In the North Carolina mountains, there are plenty of parks for skiing but one stands out in my mind. Of all the parks I've been to, Appalachian Ski Mountain stands out.
Here is a guide about the park if you intend on going soon:
This information is accurate as of the 2012-2013 season.
Ticket prices differ with age, student status, weekend or weekday, time of the day, how many days you stay, and which part of the ski season you go. There are a lot of numbers to throw around, so I will go with the prices for adult tickets.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekends/Holidays - $56
Weekdays - $37
9 a.m. to 10 p.m./Midnight
Weekends/Holidays - $65
Weekdays - $46
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.(Fridays, Saturdays, holidays)
Weekends/Holidays - $29
Weekdays - $22
5 p.m. to midnight (Friday and Saturday, January and February)
8:30 p.m. to midnight (Friday and Saturday, January and February)
The website provides an in-depth list for all pricing on tickets.
Not everyone has skis, boots, poles, or a snowboard to bring for fun on the slopes; that's why Appalachian Ski Mountain provides rentals for all the aforementioned items at a reasonable price. As with the tickets, I will provide basic prices for adult rental items.
The first amount is for ski rentals (skis, boots, and poles). The second amount is for snowboard rentals (snowboard and boots).
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekends/Holidays - $25/$32
Weekdays - $19/$26
9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Weekends/Holidays - $28/$36
Weekdays - $22/$32
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Weekends/Holidays - $16/$22
Weekdays - $13/$20
A ski park wouldn't be complete without lessons to teach the beginners the ropes. The lesson times are 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 2 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. for ages 6 and up. The cost of lessons depends on how many lessons you need. A single 1-hour lesson is $18, two lessons are $34, and three will cost you $51. Lessons are grouped by skill level and are designed to be stress-free and social in nature.
The restaurant in the lodge offers many homemade meals daily during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant offers vegetarian options and even gluten-free choices. It has an extremely homey feel to it and, when I went, I ate by this huge fireplace and almost didn't want to go back out and ski the rest of the day. There are also eateries in close proximity to the park if you would rather eat elsewhere. The nearby towns of Boone and Blowing Rock offer the most choices and have anything from fast-food chains to Japanese steak houses. Most of the restaurants in Boone and Blowing Rock are privately and/or family-owned, providing a great experience.
Appalachian Ski Mountain offers a variety of "Ski&Stay Packages" so that vacationers can stay at a nearby hotel for the length of their stay and ski every day at the slopes. The vacation packages can be tailor-made to fit your needs -- it will include the lodging, lessons, tickets, etc., all in one price. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express when my friends and I chose to get a vacation package; it was well-managed and very clean, and the hot tub was nice too. I would recommend getting a package of some kind when visiting.
Overall, Appalachian Ski Mountain is a fun park to visit with great dining, excellent customer service, and provides a wonderful experience for a first-timer. It was the first ski slope I had ever been on and is the only one I've ever been to.
*My skiing experience is exclusively with Appalachian Ski Mountain, and I have been every year for the past five years. I'm quite familiar with the slopes.