Sign in to comment!

Fox News Weather Center

Snowstorm Allows Southeast Ski Resorts to Boast Early Opening Day

"We're making lots of snow, lots of it," Sugar Mountain Ski Resort in North Carolina boasted on Sunday, after a storm delivered 8-10 inches of natural snow to the slopes over the weekend.

The bounty of the early snowstorm, paired with ideal temperatures for snowmaking, afforded the resort a head-start into the 2014-2015 winter season, beating the opening days of many competitors farther north.

Sugar Mountain officially opened on Nov. 2, the second earliest opening on record, just behind the Oct. 31 record set two years ago.

"It's exciting to get the winter season started early," Owner and President Gunther Jochl said.

The storm delivered more than a foot of snow to parts of the southern Appalachians, setting a new date for the earliest snowfall in recorded history for Columbia, South Carolina.

"This was unusual because it occurred right at the start of November," AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

"To get a storm this early that far south is pretty impressive. It's more typical of late November into early December," he said.

Sugar Mountain was one of two resorts in the state to take the risk of opening early, despite temperatures forecast to waffle back and forth through the middle of November. Highs could again rise into the 60s at times.

Farther north, two New England resorts also committed to opening this week after double-digit snow totals broke new early-season records in some areas.

Sunday River Resort opened a single expert-level trail on Monday, with plans to then close again through Friday in order to make snow for the weekend.

Killington Resort in Vermont also opened to season pass holders Monday, with the general public opening on Tuesday.

"This is no surprise and we typically see northern New England skiing any time around Halloween," Andrew Davis, media partnerships director for Snocountry Ski Areas Association said.

"There is some friendly competition to open first and begin to offer the most open terrain. But a resort will let the weather dictate if they are going to commit the resources to making snow...," he said.