Sugar Mountain Ski Resort owner Gunther Jochl has been honored by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper with the state’s most prestigious award.

The Order of The Long Leaf Pine is presented to persons who have a proven record of service to the state of North Carolina. Jochl received the honor Saturday night at Sugar Mountain at a dinner ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of skiing at Sugar Mountain.

December 14th was proclaimed Sugar Mountain 50th Anniversary Day by the mayor of the Village of Sugar Mountain, Dennis Lacey, and by Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye.

The event was attended by former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and other dignitaries.

Gunther Jochl is a native of Austria. He’s in his 43rd year at the helm at Sugar Mountain Resort.