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Ski Season Preview: Big Changes at Beech Mountain Resort


first_imgBeech Mountain Opening Day 2012-13 from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.In the past few years, North Carolina’s Beech Mountain Resort has positioned itself to be a powerhouse in the realm of four season outdoor recreation. Beech went all in with downhill and cross-country mountain biking, becoming one of the best places to gravity ride on the East Coast — and this is saying something in a state as well known for singletrack as it is for basketball. The mountain hosted the Gravity Nationals in 2011 and 2012 and was the scene for the Collegiate Nationals in 2013, hosting the best college riders from around the nation (and by around the nation, we mainly mean Colorado). With the recent development of the Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, Beech Mountain and the greater Boone area is rapidly capitalizing on the growth of mountain biking and downhill riding in particular.Despite this influx of biking infrastructure, however, Beech Mountain Resort remains a skier’s mountain. Conveniently nestled on a sliver of land surrounded by national forest just north of Linville, Beech is the highest ski area in the eastern U.S. with an elevation of 5,506 feet at the summit, with 95 skiable acres, 830 feet of vertical, and 16 trails served by 7 lifts. The mile-high elevation means if there is snow in the area, it is falling at Beech, but this is still North Carolina so the battle against Mother Nature is constant. For the 2013-14 ski season, Beech has made significant improvements to its snowmaking capabilities, says the mountain’s Talia Freeman.“This summer we added an additional 12 new SMI Super PoleCat snow guns,” she said. “That ups our snowmaking system to 40 total SMI guns, so this gives us a pretty sophisticated snowmaking system. This is the largest modification of our snowmaking capabilities that we’ve ever had and it completely replaced our old compressor system.”Beech boasts snowmaking on 100 percent of their trails, so if the temperature cooperates, the slopes will be open.Speaking of open slopes, another big change at Beech for this year involves a scheduling change. Previously, Beech closed to groom the slopes between the day session and night session, but no more. The slopes will be open from 9am to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 10pm on weekends.“We think that the streamline hours will allow us to provide a longer and more enjoyable experience for our customer base,” said Freeman. “We aren’t doing a session break anymore. It will be a nice addition for our customer base.”This will allow more skiers and boarders shred one of Beech’s terrain parks designed by Director of Operations Ric Wilkinson, now in his second year at the helm. Freeman says big improvements were made in that department last season, and this year Beech features two parks – one advanced and the other a progression park where youngsters can learn new tricks. Freeman also says there is a continuing commitment at the mountain to get first timers and local kids on the slopes through learn to ride programs and clinics throughout the year.On the events and amenities side, Beech is bringing back its very popular Totally 80’s Retro Weekend at the end of February featuring parties, costume contests, and a banked slalom race. There is also a new facility at the top of the mountain: a skybar/lounge/snackshack called 5,506.“It’s a really cool facility. The deck in front of the lounge area is about 2,200 square feet, it’s really large. The view up there is incredible. It’s kind of like a little glass round house, so we’ll have food and drinks and snacks up there, and then the viewing deck is really cool. It will be a nice addition to the top of the mountain and something we can use year-round.”There’s that term again: year-round. Beech may be expanding its clientele into all four seasons, but with the improvements geared toward the winter, Beech remains committed to skiers and boarders. They know where their bread is buttered.last_img read more


Ireland comes back to life as lockdown eased


first_img“This is a great day for our country,” health minister Simon Harris told state broadcaster RTE. “It’s a day of hope, it’s a day that we weren’t guaranteed to get to.”Ireland has suffered 1,679 deaths in the outbreak, according to the latest official figures.Deaths recorded in a single day peaked at 77 mid-April but on Sunday the figure had fallen to just one. Topics : A new plan Under the new blueprint, social home visits were permitted for the first time, with up to six allowed to meet indoors or outdoors. Vulnerable people “cocooning” are allowed “a small number of visitors”.Meanwhile citizens were allowed to travel anywhere in their county of residence or up to 20 kilometers from home, in an unexpected extension of the previous five-kilometer limit.Nonetheless radio broadcasts on Monday urged citizens to “stay local”. Harris urged the public to visit only a modest list of friends and family, to strictly maintain social distancing and to log names in case they are needed for purposes of contact tracing.Livestock markets and elite sports training facilities were also opened as scheduled under the second stage of the government roadmap.Under the government plan, shops are not permitted to open before 10.30 am in order to prevent overcrowding on public transport and will allocate time for vulnerable customers.Shopping centers will not reopen until next week, and must put in place measures to prevent the public congregating in shared spaces.”Over the last few months fear has exerted a kind of gravity pulling us down, but now we find there is hope lifting us up again,” Varadkar said on Friday.”We are making progress, we are heading in the right direction and we have earned the right to be hopeful about the future again.” Ireland began its tentative first step out of lockdown on May 18, allowing small groups to meet outside, outdoor shops to reopen and activities such as golf to tee off.On Friday, Varadkar signaled he intends to press ahead with the accelerated ending of lockdown by allowing hotels and pubs serving food to open on June 29. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced the accelerated slackening of restrictions on Friday, and brought forward the planned date to drop almost all coronavirus containment measures from August to July. Ireland’s shops and workplaces lurched back to life on Monday, as the nation pressed ahead with its plan to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions ahead of schedule.As the new week started, all shops were permitted to trade and travel limits were massively relaxed in a dramatic quickening of the government’s reopening plans.Employees able to maintain social distancing were also encouraged to return to their workplaces as Ireland took its largest step yet since lockdown was imposed on March 28.last_img read more


Muscle man buys massive home in suburb’s biggest sale in a decade


first_imgThis property at 99 Newman Ave, Camp Hill, has sold for $2.627m. Picture: Realestate.com.auA FITNESS entrepreneur and self-proclaimed ‘social media influencer’ has paid $2.627 million for a magnificent colonial home in Camp Hill — the biggest residential sale in the suburb in nearly a decade.Nathaniel Anthony, owner of fitness clothing and accessories brand, Muscle Nation, bought the property at 99 Newman Avenue with plans to renovate the existing house and redevelop part of the site.The sale marks the biggest residential transaction in Camp Hill since a mansion at 86 Princess Street, Camp Hill, set the record in 2008 when it sold for $3 million. This property at 99 Newman Ave, Camp Hill, has sold for $2.627m. Picture: Realestate.com.auSelling agent Trevor Egan of Ray White said the young entrepreneur was also developing another property in Camp Hill at 69-71 Tarana Street. Muscle Nation co-founder Nathaniel Anthony has bought a $2.627m property in Camp Hill. Picture source: InstagramMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoMr Egan marketed 99 Newman Avenue as a grand, architecturally designed home on 1214 sqm, which was regarded as a landmark in the suburb. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE It had been beautifully restored in line with its original charm and character, featuring a double Gable facade and side veranda — which serves as a tennis viewing platform — flared and skirted bay windows and stucco Californian bungalow style pylons.The house was designed and built in 1932 by an architect called Vera Leggett.Coincidentally, it was sold in 1994 to another architect, Jayne Hackett and her husband Tim, who paid just $335,000 for it. Piece of history set to pay off Perfect winter beach shacks for sale Massive block brings in the buyers They made a number of improvements to the property in the 1990s including renovating the tennis court and gazebo, raising the house by two metres and moving it forward on the site and extending the main roof.center_img This home at 99 Newman Ave, Camp Hill, has sold for $2.627m. Picture: realestate.com.auThey built in underneath and added a rear extension including a back porch and deck.The five-bedroom, two-bathroom home offers city views from the front veranda, living, dining and master bedroom.Finished with Silky Oak and Rosewood timber trimming throughout, the property also features a powder room, home office, media room, wine cellar and pool. Camp Hill is 6km from the CBD and has a median house price of $850,000, according to CoreLogic. Follow Liz Tilley on Twitter @liztilley84last_img read more