By Beth Lawrence
Jackson County Parks and Recreation is offering residents a chance to ski at a discount.
The Parks and Recreation Department is organizing night skiing events at Cataloochee Ski Area.
“Our group will reserve night pass lift tickets from 5:30-10 p.m. for persons who join our group,” said Molly Neary, parks and recreation outdoor recreation manager. “We offer individuals and families the opportunity to sign up for a weekly Friday night ski/snowboarding lift tickets and rentals, if needed.”
The weekly trips will take place from Jan. 10 until March 6. The trips are open to ages 8 and up, but children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
By signing up through Parks and Recreation, participants are eligible for group rates. The organization is required to have 15 people registered to qualify for a group discount. There is no upper limit on how many can participate. If the minimum for a given week is not met by Thursday of that week, Parks and Recreation will cancel that Friday’s trip and offer to transfer prepaid fees to a different trip or offer refunds, Neary said.
The deadline to sign up is Thursday of the week in which a participant wants to ski. For example, the last day to register for the Jan. 10 trip is today (Thursday) at 5 p.m.
Skiers are not required to travel with Parks and Recreation to the slopes, but transportation on the JCPRD van is available for $5. Riders should be at Cullowhee Recreation Center before 4 p.m.
Those not riding in the van should pick up tickets and check in with Parks and Rec staff at the group sales office between 5 and 7 p.m.
“Our program is pretty simple in the fact that participants register through us for each trip separately and meet me at the group sales office to pick up their lift tickets and rentals,” Neary said. “Once they pick those things up they are free for the night and do not need to check in with me at all during the night.”
The events are open to all skill levels, but Parks and Recreation does not offer lessons.
Anyone interested can register at rec.jacksonnc.org.
Fees are: lift ticket only $30, lift ticket and rental $35.
Cataloochee Ski Area is located at 1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley.
For more information contact Neary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 293-3053 ext. 9.