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“Strange Lift”

Sugar Mountain Resort
Ranked #3 of 18 things to do in Banner Elk
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Attraction details
Owner description: Big-mountain ski resort area featuring a 1,200-foot vertical drop and ski runs of one-and-one-half miles.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
892 reviews
597 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 674 helpful votes
“Strange Lift”
Reviewed 12 May 2014

This resort in the Carolinas is decent for where it is located.

Some of the trails are very narrow and don't allow for much speed. There are some wide trails but they are short. They are all pretty short but it will do in a fix when you can't make it out West or up North for the weekend.

The staff was helpful and kind. They seemed overloaded a bit and the rental interior area looked a bit run down. The eating area was cafeteria style and the food was OK but mostly greasy and processed. Sometimes they will have a grill outside with some Carolina BBQ going.

There is a new run they are installing off the blue trail. It will give some more variation and help eliminate congestion on that narrow trail.

Lockers are available and coin operated. There is a snow school on premises. The main lift is an older style that allows entry and exit on some points of the mountain on the way out. The ground comes in very low at points where you must lift up your board or skis or scrape them.

Good place for intro into skiing or a quick weekend but not for experience skiers.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank ExplorerXYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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481 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The worst customer service ever!”
Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

My wife and I took our family skiing for President's Day weekend. We had over 12 inches of fresh snow so the conditions were exceptional, particularly for North Carolina.

Aside from the resort facilities being dated and in poor condition, the overall attitude and disposition of the staff was not customer friendly. The folks in the ski school were particular difficult to deal with. In their defense, the policies of the ski school regarding refunds and scheduling absolutely lack any thread of common sense. For example, we purchased 4 ski school passes and after further discussion with the attendant and less than 2 minutes after the purchase, decided that we did not need ski school. To my surprise and disbelief, the attendant would not allow a refund stating the policy scribbled on a piece of paper hanging on the wall. Fortunately, I sold them for cash to the next person in line. What a joke!

Granted it was a super busy weekend, but I found it ridiculous that the lift attendants insisted on scanning every pass. What a waste of time, particularly on the lifts above the bottom.

I do not recall one time an employee thanking us for the business or welcoming us to the resort.

Not a good experience and will avoid this facility in the future. It is too bad because Banner Elk is a great area. I have been going there in the summer for the past 20 years off and on and it is a special place.

Visited February 2014
4 Thank volunteerstate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We went as a family with 2 boys (11 and 8). We went towards the end of the season and it was a great experience. We took a group lesson with Taylor and he was an awesome teacher. All of us were at a different skill level, but the lesson with Taylor really helped us learning the basic important techniques that will help us lifelong.. I recommend that everyone take a lesson before skiing. Well worth the money. The fee is more during the weekend than weekdays, so please plan accordingly. Private lessons are also available.. Other than the clothing, you can rent all the ski accessories needed. Please plan on arriving 30 minutes earlier because it takes atleast 30 minutes to fill up the forms, rent ski boots, skies and poles.. helmets are also available for rent. You can rent a locker for $5 to put all your personal items. There is a indoor shop available if you need any jackets/gloves/ski pants etc..They also have a snack bar upstairs and you can take a break, have snacks and resume skiing.. They have half day/ Full Day/ twilight and night tickets available. We tried half day and night and it was awesome. Rain or snow, the skiing was open and in fact we got to skii during snow storm.. If you wear multiple layers and dress up properly, you can skii without freezing your toes and fingers..

All the people in the loading/unloading area were very helpful, always encouraging you and giving tips to improve. This place has a lot of beginner trails and intermediate one and you can have great fun as a family. They also have snow tubing and ice skating arena, but were closed since we went towards the end of the season.

I gave 4 stars instead of 5, because I wish they were providing some photo packages where they will take pictures of you skiing in the slope. Lot of people were doing selfie with their smartphone, but I was not comfortable doing it. I wish they include this in near future. But overall it was fun!!

Visited March 2014
3 Thank LalithaJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
149 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Great Skiing!”
Reviewed 26 March 2014

We hit Sugar toward the end of the season and yet the skiing was still great. There are a lot of runs, for North Carolina, and I am excited about the new run they are building this summer. I would bring your own food as the restaurant is bad and way overpriced. Lift lines were not bad and a couple of the runs are very wide so that you have room to enjoy without fear of being run over. Great time. Will probably ski Sugar next year instead of Beech because of the longer runs at Sugar. It was nice to be able to rent a locker there for less than your car payment! Many ski places really rip you with locker rental--not Sugar! Thanks!

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Blaine2424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Thomas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Enjoyed myself”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

I enjoyed my time here. I always enjoy myself but I went to snowshoe in february and I gave them 4 stars- sugar mountain is definately no snowshoe mountain. It is good for what it is. It was like 60 degrees on the saturday we skiied so conditions were slushy but by the evening the temperture dropped and the skiing got better. I really enjoyed the long blue slope-forgot the name. staff was friendly, lift liines wee short. not impressed with the restaurant there. Had fun here

Visited March 2014
1 Thank cordell j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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