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Vermont's Okemo Mountain Opens Early; Credits ‘Operation Snowburst’

Okemo snowmakingThanks to cold temperatures and a huge investment in snowmaking upgrades, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont opened three days earlier than scheduled for the 2013-14 season.

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Lift Ticket Deals Still Abound At Montana Ski Areas

Whitefish

Season pass deals at Montana ski resorts may have ended, but a number of good lift ticket deals remain. Frequent skier cards, packs and punch cards can substantially lower your daily lift ticket cost. Check them out.

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Alaska Airlines Begins New Service Between Portland-Reno/Tahoe

Horizon Bombardier Q400 (Ron Monroe)New, daily, non-stop air service on Alaska Airlines from Portland, Ore. to the Reno/Tahoe area in California starts Nov. 8. The inaugural flight will include Jonny Moseley, Olympic Gold medalist and Squaw Valley’s Chief Mountain Host.

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Loon Mt. To Open Friday For Weekend; Ski/Ride Killington, Sunday River, Too

Loon snowmaking 11/5

Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, N.H. to open this Friday (Nov. 8) with more than 37 acres and two miles of top-to-bottom skiing and riding on Loon Peak. This will be one of the earliest opening days in the resort’s history. 

 

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Michigan Residents Get Discounts; Fourth Graders Can Ski Free

Indianhead

The Michigan Ski Industries Association (MSIA) is offering all state fourth graders the chance to ski and snowboard for free this winter, and White Gold Card holders can ski or ride 32 different areas across the Wolverine State for around $6.20 per lift ticket.

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Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo Salutes Olympians Nov. 14-17

boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo

It’s appropriately Olympic-themed as the boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo arrives Nov. 14-17 at the Boston Seaport World Trade Center. 

 

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Vermont Filmmakers Debut 'United We Ski' About Small Ski Areas

Cochrans Ski Area

A very different kind of ski and ride movie makes its debut on Nov. 7 in Burlington, Vt. when T-Bar Films unveils “United We Ski.”

 

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Minnesota Resorts Make Improvements For Season; Afton, Lutsen Top List

Welch Village

Several Minnesota ski areas have been busy this summer making improvements for this season. Afton Alps and Lutsen led the way with major capital improvements.

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Albany Ski & Snowboard Expo Rolls Out This Weekend

Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo

The 52nd edition of the Albany Ski & Snowboard Expo runs this weekend (Nov. 1-3) in the Empire State Plaza, and features discounts throughout the event.

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Vermont's Killington Resort Kicks Off The Season This Weekend

Killington

Get ready to ski and ride in the Northeast! Killington Resort, the largest ski area in the region, opens for the 2013-14 ski and snowboard season this weekend.

 

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Minnesota's Wild Mountain First In Midwest To Open (Again)

Wild Mt. 2012 Opening Day

Ski area opening bragging rights in the Midwest once again go to Wild Mountain who is opening today (Oct. 22). It’s the 12th October in the last 28 years that Wild has been able to open.

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Cold Temps, Snow Guns Roar As Northeast Gets Ready

Guns at Killington

Snow guns in the Northeast are poised to do what the fall colors are already doing in the Mid-Atlantic states – burst out. Temperatures are finally dropping around the entire eastern region.

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Northern Michigan Resorts Make Major Improvements

Caberfae Peaks

After a good 2012/13 season, one of the longest in recent memory, destination resorts across northern Lower Michigan have made some major improvements over the summer getting ready for the upcoming winter. Let it snow.

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Colorado's Wolf Creek Ski Area Opens This Weekend

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Skiers and snowboarders in Colorado will have three choices of where to ski or ride this weekend as Wolf Creek Ski Area opens for a sneak peak of the 23013-14 season Saturday and Sunday.

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New Lodge, More Snowmaking At Killington; Pico To Open Lawrence Lodge

Peak Lodge Killington

An investment of $9.8 million on snowmaking infrastructure, along with the opening of a 15,000-square-foot Peak Lodge at Killington, Vt., is on tap this winter. Meanwhile, just a few miles down Route 4 at Pico, the new $1.3 million Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge for persons with disabilities and young racers, will debut Nov. 8-9. 

 

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Snowmaking Capacity At Core Of Stowe Capital Improvements

New snowguns at Stowe

Stowe, the classic eastern ski resort, is in the midst of massive capital improvements, with more snowmaking capacity at the core of those projects.

 

The northern Vermont resort receives an average of more than 300 inches of natural snow annually. But, the periodic vagaries of winter weather on the eastern seaboard likely precipitated a half-billion dollar master plan that began with the formation of a 116 million gallon water storage area. 

 

It was a long time coming, however. Stowe’s Jeff Wise told SnoCountry.com that concept “was over a decade in the making after Vermont Act 250 approval in 2001.”  Act 250 is the state's tough environmental process.

 

Stowe’s investment, in that time, has included new lifts, access systems and terrain. Stowe has been cognizant of its’ environmental stewardship, while enhancing the on-hill guest experience.

 

“Through a pair of conservation easements donated to the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, over 2,000 acres of wildlife habitat has been permanently protected,” Wise said. 

 

“Those lands include 10 acres of summit ski terrain on Spruce Peak that have been restored to their natural state, providing crucial habitat for the Bicknell’s Thrush, and dense forests adjacent to the base village that provide nesting sites for Peregrine falcons, and habitat for moose and black bear.”

 

Stowe, in 2010, became the first eastern resort to receive the Sustainable Community Certification from Audubon International.

 

Investments continued this past summer in its snowmaking operations, including an additional $3.4 million in new equipment and upgrades, which consist of 100 HKD tower guns, three Super Pole Cat fan guns, a new pump-house and miles of snowmaking pipe.

 

That is in addition to the $4.7 million invested last summer, bringing their snowmaking arsenal to 445 HKD tower guns, 150 energy efficient land guns, 20 Super Pole Cat fan guns, and another seven miles of new snowmaking pipe.

 

Wise said the improvements allow Stowe to operate with greater energy efficiency and eliminate more than 100,000 gallons of diesel storage, use and emissions.

 

From a guest’s standpoint, the snowmaking buildup increases potential for more early season terrain, raises overall snow quality, and allows mountain operations personnel to resurface quickly after adverse weather.

 

“Stowe is scheduled to open Nov. 23 with top-to-bottom terrain off the new FourRunner Quad,” Wise said.

 

Photo: New snow guns installed at Stowe (Stowe Mountain Resort)

 

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Midwest Ski Shows Set For October Runs; Lots Of Deals, Fun

Windy City Ski Show

Winter can’t be far away in the Midwest. Ski and snowboard shows are taking place in Minneapolis, Chicago and Ontario this month.

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Major Expansions Move Ahead At Okemo, Waterville Valley

Expansion at Waterville

Expansion announcements from Okemo Mountain Resort in Vt. and Waterville Valley in N.H. indicate the difficult economic times of the past few years may be becoming more distant.

 

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Lutsen Adds High Speed Lift On Moose Mt.; Alpine Valley Adds Quad, Triple

New lift at Lutsen

The addition of a new six-seat, high-speed lift on Lutsen’s Moose Mountain, costing $4.5 million, is good news for skiers and riders that frequent the Heartland’s biggest snowsports resort. A new quad and triple chair is in store at Ohio's Alpine Valley.

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Snowmaking Underway At Boreal, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin

California's Boreal fired up its snowmaking system Thursday night as additional snow fell throughout the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountain regions in the west. In Colorado, Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin started snowmaking operations on Friday evening.

Loveland Snowmaking 

 Loveland began making snow for the 2013-14 season just after 6 p.m. Friday.

Arapahoe Basin Snowmaking

The race is on! A-Basinn began making snow on Friday too! 

Boreal Snowmaking

California's Boreal fired up the snowguns just after midnight Thursday, Sept. 26.

 Snowbird 

Snow covers the top of the tram at Snowbird.

Crested Butte 

Fresh snow at Crested Butte!

Jackson Hole 

Looks like mid-winter at Jackson Hole.

China Peak 

First snowfall of the season at China Peak.

Deer Valley

First snowfall of the season at Deer Valley.

Sun Valley 

Sun Valley also picked up a few inches.

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