Some are not aware that what is now Appalachian Ski Mountain started out as "Blowing Rock Ski Lodge".
The Blowing Rock Ski Lodge opened for the 1962-63 season. The man behind this resort was M.E. Thalheimer, who bought the land for the resort from Grover Robbins. L.A. Reynolds Construction from Winston-Salem did the building work, and V.L. Moretz & Son Lumber Co. of Deep Gap provided the materials.
In spite of a strong initial response, Thalheimer had a tough time keeping his head above water. He gave up the management of the resort during the winter of 1965-66, but still the money problems continued. Finally, in 1968 the bank called the loans.
Grady Moretz and several others saved the resort by stepping in and paying off the loan. Under this new leadership, and with a new name - Appalachian Ski Mountain - the resort reopened for the 1968-69 season. There were no lifts, just a rope tow and regular, old wooden skis. The first double chairlift was added in 1969.
In 1968, another important event took place. Jim Cottrell put together what would become French-Swiss Ski College, the region's first school for skiing.
Meanwhile, there was more development afoot. In 1964, Grover and Harry Robbins opened a ski slope at Hound Ears Lodge and Club. The scene then shifted south to Avery County, where experiments in skiing in Banner Elk began in 1965. In 1966, work began on what is now Ski Hawksnest, which opened in the winter of 1966-67. Beech Mountain became the last of the Watauga County slopes to open in the 1960s when it started business in the winter of 1967-68. Just as the decade ended, on Dec. 29, 1969, Sugar Mountain, the last of the present four major resorts to start business, opened.
Check out this certificate from the old Blowing Rock Ski Lodge...
Beautifully engraved certificate from the Blowing Rock Ski Lodge, Inc 1963. This historic document was has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle and an embossed corporate seal with a skier. This item has the hand signatures of the Company’s President ( M.E. Thalheimer ) and Secretary ( D.Grady Moretz, Jr. ). This is the first time we have had t5his certificate for sale.
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