar that we can raise through events like this is critical to leverage matching funds to purchase greenway property or complete greenway development,” Moretz said in a statement. “We believe the Middle Fork Greenway will further define the Boone/Blowing Rock area as a premier recreation destination.”

Kudos to Brad and the Moretz family. We’ll talk more about that over on soon…but Brad coerced numerous other Blowing Rock businesses to do the same kind of fundraising with large percentage of their Easter weekend proceeds going to the initiative.

Beech will be hosting their 80’s Retro Weekend next weekend. That’s always a ton of fun and they’ve got some BIG things lined up for that event. We’ll share more tomorrow but if you haven’t made it to the mountains for a ski or snowboard getaway yet this season – plan on coming up for that. It’s a great time.


In a Press Release sent out this week:

EPR Properties Acquires ASSETS OF Wintergreen RESORT,  Pacific Group Resorts to lease and operate Wintergreen

2015-02-14-wintergreenPhoto is from earlier this week!

PARK CITY, UTAH – EPR Properties (EPR: NYSE,) a real estate investment trust (REIT) purchased the assets of Wintergreen Resort in conjunction with its operator for the property, Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. Wintergreen is about 45 minutes southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia. Pacific Group Resorts will lease the property from EPR and manage the resort.

Hank Thiess, General Manager of Wintergreen Resort and a longtime industry veteran, expressed his enthusiasm for the transaction, “I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years and I’ve known the leadership of Pacific Group Resorts for over 20 years. They have tons of experience in this industry at some of the most iconic resorts in the West. My management team and I are excited for the possibilities this partnership will bring to our members and guests.”

“Wintergreen has great facilities,” noted Mark K. Fischer, speaking on behalf of Pacific Group Resorts. “Between ski, golf, tennis, and meeting space, Wintergreen is an active year round playground, and it is right next to the Shenandoah National Forest, so it is one of the most beautiful resorts in the eastern U.S. We are very much looking forward to helping the staff deliver the best possible guest experiences.”

Pacific Group Resorts also owns Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire, and worked in concert with EPR to acquire Wisp Resort in Western Maryland in 2012. EPR Properties’ total investment portfolio exceeds $3.9 billion and the company adheres to rigorous underwriting and investing criteria centered on key industry and property level cash flow standards.

In commenting about potential changes and opportunities at Wintergreen, Fischer remarked, “The executive team at PGRI has a broad base of experience in mountain resort operations and in the master planning and development of ski resorts. We hope to work with the management team at Wintergreen to maximize the customer experience through a combination of meticulous planning and operating enhancements and efficiencies. The people at Wintergreen are top notch, and we are delighted to be working with them on the possibilities for growth here.”

The new buyers purchased Wintergreen from James C. Justice of West Virginia. Justice had acquired the resort in the summer of 2012 and had injected capital into the property to make improvements and to stabilize the operations. Pacific Group Resorts intends to work with the staff and with property owners in the area to see how they can make it an even more enjoyable place to visit.

# # #
About Wintergreen Resort: Wintergreen Resort is an 11,000-acre, four-season resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains southwest of Charlottesville, Va. This beautiful hideaway is the ultimate vacation and conference spot. Nearly 230 condominium-style accommodations, 45 holes of championship golf, snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing an award-winning tennis program a full-service, destination spa 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and savory dining options comprise the year round resort. The resort is located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in beautiful central Virginia near Charlottesville, just 90 minutes from Richmond, Va., three hours from Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, N.C., five and a half hours from Philadelphia, and eight hours from Atlanta. For more information, guests can call (434) 325-2200 or visit the resort’s web site at

About EPR Properties: EPR Properties (EPR: NYSE) is a specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in properties in select market segments which require unique industry knowledge, while offering the potential for stable and attractive returns. Our total investments exceed $3.9 billion and our primary investment segments are Entertainment, Recreation and Education. We adhere to rigorous underwriting and investing criteria centered on key industry and property level cash flow standards. We believe our focused niche approach provides a competitive advantage, and the potential for higher growth and better yields. Further information is available at

About Pacific Group Resorts: Pacific Group Resorts (PGRI) now operates three ski and snowboard resorts and four golf courses, and senior management of the company has a combined 60 years of executive or ownership experience in the industry. PGRI is an affiliate of Pacific Group which has built and developed signature base facilities and villages at Whistler in British Columbia, Mammoth and Squaw Valley in California, Solitude and Snow Basin in Utah, Jackson Hole in Wyoming and Copper Mountain in Colorado in addition to a wide range of other commercial properties in 27 states.

Whew! That’s it for me today!

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