• Temperatures, lack of snow bad for Blowing Rock


    BLOWING ROCK, N.C. - With temperatures soaring into the 60s this week, some ski resorts had to shut down because they were unable to make snow, which means hundreds of people aren't working and the impact is felt far away from the slopes.

    General Manager Brad Moretz is hopeful the weather will turn much colder over the next week.

    It is early in the season here but the all-important Christmas break is not far away for families who plan to spend part of their holidays on the slopes.

    "There could be 5,000 skiers up here during a busy weekend. So it makes a big difference to lots of sectors of the economy to have some snow at least on the slopes at the ski areas," said Moretz.

    When Appalachian Ski Mountain is up and running, they employ 325 people, making them the sixth-largest employer in Watauga County.

    The motel in Blowing Rock relies on the ski industry.

    During the winter months, 70 percent of their bookings are skiers.

    "A lot of school groups, Special Olympics, some home-school groups as well. We need the rooms in the winter time when nothing else is going on and the skiers help fill them," said Rosemary Prather from the Holiday Inn Express.

    The skating rink at Appalachian Ski Mountain is still open, but like many here, Michael Denslow is hoping he and his son can trade in their skates for skis soon.

    "It is still a little early but hopefully they'll make some snow soon. I think they are hopeful for Christmas," said Denslow.

    Appalachian Ski Mountain said they believe colder weather will move back in by the middle part of next week.

    Every chance they get they said they will be making snow here.


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