Here’s to 50

Sugar Mountain Resort, a ski destination in the mountains of North Carolina, turned fifty years old this year!

Kim Jochl, Marketing Director and Owner of Sugar Mountain Resort, asked Nowsay to create a documentary film that would not only showcase the history of Sugar Mountain, but also share a side of the resort that no one had ever seen before.

Pre-Production

The team spent significant time on the front end of this project, developing the true story of Sugar Mountain. Just like any documentary, it was important for us to learn who made the mountain what it is today. This included a list of individuals that poured their hearts into building Sugar in the 70s, people who grew up skiing the mountain, as well as others from around the United States. Developing these characters was vital to building an emotional connection with the viewer. After hours of phone conversations and pre-interviews, we felt that we had found the right cast for the film.

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Interviews

Owners Gunther and Kim Jochl are two very special people with a unique advantage to running this ski resort. Having these two in North Carolina, at this ski resort, is what has made Sugar the magical place it is today. Others including: Jon Rucker, Head Skis/Tryolia Winter Sports Division President; Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Champion; Michael Berry, President of the North America Ski Association; Joe O’Donnell, one of Boston’s most influential men; and Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina; were just some of the many that brought this story to life.

Production

The Nowsay team conducted interviews all around the country, gathering as much history from each contributor as possible. Learning about their story & experiences with the Resort, and what made Sugar Mountain such a special place that each interviewee holds close to their heart. We noticed a key theme continued to surface.

Sugar Mountain Owners

Gunther grew up in Austria and visited Sugar as a young adult for professional ski racing. He was in awe of the newly invented snow-making ability that was here in the United States. Kim, a United States Olympic Ski Team member, also visited Sugar for racing, and holds a deep love for the ski industry. Throughout the years they have not only operated the ski resort, but also run the ski distribution in North America for Volkl skis. These life experiences gave them both a unique perspective on the ski industry as a whole.

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Nowsay’s History with the Ski Mountains of NC

Nowsay has been creating content for the North Carolina ski resorts since we opened our doors in 2013, making us the perfect fit for this project. We had the advantage of our vast archives with years of footage from the area. This, coupled with an incredible collection of old film photos and archival footage from various contributors allowed us to piece the story together and captivate viewers.

Naming the Documentary

“Here’s to 50”, A new documentary aptly named as a tribute and cheers to the many people that have made this mountain what it is today, is a film that documents the highs, lows, and the reasons why so many people call Sugar Mountain home, all while celebrating the Resorts 50th birthday.