The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce is proud to present “Autumn at Oz” for 2013. On Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, travel back in time to 1939 to
the enchanted world of the “Oz”, high atop Beech Mountain at the Land of Oz park. This year the 20th annual “Autumn at Oz” Festival is returning again with
an expanded venue providing visitors with more activities, food, drink, and sights to behold while maintaining the same nostalgic feeling from the Land of Oz.
Children and adults a like will be enchanted as they experience the re-creation of Dorothy’s trip from her farm home in Kansas through the twister and down the yellow brick road to the “Land of OZ”. Along your journey you will be met by a full cast portraying many of the vibrant characters similar to those of the original movie production.
Spend the day, or better yet spend the weekend, and enjoy all “Autumn at Oz” has to offer. Enjoy the magic of being in “The Village” now located in the Resort of Ski Beech, before and after you experience the Land of OZ. Stay for live music, dancing, multiple food and beverage options, crafts, merchandise, hay rides, petting zoo, bonfire and a full day of entertainment that will delight your senses as the “Autumn at OZ” festival prepares you for the fantasy journey through the Land of OZ.
Designed for all ages the new expanded venue provides safe ample parking for visitors. Transportation to and from the Land of OZ is included. Go by bus or scenic ski lift (weather permitting) to an elevation of over 5000 feet above sea level, high atop beautiful Beech Mountain were fantasies come to life.
Theme park entrance times are also expanded for 2013. The purchase of your ticket designates the time that you will be transported to the Land of OZ from the Resort. The park opens at 9:30AM and tickets are available for entrance to the Land of OZ every hour until 5:30PM. The last bus leaves at 4:30PM. Come early and stay late, enjoy the shows and entertainment at the Resort prior to and after leaving the Land of OZ.
BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. — The folks at Beech Mountain Club figure they have the coolest golf course in the Eastern half of the country, and they’re putting their money where their mouths are to prove it.
Even when the summer hits its sweltering hottest this year, they’re guaranteeing cool conditions for people coming up for stay-and-play packages. Beech is a private course, but many rental properties have memberships, meaning if you stay, you can play. And if the temperature ever exceeds 79 degrees on a day when you’re playing, your green fees will be refunded in full. They’re calling it the “Summer of 79.”
“We want them to come up here to escape the heat,” said Brian Barnes, Beech Mountain Club’s general manager. “Once they get up here they learn it’s refreshingly cool.”
A National Weather Service reporting station was installed at Fred’s General Mercantile on Beech Mountain 20 years ago, and the highest temperature recorded since then has been 81. Beech Mountain, at 5,506 feet, has the highest elevation of any town in the Eastern half of the United States, and it’s only reached 80 degrees here eight times in those 20 years. So the chance of the club having to refund any money is slim.
“I really hope we do,” Barnes said. “I hope there are a few times that people do come up here and we refund their green fees and their full cost of golf. That would be good for word of mouth.”
John Carrin, in his 11th year as Beech Mountain Club’s head golf professional, says the lower temperatures are noticed immediately even by golfers who weren’t initially lured by the mild conditions.
“People are so happy when they get up here,” he said. “Especially from local neighboring areas — the Tri-Cities and over in North Carolina, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem. We have as much as a 20-degree temperature difference. When it’s 90 degrees in the Tri-Cities it will be about 70 here.”
That’s a good reason to look into playing Beech, but once golfers see the course, it sells itself. The Willard Byrd design that opened in 1969 – it was later updated by Tom Jackson — is a treat at any temperature.
The club was the site of the fifth annual Battle of the Smokies last weekend, pitting teams of media members from Tennessee against their North Carolina counterparts. For the third year in row, the Tar Heel State came out on top.
The beautiful surroundings and tremendous hospitality, both at the club and the nearby Pinnacle Inn, made a third consecutive defeat a little easier to swallow.
On the golf course, the views of the mountains can be breathtaking. You can see five states. Many tee shots are from elevated tees. In fact, the fairway on the par-four 10th looks like an aircraft carrier from the tee, and golfers are trying to land their drives safely.
“The first thing we usually hear is, ‘Wow!’ ” Carrin said. The layout isn’t long, but anybody with a hook better beware. Out of bounds lurks on the left all over the course. “Most people just really comment on the views first,” Barnes said. “From so many places on the golf course, the views are wonderful. The mountains in the distance, the different states you can see. The ridge-top layout is friendly, but somewhat tight, and the greens are crowned. So the difficulty is right around the greens. “People usually, once they play 18 holes, really can’t wait to tee off and play another 18 now that they know the layout.”
The stay-and-play packages are available through Oct. 21. Double occupancy prices start at $79 per person per night with a two-night minimum.
The club also has a tennis center with clay courts including a center court with stadium seats, recreational hiking, biking, swimming and a fitness center. “There’s something for just about everybody to do whether you’re a golfer or not,” Carrin said.
And whatever you choose to do here, you’ll be cool while doing it. That’s their guarantee. Chances are, they’ll be breaking 80 even if you’re not.
For more information on the “Summer of 79” promotion, call (800) 468-5506 or check it out at www.BeechMtn.com/summerof79.
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