We were visiting family in NC for the Christmas holiday and when we arrived to snowy conditions we immediately looked up the local ski resorts. Sugar appeared to have the best terrain so we headed that way. We arrived around 11:15 a.m. That is when we hit a speed bump. Afternoon session started at 12:30 and the rental and lift ticket area would not process any customers until noon, not even if you were willing to pay the full day price. This led to some extremely long lines and seemed to be needlessly inefficient. They could have been processing payment, sizing, etc. with all the down time and obviously should have processed customers willing to pay a full day rate to get on the slopes. I viewed it as poor customer service. That hiccup aside the gear received was in good shape for rentals and I had no complaints (we left our gear home not intending to ski).
My wife recently switched from skis to snowboard so she is still trying to work her way up to the more challenging terrain, so we started on a beginner trail (Easy Street via Summit #1 mid-unload). The trail was a very easy beginner trail compared to other resorts where I have skied, and after sampling Little Nell which we also found to be too easy, I decided to go sample some of the other runs. The beginner runs are probably good for never evers or those who have skied less than 3 times, but there will not be challenging enough for those skiers may still be beginners but just short of taking the jump to the Blue slopes.
I headed up to the summit a couple of times and skied a combination of Northridge, Switchback, Sugar Slalom, Tom Terrific, and Upper/Lower Flying Mile over several runs. All the intermediate runs were nice condition with good cover. Tom Terrific, a black diamond, was icy but that is why it is a black diamond. The intermediate runs were somewhere between the difficulty of a beginner and an intermediate run based on the other resorts we have been to and proved to be a perfect segway to advance my wife's boarding skills. We spent the rest of the afternoon sampling all of the runs that were open (which was everything other than Sugar Bear, and the advanced terrain (Whoopdedoo and Boulderdash)). The only negative comments on the terrain were some spots with thin cover near the bottom on secondary connecting trails. Lift lines were very reasonable on the majority of lifts, though the Brown Lift (beginner terrain) had very long lines. Obviously, after my wife's early runs we abandoned any use of the Brown Lift and the beginner slopes. For skiing in N.C. I would definitely return to Sugar, but I will be sure to arrive early and avoid their strange and annoying policies on the sale of lift tickets and rental equipment.
My favorite runs: For advanced skiiers: Tom Terrific/Sugar Slalom/Flying Mile For intermediates: Northridge/Switchback/Flying Mile.