BLOWING ROCK, NC (WBTV) - A steady rainfall slowed down the pre-Christmas madness in the North Carolina mountains on Wednesday.
In Blowing Rock, the shops - as well as the streets - were almost empty. Shopkeepers were not worried about that, though.
"The big week is next week," said Jean Grimm.
A flood of winter tourists is expected to start arriving this weekend with most of them staying until New Year's Day. It's the biggest winter tourism week of the season, and with forecasters saying freezing temperatures and possibly snow will move in by Christmas, most businesses expect a boom this year.
At Appalachian Ski Mountain, Brad Moretz thinks conditions will be perfect. Even though rain kept most skiers away on Wednesday, Moretz says expected cold weather next week comes at just the right time.
"This will be a year that people will remember," he said.
Any chance of snow will bring even more tourists in, he says, and adds that his resort and all the businesses nearby are ready.