Southern Skiers Get Solid Conditions, New Discounts
It’s not exactly the same March Madness found each spring on Tobacco Road. But some North Carolina ski and ride resorts on the other side of the state aren’t playing any games with the discounts offered in March.
While Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte might be preoccupied with college basketball, serious skiers and boarders are ready to take advantage of attractive pricing all the way to the championship game.
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, with a summit elevation of 5,300 feet, has announced 25 percent discounts on lift tickets, rentals and lessons from March 4 to closing day. To take it further, Sugar’s sweet Winter Value Package, already an attractive offering, is coming down 40 percent.
“Weather forecasters say winter's sticking around,” Sugar Mountain's Kim Jochl told SnoCountry.com as she was leaving her office for the nearest lift. “That’s great news for March fun on Sugar Mountain Resort's slopes. Snow talks.”
The slashing even extends into the mountain’s sports shop where guests will be offered 30 to 60 per cent discounts on Spyder apparel.
Thirty minutes north, at Beech Mountain, their version of March Madness begins in mid month. Lift tickets are $20 per day, $10 for half days and $10 for night sessions.
There are also aggressive mid-week lodging packages at Beech Mountain where upgrades are available and youngsters can ski free. At 5,500 feet, the highest resort in the Eastern U.S. should have reliable spring conditions. Currently their base is 40 to 80 inches.
Cataloochie, in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, still boasts a base up to 88 inches. The resort benefitted from early snow storms that allowed them to open on Oct. 31.
Southern skiing and boarding usually winds down as the calendar turns to March. But the early arrival of winter, coupled with an extended stay, could make 2012-2013 one of their longest seasons in recent memory. And that’s nothing to be mad about.
Photo: Sugar Mountain Ski Resort