Kim Jochl of Sugar Mountain Resort in Sugar Mountain, N.C., said the resort is replacing its fleet of snow grooming machines. The resort has bought three new Pisten Bully snow machines, including one winch cat designed for grooming super steep terrain.

Sugar also has replaced 1,500 feet of snowmaking pipe, including air and water pipes, in the Terrain Park and Easy Street slope.

The resort rebuilt the Red Lift, which carries guests to the top of Sugar's Big Red slope and provides slopeside access to Sugar Ski & Country Club. The work included construction of a new drive station and installation of new chairs.

Six energy efficient snowmaking machines have been purchased.

Sugar's operators also have been busy lining up a season's worth of activities.

Jochl said Sugar has an early season deal, the Turkey Treat, where skiers or riders can pick one of the four days to hit the slopes over the holiday weekend, and do so at early season pricing.

She said the resort also has lined up some top skiers for its 17th annual Adult Pre-season Ski Clinic Dec. 10-12. They include Diann Roffe, 1994 Olympic gold and silver medalist; Krista Schmidinger, two-time Olympian; and Keely Kelleher, U.S. national Super G champion.

SugarFest is that weekend as well, and includes an ice skating performance by 1992 Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie.

Sugar also plans music twice a month with live acoustic performances of North Carolina High Country bluegrass.

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