Mill Ridge Ski Area in Boone, North Carolina

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Mill Ridge Ski Area opened in 1970 and the seven acres that made of the ski hill was a great little place to learn to ski. It operated until 1995 when, after a last-ditch effort by a local businessman (I believe Johnny Council was the man's name) to make a go of it...they closed. I remember thinking numerous times about giving the trails a try, but it was literally just five minutes up the road to Ski Hawksnest where you could ski twice

the terrain. That, more than anything else, probably did the little resort in. Many people that I have spoken with about Mill Ridge tell of some really challenging terrain. Robert Evans, who used to ski the resort regularly told me, "Mill Ridge was made up mostly of easy, short trails but it did have one particular slope that was at one time the steepest slope in the region. It was called 'Go For It" and many people would shy away

from it."

Steve Rash shared some of this information with one of our research team members.

If you have any information or photos about this ski area, post here or drop us an email at [email protected]. This portion of the messageboard was implemented so that those who have skied or played at any of the closed ski areas can share their experiences and discuss "old times". Understand that the content shared may not be 100% accurate.
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(Previous owner Reg Robinson shared this information.)

Fond Memories!

I bought Mill Ridge in the mid 70's and operated it for a number of years. It had operated several years prior to my purchase but I am not certain as to the date of its origin.

My family learned to ski at Mill Ridge but there never seemed to be enough free time for me to get the hang of it. On the few occasions I tried,I drew an audience of jeering,laughing ski bums so, in preservation of whatever dignity I could salvage, I discontinued my attempts. It was a grand time.

Mill Ridge Ski Mountain was a fun place to be and the atmosphere was always joyous. The people came to play and play they did! I remember an older gentleman who came on the weekends. He was always alone and he never had much to say to anyone. He just wanted to ski. He started in the morning and skied all day. He would take a break for lunch and then it was back to skiing. From time to time, he would lift a ski above the snow to rest a leg, then he would rest the other leg as he glided smoothly down the mountain, then he would ski..and ski...whistling or singing to the latest Bee Gees disco music coming from the PA system. It was as if he was on the clock. What an interesting fellow.

A brief and amusing (true)story shared by the staff during my tenure: A lady from Florida arrived with friends at Mill Ridge early in the morning on a wintery, cloudy day. There had not been a natural snowfall at that point of the season and she was amazed to see all of the man-made snow on the mountain. She engaged one of the snowmakers in conversation as he was entering the lodge at the end of his shift. She expressed her intrique and began asking questions as to the procedure of the snow-making operation. As they were talking, a natural snow fall began quite suddenly. She looked up..then looked at the workman in amazement and said, "there is some snow now. Are you making that?

The people who visited Mill Ridge Ski Mountain made it the fun place it was. The facility wasn't much; just a chair lift, a few slopes, a rental section and a sandwich shop. The people brought the fun atmosphere with their joy and laughter. My three sons still recall fondly their experiences at Mill Ridge and I am sure there are thousands who have the same pleasant memories.
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I have to add my own two cents here. When we first moved up to Seven Devils in 1990, Mill Ridge was still operating but on its last leg. We'd go and watch people a bit but we'd always do our skiing at Hawksnest. It was just a bit too small for most skiers. A lot of the homeowners within the Mill Ridge Community (which still operates) did most of the skiing there, and obviously many rented out their homes during the winter.

Johnny Council who used to own Boone Ironworks (may still be in business) was a client of mine and he put together a few investors and tried to make a go of it but it never really go reopened.

A gentleman by the name of Carroll Keller bought what used to be the old base lodge after a woman purchased and renovated it into what was supposed to be a bed and breakfast in right at the tennis courts and swimming pool area. However, it was never zoned for business and Mr. Keller made a poor business decision to buy the place and attempt to rent it out as vacation rentals.

The property is currently under foreclosure. The property behind the old base lodge is now hiking trails and I and my daughters have sledded up in there as well as four wheeled. There are some old relics of the leftover lift system still up there. Rusted and old, but there nonetheless.
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Saw a car with a Mill Ridge sticker on it the other day
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Beech: 10
Snowshoe: 3
Alta: 2
Brighton: 1
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Jackson Hole: 2
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i'm going to try and poach this one at the first major snowfall of the season

EDIT: after driving by this morning, I couldn't really make out a ski-able run where i think the old runs were. might not be worth it
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My best memory of Mill Ridge was the day I skied there with Glen Plake.

For you new guys, Glen was one of the first extreme skiers. ... height=236

It was the winter of 1990/91. Hawksnest (where I worked before) was closed that year after the Reynolds/Cotttom exchange. As a result, I patrolled at Mill Ridge that year.

I was making laps on Go-For-It one afternoon (5 minutes up and 15 seconds down) when I noticed a pick-up and camper pulling into the parking lot. The next thing I know, someone is telling me Glen Plake is there and management wanted me to ski with him.

We made about three laps on Go-For -It. Glen was really laid back and down to earth. On the first ride up, I asked Glen what brought him to Mill Ridge. Seems he was on some nasty ridge in the French Alps and ran into some guy from Eastern TN. Glen could't believe this guy was "up there" and decide he needed to tour the out-of-the-way resorts of the US to see where all the good skiers came from. He convinced his sponsor (K2?) to pay for his tour.

After the first run, he told me I was a really good skier. On the next run, he pulled a heli on a flat mogul in front of the crowd (15?) at the bottom. On the next ride up I told him he was pretty good too.

He left Mill Ridge and headed up to Beech for some night skiing. I heard he hit it off with the patrollers/employees up there and went back a few times over the next few years.

Is there anyone else on the board that knows about the Rascal's stories?
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