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“Best Slopes in South East”

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.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

Great slopes when in season and groomed fairly well. I was in school at Lees-McRae when I learned how to snow board and kept going back even after I left.

Try to go when the base get thick. They blow snow weever possible.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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277 - 281 of 484 reviews

Reviewed June 2, 2014

My friend and I took her two sons (ages 6 and 8) to Sugar Mountain for a long weekend this winter so they could learn to ski. The experience had been okay the first day - the townhouse on the mountain was plain, but convenient; the boys learned the basics of skiing in ski school; and my friend and I got in a couple of good-for-the-southeast ski runs. Unfortunately the entire trip was ruined by our horrible experience at the tubing area that evening.

After we bought our tickets, we got a "safety briefing" by a staff member who said that using the magic carpet lift was mandatory and that tubers had to stop at the end of the run - under no circumstances could you go past the stopping area.

Of course I misjudged my speed going down the hill and couldn't get stopped until 5' past the stopping point. I'm a 49-year-old woman, not a rambunctious teenager, and I'm sure it was clear I was trying to stop, but a staffer came up to me and told me I'd have to leave the park after that first run. You've got to be kidding me! I walked over to tell my friend I'd be leaving.

At that moment, her 8 year old (who is recovering from brain cancer and isn't very steady on his feet) fell off the magic carpet about 2/3 of the way up the hill. My friend asked the staffer at the bottom of the magic carpet if she could bypass it to go up the hill to help her son. The staffer at the bottom of the hill said yes, but when she walked up to get her son and they both walked the rest of the way up the hill, the staffer at the top of the hill told her they would have to leave the park. (!) She was polite, but told him that the staffer at the bottom had said she could go up because her son has medical problems. Staffer at the top of the hill then called for Security on the radio (!) - I'm not sure what he thought two 40+ year-old women and two young boys would do, but the Security guard actually came to escort us out of the park.

At that point it was so ridiculous that it was almost funny, except for the fact that my friend's son thought he was the reason we were thrown out of the park. He's an awesome kid and has handled the cancer thing like a real trouper, but he got so upset that he started crying and repeatedly saying how sorry he was. The staffers were completely oblivious to how upsetting the whole experience was to an 8-year-old and continued to treat us very rudely during the whole experience - that's what upset me the most.

I like the Banner Elk area, but I will never go back to Sugar Mountain.

15  Thank Jani M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2014

Went to ski earlier this year. Not a great big resort, thats for sure. only a couple of actual " runs" worth doing. Not much to say about this place, the actual resort is OK, not run down at all, people were very nice, just not much in the way of runs to choose from. But, if you are within a few hrs drive, it is by all means worth the trip.
It is still fun, you just make a lot of short runs. Decent snow making, and not to hard to get to. All in all, a fun trip. we both love to ski, and this is a good place to run up to, get your " ski legs" under you, before heading to the big runs out west.

2  Thank DPTazzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 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.

1  Thank ExplorerXYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2014

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.

4  Thank volunteerstate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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