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“Sugar Mountain satisfies my need to ski at my old age but I'd like to try CO.”

Sugar Mountain Resort
Ranked #7 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.
Charleston, SC
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Sugar Mountain satisfies my need to ski at my old age but I'd like to try CO.”
Reviewed 24 January 2009

I went to Sugar on Wed. Jan 21, 09 and the conditions were great compared to the middle of last February when icy conditions prevailed until the snow machines came on at night. The beginner slope is good, long and fun and pitched at about 30 degrees maximum. All the other slopes are hair-raising for the less experienced skiers with pitches of at least 45 degrees. At least half of the people there are snowboarding. You have to watch out for others around you who can violently slam into you in a flash. I was slammed into by a wrecking snowboarder last Feb. as I was stopped and looking down the hill getting my nerve up to go again. His board would have broken both my feet had I not had my skis and boots on. A teen age girl wrecked me on Wednesday when I was almost at the bottom and going pretty good. I got on her case like I did that snowboarder last year. After wrecking you need to take a ski off, get on a knee and get back up quickly to get out of the way of others behind you who may not see you laying down. This was probably my sixth ski trip in my long life. My 12:30 to 10pm lift ticket and skis, poles, boots rental was $58. Weekends are higher. The slopes close from 4:30 to 6. Little grooming was done as far as I could tell but fluffy man made snow made controlling your skis OK. Ice is no good for control. My little pizza was $6 and my Budweiser Ale draft beer was $6. The bar area has a warm gas fireplace. All workers were friendly and talkative. I advise not to go on a weekend if possible unless you like long lift lines. And pay attention when getting off the chair lifts as they move pretty fast. It is fun talking to friendly strangers on the lifts. Take your aspirin on your ski trip, you will probably be sore. Exercise with deep knee bends before your ski trip and you will build up strength and your legs will not be so sore afterward. From Charleston, SC, Sugar is reachable in 4:45 with one stop for fuel, bathroom and a snack by way of I-26, I-77, I-85 and I-40. There is a free parking lot and a free bus that takes you up the short hill to the lodge. Skisugar.com provides good cams and conditions for avoiding warm days. I look forward to my next ski trip to Sugar Mountain, NC. I am not the best skier around and people wizz by me with no fear as I snow plow steeper slopes to stay under control but I do have fun at Sugar. After a long day at 10 pm I am glad it's over, until the bug to ski hits me again.

9 Thank Exspreso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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485 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Nascar skiing”
Reviewed 19 January 2009

I will try to be as positive as I possibly can in my review but the best way to describe our families trip to this ski mountain is to relay what we experienced.

First let me say "Muchas Gracias" to all of the non English speaking, hard working workers that manned the parking lots and ALL of the lift lines, you may not have understood what any of the guests were asking but you, but you did a good job. (I think I remember one English speaking local working a lift line)

After forking over $290+ dollars for 2 adults and 2 kids (with ski gear rentals), I was already sticker shocked. I was expecting a very well groomed, very well regulated ski mountain that had a maximum skier capacity as is customary in the Utah, Colorado ski areas for safety reasons. Unfortunately, it was pack in as many skiers and snow boarders as humanly possible into 18 icy, narrow trails and let the NASCAR racing begin. There were no quad chairs or triples, only pairs on all lifts running at a descent pace, once again, "Muchas Gracias"

The design of the slope funnels two main channels in a "Y" formation into a high speed junction filled with thrills, spills, impacts, and profanity. As the day wore on and the crowds got really big, I witnessed skier/snowboarders high speed collisions, skiers running over snowboarders boards, (and snowboarders running over skiers ski's at full speed) and not even a flippant "sorry" People blatantly cutting in lines, and no hint of supervision from the staff. What scared me the most was that there was all levels of skiers slipping and sliding on the icy slopes and lots of little kids at the junction points just begging to get run over. My kids are good enough to do the blues and a single black diamonds so we avoided the scary stuff by staying in a corner of the mountain (Big Red) that was primarily more advanced skiers. After the word got out that Big Red was not as packed as all of the other lifts, the crowds grew exponentially so we ventured down the mountain. On our way to take a break, we crossed "the junction", witnessed more hair raising near misses and by mid afternoon, we were finally scared off of the mountain.

As far as the restaurant goes, "Where is the fire marshall when you need him???" The lunch lines were huge and the food was outrageously priced. Imagine going to a movie theater where the popcorn and drinks cost $10. Now imagine feeding a family of four at the move theater....more sticker shock.

So, was it worth $350 for ski tickets, gear and lunch? No way.... I am so unhappy, we may not even go back to North Carolina for a vacation.

I said I try to be as positive as I could. The scenery was very nice except for the high rise condo's they put at the top of the mountain. It was like putting a 12 story Hilton on top of Diamondhead.

16 Thank thekubiaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marion, VA
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Rude harsh treatment at Ski Suga, NC BEWARE!”
Reviewed 28 November 2008

We had a similar experience as the previous writer of extremely bad customer service at Sugar Mountain, NC. A child sat by accident on my son's coat. and broke the lift ticket wire. He requested a new ticket since the wire was now broken . Not only did they no want to assist him, they confiscated the ticket and refused to replace it. We took the receipt which showed proof of payment. The manager was merciless, rude, not interested to replace the ticket. We had no option but to purchase another new ticket since he could not go back boarding. I have NEVER heard of such greed to make a customer pay twice for the same service. Why should the quality of the lift ticket system become the customer's problem? Perhaps next time, should you have to hold other skiiers responsible to purchase you a lift ticket when they by accident break your wire? It was a ridiculous situation and we left disgruntled after that. We have never returned and now I buy season passes for WV since they seem to treat us much better. Shame they treat customers that way at Sugar Mountain.

15 Thank Kim_Brdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2008

I went to ASU and Sugar is the only place in the area to spend time skiing. They are always the first to open the ski season and last to close. You can really tell management cares about having the best ski conditions in the area. The busiest times over year are Presidents and MLK weekends, which is when the slopes have the most people. I think the best skiing is in March once they have a huge snow base and the crowds start to dwindle. I've been skiing there for almost 15 years. There are lots of great places to stay on the mountain and great restuarants in the area.

4 Thank AppyRIch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The worst ski trip I have ever had”
Reviewed 2 January 2007

Went to this so called great ski lodge to have a nice day of skiing. The staff is rude, the management has no concern for the quality of your trip they just want to take your money. Lines for the lifts had a wait of over an hour. When we went to see management about this the response was "you are told to check conditions before skiing, we do not give refunds." Purchased a half day ticket and was only able to get 1 run in during 4 hours. Management should have a conscience and turn people away if they are over capacity. When this was said, basically the response was we will take you money we don’t care. If you want a good ski experience go somewhere else. Suggestion would be beech mountain where things were completely different from this rip off.

23 Thank prguinness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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