Hawksnest Ski Resort still Growing in Ways That They Can!

Enough has been written about Hawksnest and their battles with the Town of Seven Devils. There’s still issues there; Hawksnest wants to grow their resort and the Town has some issues with that. There’s more to it than this simplification, but suffice to say that the popular, Seven Devils resort WANTS to grow.

Owner Leonard Cottom and his son, Lenny are still frustrated. That can be seen in some of their own posts to www.SkiHawk.com For example on one morning update they wrote, “The Town of Seven Devils is attempting to keep us from expanding our ski area, but we will continue to work with the town to work out an expansion plan. We are working to expand our beginner area, snow tubing area, lodge and parking areas. Stay tuned for updates on our expansion plans.”

Since at least temporarily – any expansive, physical growth is being squelched by the Town, the resort has found other ways to grow. For example, they have added a new conveyor lift for the beginner area. This new lift will make learning easier and make their beginner area bigger. Hawksnest also has “Learn to Ski or Snowboard Packages” available for all sessions this season.

The Kiddy Hawk SnowSports School is Back…

Lenny Cottom states, “Delighted children are key to an amazing vacation and in our Kiddy Hawk SnowSports School, children discover the fun it is to be a little pro in the snow. Designed for the children to have fun while they learn, our aim is to nurture the children building their self-esteem and confidence and giving them an experience that leads to a lifetime of snowsports enjoyment.”

Cottom adds, “We have specially trained ski and snowboard instructors who enjoy and choose to work with children. Our first priority is for your children to have fun and safely enjoy snowsports. In the process, we’re going to sneak in skill development (our little secret). Our instructors are committed to creating a supportive learning environment delivered with a playful approach. We want the kids to come away feeling like they’ve spent the day on a snow-covered playground.”

New Deals and Discounts for 2006-2007!

Tuesdays will now be “College Night” at Hawksnest. Local colleges will be able to purchase a $10 lift for the night session. That’s a great way for college students to have a night of fun with other college students, and there will be special bar programs during the night. College ID required for discount lift ticket. Program begins January 2, 2007.

Hawksnest has been working with the Watauga Education Foundation quite a bit and they are even going one step further. Everytime it snows and gets the local schools cancelled…Hawksnest invites you to ski and snowboard for $8 lift tickets and $4 rentals. Even better – $1 of each lift ticket will be donated to the Watauga Education Foundation!

Want More! Hawksnest is offering Ladies FREE Skiing! On Wednesdays Hawksnest is honoring the ladies with Ladies Day. Ladies will receive a free lift ticket on Wednesdays in January and February!

If you’re a newbie skier or snowboarder – or you want to learn Hawksnest has a special night for you as well! Thursday are now – “Free lesson Thursday”. Anyone renting skis or snowboards from Hawksnest will receive a free beginner lesson on Thursday’s in January and February.

Sunday’s a special as well with their new “Church Group Night”. On Sunday’s, church groups will get the special rate of $10 lift tickets. Reservations must be made in advance thru the group department at Hawksnest to receive the special price. Church groups of 10 or more will qualify for the special price.

Terrain Park News…

Hawksnest did a lot last season to take their terrain park up to a status that most would argue is at least the second best in the state of North Carolina. Hawksnest was one of the first mountains in the region to embrace snowboarding and their park is now a BIG part of the mountain since they have terrain features and hits from the top to the bottom of Sock Em Dog…making Hawksnest’s Terrain Park the longest in the region and certainly one of the best. In addition to last year’s many updates, Hawksnest purchased 3 more boxes for the 2006-2007 season. They now have a C-Box, two Rainbow boxes , Battleship, Rollercoaster, and two flat boxes.

The Hawksnest Terrain Park now has over 15 boxes, rails and snow hits to make this the largest park in the area.

Another move that Hawksnest has made during the off season is to hire Richard Rominger to design and maintain the park. Some of you may know Richard from his affiliation and love of Hawksnest years ago. Prior to accepting his new position with Hawksnest, Rominger has spent his last few years in Sandpoint, Idaho. Richard brings a lot of experience to Hawksnest and should help to take their Terrain Park offerings up yet another peg.

In 2004, Rominger was recognized by Snowboarder Magazine for contribution to Schweitzer’s terrain park. In November 2005 he was featured in Out There Monthly “Mountain Mugshots” for creating expert and novice parks, as well as adding rail garden and wall ride to the terrain park. As late as January 2006 – he was interviewed and featured in Mountain Resort Magazine for innovative terrain park features.

What a lot of people don’t know is that Rominger designed first professional snowboard competition in the southeast. He also developed and taught the first terrain park management college course in the country, and launched the class to be integral in two-year resort management program at North Idaho College.

With a resume that includes the above, snowmaking and grooming for Schweitzer Resort in Idaho, Event Planner for Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort, in Lake Tahoe, CA in addition to his past mountain ops position with Hawksnest from 1996-2000 should help Hawksnest continue to grow it’s on-snow offering.

The main message the Rominger wanted us to convey is “How affordable "The Nest" really is and that we are committed to providing affordable skiing to the local’s of our area. I hope we can gather some SKINC users to visit us this season (one of those famous SKINC summits or a SkiNC/Hawksnest event).

In talking with Richard it is apparent that he has a real love for Hawksnest and that should translate into an even better experience the next time you visit the mountain. He states, “I am very excited about returning to the area and even more excited to be returning to "The Nest".

He sums up his reasons for returning to NC by saying, “Some would like to know why any real snow lover would leave Idaho and 350" of snowfall a year for the Southeast? Only one word can be used and that word is "passion". I have traveled the country, worked in many different aspects of this industry, and the passion of everyone involved in winter sports in the Southeast is unrivaled. In fact it is infectious.”

He adds, “To be returning to Hawksnest in a more involved capacity is very significant for me, my family and hopefully The Nest. For starters it is my HOME MOUNTAIN. I have many fond memories of The Nest and the time I spent there as a kid. It was great. Second, I met my wife on the blue chairlift. Third, Hawks Nest has some of the most dedicated and most charismatic people I have ever met. It is the best place for a real ski bum to be in NC. With that said I really hope to be an integral part of the future growth and success of The Nest as Lenny has assembled a very good team.”

In closing, if you’ve skied Hawksnest in years past…and haven’t been in a while…it’s time you visited again. If you have never skied Hawksnest you need to and find out why so many locals will tell you that it’s a local favorite!

Send your comments and emails to: [email protected]