Cold weather coming, ski resorts may open during holidays

Cold weather coming, ski resorts may open during holidays

AVERY COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Sean McNay was wearing a t-shirt while helping to set up the town of Beech Mountain's sledding area on Wednesday. It's not the normal fashion just a week before Thanksgiving but this fall has been warm enough to do it. McNay doesn't expect his summer wear to work much longer.

"Not much longer at all," he said.

The weekend temperatures are expected to plunge across the North Carolina mountains. There might even be some snow flurries in places. That bodes well for surrounding ski resorts that want to get the season underway.

Snow making equipment is in place so all that's needed is consistent cold temperatures. It could mean Sugar Mountain Resort might open as early as Monday.

"If the forecast holds true, we will," said Gunther Jochl.

Other resorts hope to make snow as well. They say skiers should check websites or call ahead to be sure they are open. The openings would be a boost to the area economy.

Most businesses will benefit from an influx of winter tourists and many locals depend on the ski season for jobs. Sugar Mountain alone will hire hundreds of seasonal workers.

"With food service and all, probably about 550 to 600 people," said Jochl.

Officials say it all depends on the weather.

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