I usually ski out West every year, but after moving to the Southeast and starting a new job, I couldn't take a week in Utah or CO. A few co-workers and I decided to drive up to NC to ski for the day and get a small dose of the white gold we were missing out West. I used to ski Sugar as a kid and thought it would be a better place to go than the others in NC. WOW, were we wrong!!
First of all, the military discount advertised on the website applies only Mon-Thurs (if you're defending national freedom, apparently you have to take a break on Mon-Thursday for Sugar to appreciate you) At $60/day the full priced ticket is WAY overpriced for the size of the resort. Second, the staff and the employees were rude to all of us and acted like they were the door bouncers of the most exclusive Hollywood dance club. I looked around and I certainly didn't see any celebs?! The lift lines were all well over 45 minutes and a few were over ONE HOUR. All the lifts are 2 person chairs and slow. NO modern high-speed quads. In the course of an entire day (skiing through lunch), we managed to get in 7 runs...THATS RIGHT SEVEN RUNS IN SEVEN HOURS...DO THE MATH. I think that translates into $8.57 a run?! We even tried to ski the famous Whoop-de-doo double diamond which was open to any fool willing to slide on his butt to the bottom and bowl over the other fifty bodies that already crashed in the attempt to ski 60 degree sheet ice. (Who thought opening that that one was wise?! Obviously influenced by money...not safety!) I think they boast a 1200ft drop from top to bottom on the website, but they must be including the lower parking lot because I recorded exactly 940 feet on my GPS from top to bottom of the longest run. Thats about one third of the average drop of a trail in Vail or Keystone. We also watched angry staff cuss out skiers and tons of dangerous out of control rednecks and ski patrol that really didn't do anything about it. Anger management and crowd control Sugar Mountain...why so snobby???
When we were pushed out of a lift line for a ski school class after waiting 30 minutes in a mosh-pit of skiers, we decided we'd had enough and went to complain. What a waste of time!!!!!! We were told right away that there is no customer service department and that we could write a letter.
So, once we all got home, we did just that....and to our amazement, the president himself "Sir Gunther Jochl" wrote us back and threatened us with his lawyer...THAT'S RIGHT...HE THREATENED US TO SHUT UP. He said that we had intent to do harm and slander his blessed establishment and that we were basically liars. He even stated that he gave his lawyer permission to "prosecute to the full extent of the law" if we notified any ski publications of our experience... UNBELIEVEABLE!!!! I checked on Gunther's bio, he's Austrian! News to Gunther...we celebrate freedom of speech in America. I should know...I'm currently defending it!! I'll bet Gunther's lawyer gets a call from all the bodies at the bottom of "whoop-de-doo", and probably from another lawyer!
My advice...don't waste your money and certainly don't write a letter to Sir Gunther and his blessed resort. Skip sking at Sugar, save the money and fly to any other resort in North America. Trust me I've skied most of them and they are ALL better than Sugar Mountain NC.