Beech Mountain Ski Resort Professional Review and Guide
"North Carolina’s biggest alpine resort sits 5,505 feet above sea level on a windy knob of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. Beech’s towering altitude affords striking views into both Tennessee and Virginia, and reveals the surrounding peaks and valleys, including the 6,300-foot summit of nearby Grandfather Mountain. Beech was also the state’s first ski area to incorporate an alpine village resort setting when it opened for the 1968–69 season. Roughly two hours from Asheville and 10 minutes from Banner Elk, Beech remains one of the South’s biggest ski draws and is exceptionally accommodating to families and developing snow riders. Ski resorts are rare commodities in these southern regions, and Beech is a huge attraction for surrounding states, including South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. The mountain’s mile-high elevation affords one of the coldest climates in the South, and a surprisingly high 60-plus inches of snow is recorded per year on average.
A 475-foot tubing park off the Lower Sunny Hall slope includes three 12-foot-wide flumes and its own chair lift. Night skiing has also been instituted, with strong lights covering the entire mountain. The transition from day to night is plagued, though, by a 90-minute interruption: Trails close at 4:30 P.M. daily so snowmakers can pump the mountain full of manmade snow (when it needs it) before the night session begins at 6 P.M."