[R18R, Appalachian Ski Mtn.] draws skiers and riders to its three terrain parks, including the only Burton Progression Park south of Maryland.

The Progression Park is designed to lead people up through a series of levels that increase skill and competence.

"Have you heard of Fresh Fridays," Appalachian's Drew Stanley asked the other day? "Every month we redesign and reconstruct an entire terrain park. We just set up features imported from Southern Germany - Orange Orbs, basically big wrecking balls - in one of the two upper-level parks. We set up one on a finger with four-sided transitions, the other on a medium table top."

Terrain parks are a big draw at Appalachian, and terrain park riders and skiers are a big component of the resort's guests.

Family skiers and riders are another, Stanley said.

The largest single market for guests is North Carolina, with many of them day visitors. Florida is the second-largest market, he said, and those guests come to stay.

"It's been a great year so far, real cold so we can make a lot of snow, and real snowy. We have a deep base on our trails, and good conditions. Christmas was great," he said.

Stanley said Appalachian added a beginner area for first-timers and children's programs, and also is adding a new snowboarding component to its traditional SkiWEE program, called Cruiser Camp.

More information. Or call 828-295-7828.