A pre-winter blast of cold weather has led ski resorts in western North Carolina to crank up their snow-making machines and open their slopes.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports Sugar Mountain Resort near Banner Elk was the first resort to open on Wednesday. A mid-November start is typical for Sugar and some others in the region.
Cataloochee Ski Area plans to open Thursday. Snow-making machines were going full blast Wednesday at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley.
Cataloochee's spokeswoman Tammy Brown said six slopes would be open from mid-station down with two chair lifts and one conveyor lift.
According to the N.C. Ski Areas Association, skiing and snowboarding are big business in North Carolina with an economic impact of $146 million in 2009-2010.
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