Sugar Mountain is Now Open! Cataloochee Opens at 1PM Today!

11-07-2007: 8:45 Update:

It IS official! Sugar Mountain is opening at 9am this morning.  Check the slope conditions page!

The Yellow Lift will operate today servicing Upper Flying Mile & Lower Flying Mile. Lift Ticket Prices for the Full Day will be $25 adult and $18 JR. (11 & under) Lift Ticket Prices for the Half Day will be $20 adult and $15 JR. (11 & under). Sugar will be open today from 9am till 4:30pm.

(The rest of this report was written just prior to Sugar’s opening announcement.)

A quick tour of the web cameras shows Sugar Mountain not only MAKING snow, but GROOMING it. We watched as one of their grooming machines made tracks close to the bottom of their main trail.  Might they be dropping the ropes first this morning?  Their offices are closed and there’s no mention of it if they are planning to open, but we’ll know in an hour.

Chris Bates of Cataloochee Ski Area just called me and they are planning to open at 1pm today with Easy Way and Rabbit Hill.  Chris told us that they will have a base of 8-20".  We also had a few more emails about Sunday River in Maine and the fact that they opened on Halloween day.  Coincidentally, we JUST received confirmation of that from a young lady (Jamie) at Sunday River.  (Seems the phone has been ringing off the hook this morning!) Anyway, thanks Jamie.

So we can put to rest the fact that Sunday River in Maine was the first ski area in the East to open this year, with their one day show on Halloween.  They plan on opening for the season this Friday, November 9th. 

IS SUGAR DROPPING THE ROPES FIRST IN THE REGION???

I spoke with Amber Lee at Sugar just now and she said, "Welllll, it’s definately a possibility, but not official. There’s a LOT of snow up there isn’t it?"

Well, just remember, you HEARD IT HERE FIRST!  We speculated yesterday that Gunther and his talented snowmaking crew may do it.  While they advised me to wait an hour and see, I’m going to go on record to say that Sugar will open this morning.

THAT MAKES TWO NORTH CAROLINA SKI RESORTS TO OPEN FIRST IN THE SOUTHEAST AND MID ATLANTIC

While speaking with Chris Bates of Cataloochee this morning I asked him if he might be contemplate opening at 8:30am instead of 1pm to be the first.  He replied, "No I think we’ll stay with 1pm as that’s kind of our thing to do the 1-10pm thing early in the season."

He added, "Hey I think it’s great if Sugar Mountain opens this morning, because that means that there two areas in North Carolina among the first to open in the East, with the exception of Sunday River’s Halloween day thing."

Chris wanted me to be sure to mention that Cat has two new trails this season and we’ll highlight that and more within our "What’s New for 2007-2008 Cataloochee update later today.  As important as the two new trails is the fact that Cataloochee (much like Appalachian) doubled their water reservoir.  The drought in the Southeast is on everyone’s mind as that is without question the most often asked question that we have received this early.

Chris commented, "Obviously everyone is concerned about the drought, but we were running some numbers the other day and with the water that we have we calculated that we can make 5-6 FEET of snow across every one of our slopes without any replentishing, so we’re in great shape to make snow this season."

That is great news and whether we have one or two resorts opening today, the 2007-2008 ski season is upon us!  Hit the slopes and send us some photos and videos my friends!

Mail your photos/videos or comments to:  [email protected]