Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Come Fly a Kite During 11th Annual Festival on Sept. 1

Press Release
by Craig Distl

            BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. – It’s easy as pie to fly a kite a mile high this Labor Day weekend on Beech Mountain – all you need is a couple hundred feet of string.
            The 11th annual Mile High Kite Festival takes place Sunday, Sept. 1, in the Beech town meadow. Located at more than 5,000 feet in elevation, the high-altitude meadow makes it easy for children of all ages to sail their kites up to a mile above sea level.

            The festival includes kite-flying music and announcing provided by Terry Murray and Will Smoot of the Richmond Air Force Kite Club from Virginia. Prizes will be awarded for the biggest kite, smallest kite and best decorated kite.
            Meanwhile, all festival participants receive an official certificate from town mayor Rick Owen that proclaims: “I flew a kite a mile high on Beech Mountain.”
            Don’t have a kite? Fret not. There will be kites for sale, and the first 300 kids (12 and under) receive a free one. Folks who have kites are welcome to bring their own.
            Other activities include races with kids pulling parachute kites, face painting, and a variety of craft and food vendors.

            Ample room is available for everyone, plus there’s a reserved field for demos from the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society (WACKOS) and the Richmond Air Force.
            “We like to float the idea to come up and make a weekend of it,” says event organizer Calder Smoot. “Folks can bring their dogs and enter them in our annual dog show Saturday, and then attend an all-ages street dance Saturday night before enjoying the Sunday kite festival.”
            The festival is sponsored by the Beech Mountain Chamber and the two kite clubs. Hours for the Mile High Kite Festival are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there’s no charge for admission.
            Dog lovers should make plans to attend BJ’s Dog Show, named for long-time town employee B.J. Hughes. The show is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Bark Park, adjacent to the town meadow. Entry fee is $20 for one dog and $30 for two dogs, with spectators admitted free.

            There will be certificates and prizes for winning dogs, while all furry friends receive a ribbon of participation.

            For information, call the Beech Mountain Visitors Center at (800) 468-5506.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Magic Cycles Opens New Location at Beech to Provide Bike Rentals

Press Release
by Craig Distl

To fulfill the need for bike rentals at Beech Mountain Resort’s new mountain bike park, Boone-based Magic Cycles has opened a shop in the ski village.

Michael Boone, owner of Magic Cycles, jumped at the opportunity to expand to Beech Mountain this summer when he learned the resort would provide regular lift access to its new downhill trails, and to the town’s Emerald Outback trails.

“We’ve been anxious for somebody to open a bike park at one of the ski slopes and Beech Mountain really made the commitment to outfit their lift and build trails,” said Boone, who opened his shop in downtown Boone in 1993. “We’ve seen the need for that for quite some time.”

Since early June, Magic Cycles’ satellite location has operated from leased space at Ski Beech Sports at the base of the trails. Riders may rent downhill or cross country bikes, depending on which trail system they plan to ride. They can also rent helmets and body armor, while buying lift passes at Ski Beech Sports.

“I just ordered seven more bikes recently and we will probably double the size of our rental fleet next year,” Boone said. “Business has gotten better and better every weekend. I think by the end of summer we’ll see a big demand from visitors coming to ride the trails.”

Boone said his primary customers so far have been cyclists who’ve ridden cross-country trails before and are excited to take the chairlift up and try downhill trails.

“I’m thrilled with the quality of the trails. The trail builders are out there adding new stuff weekly,” explained Boone. “They have done a good job developing something for the beginner and intermediate riders, as well as the advanced and pro riders.”

Boone is also excited about further development of the Emerald Outback trails, which are maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain. The town recently received a grant to improve and expand the Emerald Outback.

"That will make those trails a destination. They’re a little rooty for your beginning rider, but when they get some of that cleared out, it will become a destination for riders in the Southeast,” said Boone. “To be able to offer cross country riding up at that elevation is something I think will really explode. A lot of people from down off the mountain are going to find their way up here in the summer months when it’s so hot in Charlotte and everywhere else.”

Magic Cycles on Beech Mountain is open every FridaySaturday and Sunday through September. Hours are: Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For bike rentals or more info, call (828) 387-2733 or click on the Magic Cycles at Beech Mountain link.