Winter Games fever has people hitting the NC slopes - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Winter Games fever has people hitting the NC slopes

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SUGAR MOUNTAIN, NC (WBTV) -

Seven-year-old Paige Trokey from Atlanta was skiing just fine alongside her dad on Monday at Sugar Mountain Resort. "It's her first time on skis," said her dad Chris.

The two had watched skiers on television the night before and since they were vacationing near the resort, Paige asked her dad to take her skiing. "I thought I wanted to try it," she said.

Officials at the resort say they have seen a lot of first time skiers this winter. Part of it is because the economy seems to be improving, another factor is good skiing weather for most of the winter.

"The [Winter Games] also do have an effect, " said Kim Jochl of Sugar Mountain. Jochl was, at one time, a member of the United States Ski Team and says every time the Games come around, interest in skiing goes up. That, combined with all the snow that fell off the mountain last week, in places like Charlotte, have combined to make this Presidents Day Holiday

Weekend a very busy one at all the ski resorts. "This was probably one of our best Sundays on record," said Jochl.

Any worries about school makeup days in many Carolina Counties getting in the way of a good holiday crowd did not come true. Many school systems that had planned to be off on Monday instead held classes. For one couple, that actually was an incentive to head to the slopes. "Our kids are in school today," said Shannon Mallory of Statesville, "So my husband and I thought we'd come skiing without them!"

Ski resort officials say even though it is the backside of February, no one is getting ready to close yet. There is enough snow on the slopes to last well into March. "Through the end of March, Hopefully," said Jochl. 

Despite a warm up expected at the end of this week, winter weather is expected to return next week and forecasters predict there will be even more cold weather before Spring arrives next month.

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