Looking Back : Moving Forward - An Update from Hickory Ski Center

Looking Back : Moving Forward - An Update from Hickory Ski Center

Two years ago we began the process of recovery and new growth of Hickory.   While we are still facing some challenges, we continue to take steps to ensure Hickory returns as a community skiing center and begins to establish itself as a year-round destination for recreational activities. The establishment of the Hickory Legacy Foundation has been instrumental in moving us towards that goal. Its fundraising efforts have allowed us to upgrade services like night skiing and disc golf (opening this fall), kids and family programs, and increasing public exposure to what Hickory has to offer to the public.

What we’re up to now:

The installation of the 18 hole professional level disc golf course is nearing completion.  All 18 tee pads have been installed and fairways cleared. Baskets are scheduled for installation this week.  We are awaiting delivery of the tee pad toppers which are enroute.  We already have one small and one large tournament penciled in and will announce as soon as the course is ready for play. We will continue our open access for a fee policy using the kiosk in the parking lot to serve our disc golf customers.   This effort has been sponsored by the Hickory Legacy Foundation so all golfer fees will go towards supporting programs for kids.


The Foundation is bringing to fruition its vision of enhancing and encouraging local youth and families to learn about the 3 Sisters Range environment and specific ecology with its initial offering of the EcoLearn Program each Saturday morning in October. You can register on-line at hickorylegacy.org.


We have completed lodge related safety inspections and are working with Hickory Hill Brewery and Event Planning to finalize a lease agreement and building permits for a taproom in the lodge.  We are hoping to begin the remodeling process this fall to prepare for opening early 2024.


We have completed the hiking trail system which includes 5 different trails to 3 Sisters peaks with signage and trail maps.  We are working on becoming more visible using Alltrails in the near future.


The 3 Sisters Cafe’ has had limited success in its initial open for business effort. June and July provided small but steady breakfast, lunch and Friday BBQ business. July and August fell short of enough traffic to warrant remaining open, so as we establish more programming and get more people using the hill, we will reopen.  As always we open for special events.


Part of our strategy for making Hickory a viable business enterprise is to create unique programs for the general public to introduce local residents and regional vacationers to the beauty of Hickory and potential use as a leased event venue and to become a destination for community use. To that end, we are offering monthly arts and crafts classes. Our first class was painting of a 3 Sisters landscape with acrylics. We were very pleased with the turnout and have initiated marketing for our second offering in September which you can find on our Facebook page and events listing.  We are also taking steps to enter into the market as a wedding venue.


We continue to pursue liability insurance coverage and will be meeting with a new potential provider in late September. We are optimistic that this ongoing hurdle will be resolved prior to ski season. Our intent is not to sell season passes until we have a policy locked down. Running a ski season without lifts is certainly a challenge and our exploration of alternatives has provided us with a new Hickory partner. We are working with and autonomous vehicle company to provide uphill transportation. They did an initial beta test at Hickory last spring and will come for pre-season testing this fall. Staff has already been identified and assigned to operate the system so we are optimistic that lifts or no lifts we will have skiing available for those who choose not to skin or hike up. In addition, the Foundation is exploring the possibility of offering an after school learn to ski program in collaboration with local school districts as the new skier begins the learning process without the need for lifts.

We encourage you to continue to support Hickory by considering participating in our programs, taking advantage of our day use and facility rental opportunities.


Thanks for being there,


The Hickory Team

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