SUGAR MOUNTAIN —A day after saying the resort would remain open, Sugar Mountain Resort owner Gunther Jochl said in a new statement March 16 that the resort would close for the season the following day due to COVID-19 pandemic.

"Sugar Mountain Resort will suspend operations effective at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17," Jochl's March 16 statement said. "Thank you for sharing a wonderful 50th winter season with us and we look forward to welcoming you back for the summer season."

According to the Sugar Mountain Resort's website, the end of the season was previously planned for March 31.

Sugar Mountain Resort was the last of the High Country ski mountains to close for the winter. Beech Mountain Resort closed on Sunday, March 15, and Appalachian Ski Mtn. held its last day Monday, March 16.

"After the public guidance of N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of our community Beech Mountain Resort will be closing for the winter season at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15," the resort announced March 14. "All lift ticket, rental, and ski school reservations will be refunded immediately. Thank you to our loyal patrons for another incredible winter season."

"Appalachian Ski Mtn. has been carefully monitoring the dynamic and evolving situation related to coronavirus (COVID-19), and in the interest of the health and wellbeing of all our guests, staff, friends and community, the last day of the 2019-20 season will now be Monday, March 16," ASM said in a March 15 statement on its website. "Any guests who have purchased a ticket for the coming week in advance can contact us for a full refund."

ASM's Meltdown Games, its annual season-closing event that had been scheduled for March 21-22, has been canceled, ASM owner Brad Moretz confirmed.

"We started a week early and we're closing a week early," Moretz said. "We've got a lot to be thankful for."

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