Hickory Ski Center - In the spring of 1946 Hans and Fran Winbauer and Ken and Flo Bates purchased a farm and farmhouse on Pine Mountain from a family named Walsh. Along with friends and relatives they converted the farmhouse into a ski lodge and cleared slopes, using a team of horses pulling a mower on the lower slopes. A luxury Packard powered the first rope tow. In their first season, 1947-48, they took in $800 on one weekend, and the tickets were only $ 2 each. The Winbauers bought out the Bates, and in 1955 they sold to Hickory Hill Corporation for $1 and shares of stock in the corporation. Hickory thrived for many years, with much of its operation supported by volunteers among its shareholders. Declining snowfalls and changes in skiers' expectations led to its downfall. In 2009, when it was about to go on the auction block, Texas businessman William VanPelt bought into the corporation and has been investing heavily in the business, with plans to add snowmaking and a chair lift.