Sunday, November 24, 2013

Beech Mountain Resort Opens November 29

File Photo

We are at 12 degrees at 8:30 a.m. with snow flurries, putting us in the mood for playing in the snow and getting those crystal clear mountain views.  It is a magical time that we only see about 3 months out of the year and look forward to it returning this year.

Beech Mountain Resort has been gearing up to this season by testing their 40 pole cat snow guns and already have snow building up in preparation for their opening day ... November 29, 2013; the day after Thanksgiving!

Don't have Thanksgiving plans yet?  Want to plan a short time away to enjoy what only the High Country can provide?  Come to Beech Mountain for a few days, a few weeks or whatever time you have to experience the wonders of our area.  To get you in the mood, watch the winter video of our area.

Looking forward to seeing you on Beech Mountain - the coolest town around.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bar None: Beech Mountain Resort Unveils Highest Ski Bar in East

Press Release
Craig Distl

In addition to skiing Eastern America's highest slopes, visitors to Beech Mountain Resort can now enjoy the highest ski bar in the East.

This winter marks the debut of "5,506" - a glass roundhouse named for Beech Mountain's superlative elevation.

The facility was built by Umbrella Bars USA of Vermont and offers food and beverage service in heated comfort surrounded by glass panels. Furthermore, "5,506" sits on a new observation deck which is ideal for relaxing with friends and enjoying the view.

"The cool thing is that it provides a break for skiers and snowboarders to rest at the top of the mountain and get a completely different perspective on skiing in North Carolina than what has been offered in the past," said Ryan Costin, the resort's general manager.

The new facility allows patrons to take off their equipment and enjoy food and drinks inside the bar or at outside tables. It includes restrooms, which should be a big hit.

"This concept is not uncommon in the industry, but hasn't been pursued much in North Carolina and the Southeast," Costin said. "It's generated a buzz. Everybody wanted to know what was going on at the top of the mountain."

Beech Mountain has also increased its snowmaking ability by adding 12 new SMI Super PoleCat snow guns, upping the resort's arsenal to 40 of the super high-tech guns. They work in conjunction with dozens of smaller guns to cover the slopes more effectively than ever before.

"It has shortened our window to produce snow by almost 50 percent from where we were 4-5 years ago," said Costin. "We are able to open terrain at a quicker pace than we ever have."

Those snowmaking upgrades will especially benefit the Oz slope on the mountain's back side. There are now four PoleCats in place on the west-facing Oz run, a favorite of many skiers.

Another big change for the 2013-14 season is the streamlining of operating hours. BMR eliminated its daily session break, keeping the slopes open in the transition from day to night. "It gives us a consistent ski day with no break," said Costin.

New operating hours are 9am to 9pm, Monday thru Thursday; and 9am to 10pm Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.

For more info, visit:, or call (800) 438-2093.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall in the High Country ... a Beech Mountain favorite

It is Fall in the high country area of the North Carolina mountains that we call home.  My favorite time of year!  The air gets cooler, vistas become clearer and the pace of life settles down enough to be able to enjoy it all.  Our native creatures on Beech Mountain also seem to prefer this time of year, with less traffic and people milling around the mountain and taking more time to forage for food while it is still abundant and the snows have not yet made it harder to find it.  The buck deer, in particular, are showing up more often as the rutting season approaches.  This is the time of year we see the largest of the bucks, chasing the does through our yard and all over the rest of the mountain, to sustain their herd.  

The grouse also can be seen and heard, sifting through the now dried leaves and calling out to others with their distinctive cry that only our ravens have been able to duplicate.

Quite opposite of what you would expect, as we approach Thanksgiving, the turkey seem to be showing up in larger numbers than any other time of the year.  We have a white one in our neighborhood that shows up with a group of about 21 and will even form their own group to march down our street as if they are rehearsing for an upcoming holiday parade.

I would like to thank my friend, Kim Barley, for providing me with these 
exceptional pictures of our local black bears.  

The bears have been very prevalent all year this year and many have sighted them all over the mountain.  For those who have not, I'm sure most have seen evidence of their visits in the form of overturned trash bins and trashed strewn across streets, yards and up/down into the woods.  Another reminder to those who live, visit or frequent our area to PLEASE be careful in how you dispose of trash, food and drinks on Beech Mountain.  Bears WILL get into ANYTHING if there is food and/or drink of any kind within the space.  Most of the time it is a trash bin that someone has put trash in for pickup the next morning (or days away from the next trash pickup day).  PLEASE NOTE:  if you are putting out trash for collection, please do not do so until the morning of trash pickup.  That may require you to set your alarm to get it out but it will lessen the likelihood that a bear will get into the bin,... AND THEY WILL GET INTO IT..., before our waste management people do.  Anyone familiar with our bears and their appetites will tell you if a bear on Beech Mountain wants to get to the food contained within anything, it WILL get in.  That includes vehicles.  There have been at least two pickup trucks that were scratched up by bears that wanted the trash and, in one case, recycled oil that was in the process of being transported to the proper location.  There were also a few vehicles that were left partially open with food or drinks in them and a bear did great damage to those vehicles to get at the source.  Although I have not heard of any vehicles that had food or drink left in that were locked up tight getting broken into, it is a good practice to remove anything from a vehicle that may attract bears.  This is especially true of truck beds, open Jeeps and vehicles with soft cover roofs.

Come visit Beech Mountain to enjoy all of the many wonders we have to offer, including watching the deer, grouse, bear, bunnies, fox, groundhog, turkey, the many varieties of birds and all animals.  Bike, hike, take in the huge views only available at 3200' - 5506' and enjoy our many restaurants and shopping.  There is a lot to see so plan on staying at least overnight to get the greatest experience.  We look forward to seeing you and meeting our new friends.  Don't forget to wave to us...we are very friendly folk and welcome you with open arms.