Ski Beech closes for season, other resorts hanging on for cold weather

BEECH MOUNTAIN, NC (WBTV) - A warm February has been trouble for North Carolina's ski industry. After a colder than normal December and January, when resorts were extremely busy and were able to make a lot of snow, winter seemed to go away.

Unseasonably warm temperatures in February have been eating away at the snow on the slopes. On Saturday, Beech Mountain ski resort gave up the fight. Almost 400 people have seasonal jobs at Beech and now will be looking for other work.

Businesses in town are having to cut back as well.

"When they decide to shut down it's an economic downfall for all of us," said Fred Pfohl, who owns a general store and restaurant in the town of Beech Mountain.

In addition to the slope workers now looking for other jobs, most of the businesses themselves have also had to cut back on employees said Fred.

The slopes at Beech were mostly mud on Monday, a testament as to why the resort shut down.

Officials said overall, it was a good ski season but they had hoped it could continue for a few more weeks. Down the road, Sugar Mountain remains open and Appalachian Ski Mountain in Watauga County is too.

With some cold weather in the forecast, officials are hoping to be able to make snow in the next few days. Both resorts hope to be open until the latter end of March.

Monday afternoon the spring like weather turned again to winter. Snow fell on top of Beech Mountain. Not enough to cause issues and came too late with the cold temperatures that Beech Mountain Ski resort needed. It will stay shut down until this fall.

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