Ski season arrives early in western NC

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- With Ski shops still filling their shelves in preparation for this year's season, customers are pouring into local stores to stock up for an early start.

"The calls started coming Monday afternoon," said Steve Hurley, owner of First Flakes Ski and Snowboard in Winston-Salem. 

After storms dumped heavy snow across the mountains on Monday and Tuesday,  Cataloochee and Sugar Mountain will plan to open Wednesday morning -- giving skiers an early start.

Halloween will mark the first time Sugar Mountain has opened in October and it will the 2nd time Cataloochee will open this early in a long time. 

Skiers and local ski shops are excited about the early ski season because last winter was nearly snow free. 

Doug Roberts owner of Ski and Tennis Station feels the early ski season could be a good sign for resorts and local businesses.

"We are hoping that this is an omen of what's going to happen. This year, the woolly worm is predicting a cold winter too," said Roberts. "We are hoping for a long cold winter."