According to Raleigh-based 'The News and Observer', Ski Hawksnest's
owner, Leonard Cottom
, announced earlier this week that the resort's skiing operation will close for good.The paper reported that Hawksnest's closing will affect most of the resort's 250 seasonal employees, along with an estimated 50,000 winter-time tourists that visit the northwestern region of the state.
Cottom decision to close the resort follows the dismissal of a lawsuit he
filed alleging that the town of Seven Devils, NC, and its police force had continually harassed Hawksnest's customers and employees.Last month a judge dismissed Cottom
's suit, ruling that there was no legal or factual basis for it to continue. (Cottom alleged in his
lawsuit that police had engaged in a campaign of stopping and searching vehicles that left his
North Carolina ski resorts, which number less than 10, have recently received negative press as a result of two ski hill-related deaths.As reported by The Outdoor Network
in February of this year ("Snowboarder Instructor Dies on North Carolina Mountain" – February 14, 2001), a 22-year-old former snowboard instructor died at Hawksnest after boarding out of control down an intermediate hill where he
slammed into a tree.Also in February, an elementary school guidance counselor, celebrating her
son's 10th birthday, was killed while snow tubing down a 375-foot hill at Ski Beech, not far from Hawksnest.
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