Ski Resorts Gear Up for Openings for the 2005-2006 Season!

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UPDATE at 1pm:  For those hoping that Cataloochee would be opening tomorrow…sorry…no can do. With the change in the weather forecast, Cataloochee does not anticipate being able to make snow tonight and will not be opening on Saturday as they had hoped. 

Temperatures at the ski area inverted last night and although they were able to make a significant amount of snow with their new automatic snowmaking system, they were not able to make enough snow to be able to open on Saturday.  Cataloochee still has their annual season pass get together going on tomorrow which will offer a great opportunity to see all of the new changes at Cataloochee for the 2005-2006 season…and Ski Country Sports will be on hand which will provide a great chance to see the new equipment available for this season.

Cataloochee Ski Resort was the only ski area in North Carolina to make snow last night .  They were shooting for a possible opening on Saturday but with the weather change will now be devoted to making snow as soon as possible…most probably towards the middle-to-end of next week.

Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia HAS been making some snow on some of the slopes up there, but according to Andrea Smith of Snowshoe Mountain, "The snowmakers are telling me that our snowmaking is more of a "testing the system" nature right now.  They ARE telling me that they are looking to go full bore with snowmaking operations potentially as early as the middle of next week as local meteorologists are forecasting cold enough temps to make snow."

This buzz of activity prompted a lot of emails overnight and as such we decided to update you on all of the plans from the southeast resorts as we know it right now.

North Carolina Resorts:

Appalachian Ski Mountain has an announced opening date of November 18th, weather permitting.

Cataloochee Resort COULD possibly open Saturday, November 12th. Check back here later today and we’ll try to give you the last word as soon as possible on that. Saturday is also Cataloochee’s 6th annual season pass celebration bash so all you season pass holders come on buy and smile for the camera and get your passes. Austin Beeghley of SkiNC will be up at Cat this weekend.

Hawksnest Resort plans to open for the season Thanksgiving Weekend. They are now selling season passes at a 20% discount until November 13th.  Hawksnest wanted us to mention that you don’t want to miss out on the biggest terrain park in NC this season.

Sapphire Valley Ski Area plans to open December 22nd, weather permitting.  They also leave things "open" to possibly open sooner if weather dictates it, and they also announced that they would probably open their tubing hill earlier as well.

Ski Beech plans to open as soon as weather permits, but has no announced opening date as yet.

Sugar Mountain has no announced opening date as yet.  Expect Sugar to begin making snow at the first reasonable opportunity.  You can bet their talented snowmakers have an eye on the forecast!

Wolf Laurel Ski Resort plans to open as soon as weather permits.

In Virginia:

Bryce Resort plans to make snow as snow as possible in late November for a hopeful early December opening.

Massanutten will begin snowmaking operations in late November (weather permitting) and plans to open on or before December 9th, 2005.

The Homestead hopes to begin making snow at the end of the month with the idea of opening in early December, but their target date is December 10th, according to Mike at their Allegheny Outfitters.

Wintergreen Resort is planning to open on November 26, 2005, weather permitting.

In West Virginia:

Canaan Valley Resort plans to open as soon as weather permits.  We attempted but were not able to speak with anyone there.

Snowshoe Mountain has plans to open November 23rd and they have their eye on the weather forecast. Their snowmakers are looking at the possibility of going full bore with snowmaking by mid next week.  Snowshoe snowmakers have been making some snow over the last day or two on a few slopes but that has been more of a testing of the system, than an effort to get open.

Timberline Resort announced a tentative opening date of December 8th.

Winterplace Resort is planning to open on December 9, 2005.

WISP Resort in Maryland is planning on opening as soon as weather permits with a probable date of December 10th. WISP is opening (10) ADDITIONAL trails this season with the debut of their new "North Camp" trials. They will offer the addition of one expert, seven beginner and two intermediate trails.  They also will be offering two new quad chairlifts that increase their lift capacity.

In Tennessee:

Ober Gatlinburg is planning to open the first week or so of December, weather permitting.

Until Next Time…

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Cataloochee Ski Resort cranked up their Areco Automatic Snowmaking System at 8pm Thursday night as temps dipped low enough to make snow – Cataloochee
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