THIS WEEKEND IS THE SKINC.COM SUMMIT AT BEECH MOUNTAIN!! We’re expecting 106 members and guests already, and it’s only Wednesday!! There’s going to be LIVE MUSIC, BEER TASTING, ½ PRICE SKIING, and GOOD TIMES!! For more information on the 2011 Summit click here. We’d love to see all of you out there this Saturday!!
For ski area specifics, see the daily SNOW REPORTS. Very little has changed since yesterday. Few slopes and trails are actually closed at the North Carolina ski areas, and there is tons of snow! It’s a touch warmer at the ski areas as well. Don’t let a little drizzle deter you from heading out to the slopes!! The snow is in excellent condition across the board!!!
I’ve gotten several emails over the course of the last month or two from people across the southeast (and deep south) asking about skiing in February and March in North Carolina…Will there be snow? Are the slopes still open? What’s the best place to go skiing? So, I’ve put together a little cheat sheet for those of you who have questions about planning a ski trip to the North Carolina mountains…if you have specific questions, please feel free to email me: [email protected]. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it for you!
Jeannette from Metairie, Louisiana wrote, “My husband and I are thinking about coming there to ski but my question is March is to late to come there to ski? We are novice skiers and just skied for the first time last year. The date would be 03/12-03/19.”
Well Jeannette, all of the North Carolina ski areas are open through the month of March! There will be plenty of snow!! Many ski areas offer “March Madness” style pricing, offering discounts and lower rates for late season visitors and some areas offer mid-week savings.
Beech Mountain – Beginning Monday, March 7th Beech will offer $20 Day and Twilight tickets, $10 Half-day tickets, and $10 Night lift tickets, 7 days a week!
Sugar Mountain – Winter Value Packages starting March 7th through the end of the season! Stay 3, 4, or 5 nights and ski 2, 3, or 4 days. You can save 30-40% on lift tickets, rental equipment, and lodging! Sugar also offers March Madness lift tickets and rentals! Visit http://www.skisugar.com/rates to see a full breakdown of pricing!
Appalachian Ski Mountain – Offers Late season pricing beginning March 13th through the end of the season. For a complete list of ticket and rental pricing visit http://www.appskimtn.com/plan-your-trip/rates/ski-tickets
Cataloochee – Kid’s Stay/Ski Free Program – children 17 and under can STAY OVERNIGHT FREE on any non-holiday Sunday-Thursday and ski free on any non-holiday Monday-Friday when accompanied by an adult! This is a great, inexpensive way to get your kids on the slopes. More information http://kids.visitncsmokies.com
Wolf Ridge Resort – Some great mid-week deals to take advantage of – Tuesday Night is Buy One/Get One lift tickets, Wednesday Night is Half-price lift tickets for ladies, College Nights (Tuesday and Thursday) is $15 lift tickets.
Sapphire Valley – 25% off public rate lift ticket and equipment rental with advance reservations for groups of 10 people or more! Great, small, beginner friendly ski area perfect for church or scout groups! See http://www.skisapphire.com/rates.htm
Many of the people who submit questions/send emails are from Florida. So, I’ve put together some helpful resources for planning a trip to enjoy North Carolina skiing for our Floridian friends. Check it out…
Miami to Asheville, NC – (787 miles) 12 hours 55 minutes – This route will put you within close proximity to Cataloochee, Wolf Ridge, and Ober Gatlinburg, and Sapphire Valley
Miami to Banner Elk, NC – (837 miles) 14 hours 4 minutes – This route will put you within close proximity to Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, and Appalachian Ski Mountain
Gas is expensive right now, but not as expensive as plane tickets, especially if you’ve got a entire family to purchase flights for. The average cost of gasoline TODAY is $3.08/gallon on the east coast. Most people drive an SUV which holds an average of 25 gallons of fuel and averages 17 miles/gallon. It will take at least two tanks of gas to get you to either location, so gas will cost about $300 +/- round trip. This is still cheaper than flying. Flights were priced at well over $300, and that’s just for 1 person. You can cram up to 8 people in some SUV’s and minivans! So, driving is the best bet, plus you’ll have the pleasure of hearing your kids, nieces, nephews, kid’s best friends, etc. ask over and over, “Are we there yet?”
Your usual hotel chains – Best Western, Holiday Inn, Marriott, etc. – are all near North Carolina ski resorts. But, you can also take advantage of rental companies offering amazing homes and slope side lodging! Many companies and rental agencies offer late season discounts! Call the ski areas ahead of time, each area will be glad to help you with lodging and will know of current specials/deals being offered.
Appalachian – http://www.appskimtn.com/plan-your-trip/slopeside-lodging
Beech – http://www.skibeech.com/directory/lodging/index.html
Cataloochee – http://www.cataloochee.com/lodging/lodging.php
Sapphire Valley – http://www.skisapphire.com/lodging.htm
Sugar – http://www.skisugar.com/lodging
Wolf Ridge – http://www.skiwolfridgenc.com/general.htm
I don’t want to generalize or stereotype but my guess is that most people driving up to the mountains of North Carolina from Florida who have never seen snow have also never skied. This is the perfect time to take a lesson and to take advantage of your time on the snow! Each ski area in NC has a reputable ski school. You’d be surprised at just how beneficial a group or private lesson will be!
Appalachian – Home of French-Swiss Ski School – From March 14-March 27 you can take advantage of the ski school’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages.
1-hour group ski lesson, rental, and ski ticket – $43
1-hour group snowboard lesson, rental, ski ticket – $55
Beech – Professional Ski Instructors of America certified Ski School – Group and private lessons are offered daily
1-hour group lesson – $20
1-hour private lesson – $50
Cataloochee – Cataloochee Snow School is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America – Group and private lessons available daily.
1.5-hour group lesson – $20
1-hour private lesson – $50
2-hour private lesson – $80
3-hour private lesson – $110
6-hour private lesson – $200
Sapphire Valley – Lessons offered each day, each hour.
Group Lesson – $15
Private Lesson – $25
Learn to Ski/Snowboard First Time Program – $25
Sugar Mountain – After March 7th Sugar offers March Madness rates on ski and snowboard lessons.
1-hour group lesson – $17
1-hour private lesson – $38
Sugar Bear Ski School – Full day – $60 or Half – $45
Polar Bear Snowboard School – Full day – $98 or Half – $60
Mid-Week Learn to Ski/Snowboard Special
Monday-Friday includes lift ticket, rental, and lesson
Learn to Ski – $45
Learn to Board – $56
Wolf Ridge Resort – Offers private and group lessons.
Ski/Snowboard 1-hour private lesson – $45
Ski/Snowboard 2-hour private lesson – $75
Ski Group Lesson – $18
Snowboard Group Lesson – $21
This is just some basic information that may be helpful for families and groups traveling from anywhere all over the country. If you’re interested in planning a group or family trip, and you’re not sure if March is the best time, it’s a GREAT time to come. Lower rates and smaller crowds may be just what you need to have the perfect experience for YOU!
For more information on ALL of the ski resorts of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic – visit www.SkiSoutheast.com
THINK COLD! THINK SNOW!
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Send your comments, photos, videos and trip reports to: [email protected] or [email protected]