Southeast Ski Areas Gearing Up to Open More Terrain for December 8th Weekend

First Trax

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It’s Beginning…THE REAL SKI SEASON is cranking up!

Cataloochee Ski Area got us going weeks ago and Cat, Snowshoe and Sugar Mountain have provided us some needed terrain to ride…but now many of the other ski areas are dropping the ropes and getting us more resorts to ski and ride. That “new beginning” to the 2006-2007 season reminded us that we wanted to share the news with our visitors that we have posted a TON of new content that answers a lot of questions that beginner and novice skiers have asked us over the years. (How was THAT for a segway?)

Over the last several years we have fielded so many questions from people who were planning to ht the slopes for the first time. To that end, we have attempted to answer those concerns and anxieties with a special department of our website. We have moved that content to SkiSoutheast so that we can help a broader group of novices and you can view that material by CLICKING HERE

Today’s Top News…

Kathy Doyle, Director of Sales & Marketing at Ober Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee wrote us yesterday.  She reports, "We have been making snow since Sunday evening and plan on opening Friday, Dec. 8th at noon."  That is great news for all Ober fans.

Snowshoe Mountain prepares for Demo Days and more terrain openings. Andrea Smith reports, “Over 100 snow guns have been blasting for the last few days, helping us add to our base and prepare more trails for opening before this weekend’s Demo Days festivities. The Powder Monkey and Spruce Glades trails are a definite and we’re hoping for Wiffle Tree and maybe even Gandy Dancer and Logslide. We expect to be running four lifts by Friday, including the high speed Ballhooter. All five open trails were groomed overnight and we have mostly packed frozen granular conditions. The Skidder and Grabhammer lifts will be running today from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The terrain garden on Whistlepunk is open with one flat rail. Please be aware of possible breezy conditions today as you enjoy early season skiing and riding.”

Andrea adds, "We were lucky to be open for skiing and riding over the last couple of weeks and now we are raring to go further! We expect to add quickly to our trail count and open two or three more runs top to bottom by the weekend. We hope to expand from five open trails to as many as ten with over 40 acres of skiable terrain by the weekend, now that’s enough room to get up some real speed and test that equipment rightfully!

Our mountain operations team plans to open Powder Monkey and Spruce Glades sometime this week and that includes our main terrain park. The snowmakers then hope to make enough to connect Wiffletree and maybe even Gandy Dancer and Logslide by the weekend. That will link enough trails to run the high-speed Ballhooter lift and possibly three other lifts-now we’re getting closer to that big mountain skiing. For all of you tubers and night skiers out there, the Silver Creek Ski Area is looking like it is on target for its December 15th opening.

But back to this weekend…. As you may well know, December 8-10 is Demo Days Weekend at Snowshoe Mountain. This means all you need to try the latest equipment from the best manufacturers is a form of ID and a major credit card to leave with the attendant until you return the skis or snowboard-yes, that means it is absolutely free! Burton, Head, Salomon, Atomic, Rossingol and Nordica are just a few of the manufactures that will be out on Skidder slope to let you check out their stuff from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Also this weekend, be sure not to miss the $2,500 King of the Mountain terrain park competition. The weekend’s events will kick off with a slopestyle contest on Spruce Glades at 10:30 a.m., then a rail competition outside Shavers Centre at 4:00 p.m. and wrap-up with a big air competition on Spruce Glades at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Athletes can register on location the day of the competition for only $25 per event or $50 for all three. If you’re like me and can’t quite hang, at least take it in, it is pretty cool to watch-kind of like a mini X-games on skis and boards.

Don’t forget to go by and check out Snowshoe’s newest gourmet treat when you head to the mountain. I can attest you will not be disappointed with the new Ember restaurant in Soaring Eagle Lodge. Remember, now is the time to get outside play and ride! "

Appalachian reopens today after taking the last week “off” to make a strong base. They are open today with a base of 12-24” and three slopes. App is also skiing both day and night sessions so get out and enjoy.

Cataloochee is reporting 24° this morning at 7:45am. That means more snowmaking is ongoing! The Cat is open from 1pm to 10pm today with a base of 14-36” and four trails. Intermediate Lower Omigosh, serviced by the Omigosh Double Chairlift, Beginners Easy Way and Beginners Rabbit Hill serviced by the Easy Way Triple Chairlift and Beginners Luck Learning Area serviced by the Moving Carpet Conveyor Lift on a base of 14-36 inches and a machine worked surface.

Sugar Mountain is open for day and night skiing to the top of their mountain and that provides them six trails and two lifts. Sugar also made snow and conditions are very nice for today.

Other resorts are opening Thursday, Friday and into the weekend. For a complete rundown on announced openings…be sure to check out the ski report / slope conditions.

Hawksnest “Broadcasting” a Nice Deal for Area Support Employees

On Sunday, December 17th Hawksnest Ski Resort, located in Seven Devils, North Carolina (between Boone and Banner Elk) will host a “Hawksnest’s Hospitality Employee Appreciation Day”.

The basics of the idea is that on that day employees of area motels, hotels, restaurants, and the media, working in Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties can enjoy the snow at Hawksnest Ski Resort free. That means FREE skiing, snowboarding or tubing!

“We recognize the tremendous service all the employees in the hospitality and media businesses contribute to our resort’s success and we hope that our Christmas present to them will go a long-way in demonstrating our appreciation,” said Lenny Cottom, owner of Hawksnest.

“Please join us in celebrating our industry and the Christmas season,” Cottom continued. “We are expecting a big turnout. All an employee in the hospitality or media business has to do is present an ID along with a pay-stub, business card or letter from their place of employment to our cashiers to receive a free lift ticket to ski, board or tube. Beginners are also welcome. We will hook up the beginners with free rental equipment and give them a free lesson with our Topgun SnowSports School instructors.”

Employees may bring guests who will receive a 50% discount on everything (lift tickets, rentals and lessons). Please note that the free rental equipment will require a credit card, refundable deposit.

Hawksnest Ski Resort is located atop Seven Devils off Highway 105 South of Boone. The day sessions run from 9:00a.m. until 4:30p.m. and the night session runs from 6:00p.m. until 10:00p.m.

For more information about Hospitality Employee Appreciation Day, visit the website,  or call 828-963-6561.

Hawksnest Ski Resort’s 43rd season opens Friday, December 8 at 12noon. Located in Seven Devils, North Carolina, and known as the local’s favorite for its mixture of fun terrain, the resort features snowsports for the entire family.

Patrons enjoy the longest, rollercoaster-designed tubing park in the South and twelve lighted slopes of skiing and snowboarding.

“We are constantly improving our resort,” said Lenny Cottom, owner of Hawksnest. “This year alone, we have added another conveyor lift for our training area; it’s like a moving sidewalk. Expanded our beginner slope, and added yet more features to our popular terrain park.”

Hawksnest boasts of having the only terrain park with features from the top of the mountain to the bottom. It is also the only resort to offer skiing and snowboarding until midnight on Friday and Saturdays.

Continuing its tradition of hosting competitions, highlights of this season’s Hawksnest events include the United States College Ski Association’s Giant Slalom, Boardercross and Skiercross, the Crescent Council’s Slalom and Giant Slalom, the High Country Junior Races Series, the Nest Games and more.

“We’ve added lots of new specials this season, Cottom continued, I hope people will go on line and check them out.”

Groups of ten or more who make advance reservations receive special group rates plus a free beginner lesson.

“There are two reasons for us giving away free beginner lessons,” Cottom said. “Nationwide in the industry, we know that people taking up snowsports for the first time are more successful and have a better experience if they have taken a lesson.”

“Skiing and boarding are relatively easy to learn, but we know that a beginning lesson makes a critical difference. And secondly, we are very proud of our Topgun SnowSports School. You know, many of our instructors have competition awards under their belts and many have been teaching for years.”

Get in on the fun by calling 800-822-4295 or visit the website  

Until Next Time…


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For more information about the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic visit  


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