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Southern Snow Skiing!

This image  is the first recorded run on the new Ski Sapphire Valley slopes in late 1964!


 Mr. Gene Howerdd, Jr. also built Hogback Lake that same year. Anyone who purchased a lot on the new lake received free passes to the new Ski Sapphire Valley ski area!  They also received a custom pair of skis! [Learn More - Historic Skis]

Ski Sapphire Vallehy

Southern snow skiing

After years of taking his family from Sapphire Valley to other ski areas like Cataloochee near Waynesville, Gene Howerdd, Jr. was convinced Sapphire Valley could support southern skiing. 

early snow making

The first year included only a rope tow and basic snow making equipment to test the market and snow making processes. After a successful first year, a double chair lift was installed and the base lodge served wine, fondue, and hot chocolate to keep visitors fueled!