AVERY COUNTY — As North Carolina slowly loosens restrictions in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a pair of local resorts have released their strategic reopening plans to once again welcome visitors.

Sugar Mountain Resort

Sugar Mountain Resort announced on Tuesday, May 12, that it plans to open its scenic chairlift rides and bike park for business beginning on Friday, May 22, as well as announced upcoming plans for later in the summer.

“On Friday, May 22, in accordance with Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138, Sugar Mountain Resort’s Summit Express scenic chairlift rides and the bike park open for the summer. The new Easy Street trail debut’s fun features and encourages all levels to hone their skills,” a release from the resort reads. “Subject to further guidance from Governor Cooper, the fourth annual Summit Crawl competition will take place July 4 along with the fireworks show during the 9 p.m., Fourth-of-July celebration. The Tween and Teen Gravity Mountain Bike Camp will be July 10 to 12.”

The resort also noted that the Summit Express chairlift operates on weekends (Friday through Sunday) from July 3 through Sept. 7, with businesses including Magic Cycles, the Caddyshack and Sugar Mountain Sports Shop to be open during the summer weekends.

“The safety of Sugar Mountain Resort guests and employees has always been our top priority. We continue this commitment during the public health crisis by following guidance from the CDC and state public health officials to promote a clean, healthy and fun environment. And though everyone wishes times were different, it is important that every guest understand that naturally occurring disease processes (including, but not limited to, COVID-19), may exist in the community, including at Sugar Mountain Resort,” the resort release added. “While Sugar Mountain Resort is taking reasonable measures to avoid contact, transmittal and exposure of the virus between people, guests should understand that it is their responsibility to take appropriate actions to safeguard themselves and their children and to stay home if they have any symptoms of illness.”

For more information, call Sugar Mountain Resort at (828) 898-4521 or click to www.skisugar.com.

Beech Mountain Resort

Beech Mountain Resort announced in a May 13 release that it will be opening for the summer season on Friday, June 5, offering free scenic lift rides for residents of Avery and Watauga counties through the month of June.

“The resort will also have take-out food and beverage service that can be enjoyed at several outdoor locations on property,” according to the BMR release.

The resort will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and noted that “enhanced sanitation practices, social distancing policies and other safety measures will be implemented to follow state and local health guidelines.”

Among the amenities the resort offers are a variety of lift-served downhill mountain biking trails and a full-service bike shop in the resort village, with lessons and guided ride packages available to accommodate all skill levels. The resort’s line of rental bikes includes the addition of electric-assist bikes for 2020.

BMR noted that round-trip scenic lift rides to the mountaintop will be available for all guests, that rules and regulations apply and more information can be found by clicking to www.beechmountainresort.com.

BMR also will offer disc golf, take-out food orders from Beech Mountain Brewing Company and outdoor seating at the resort’s 5506’ Skybar, all while observing social distancing guidelines.

“Beech Mountain Resort places the health and safety of its customers, its team, and the surrounding community at the forefront of its business practices. The resort will continue to adhere to all federal and state guidelines as each phase is enacted to ensure a safe recreational experience for all,” the resort release stated.

For more information about BMR’s summer activities or to purchase a season pass, click to www.beechmountainresort.com or call (800) 438-2093.

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