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There's more than a nip in the air. From Vermont to Vail, from Crested Butte to Banff, it's cold enough to smell snow. With that in mind, skiers and snow boarders from coast to coast are salivating over the 2006-2007 winter season. Not skipping a beat on attracting skiers, mountains nationwide are announcing midweek and weekend packages lasting through the season.

Ski Vermont (tel. 802/223-2439; www.skivermont.com) has an extremely easy to surf redesigned website. The "Resort Package" page breaks Vermont ski resorts into three categories divided by distance from New York and Boston. The Northern Resorts, highlighted by Stowe, are six hours from New York and four hours from Boston. The Central Resorts such as Killington and Sugar Bush are five hours from New York and three hours from Boston. Finally, the Southern ski resorts, like Bromley, are four hours from New York and two hours from Boston. After clicking on a resort logo, if the resort has any packages currently listed, you are brought to the individual mountain's page.

Take "Bromley Mountain's Beginner's Circle" package (tel. 800/865-4786; www.bromley.com). Billed as "everything a first-time skier could need," the package includes all equipment, a ski clinic, and a beginner's lift pass good for easier trails. For skiers 13 and up, the price starts at $93 for one day and $129 for two days. Season long packages available in and around Bromley include a midweek $59 per night per person double occupancy charge with accommodations at the North Shire Motel (tel. 888/339-2336; www.northshiremotel.com) in Manchester, Vermont (also a great leaf-peeping spot). The ski packages include lift tickets, one night of accommodations and often daily breakfast or another meal. For Inn lovers, a similar midweek package at the Inn at Weston (tel. 802/824-6789; www.innweston.com) costs $89 with ski, lift, full breakfast and afternoon tea all included. Both hotels are Wi-Fi hot spots for any Internet surfing you want or need to do. Look for ski trails to be open by mid-November, weather permitting, but book your stay and ski packages now to ensure availability. Voted the Number 1 resort for family programs in the country by Ski Magazine in 2004, Bromley prides itself on fun for skiers of all ages. Of course, there are plenty of hikes, bike trails, apple picking and eating to do in Vermont if you decide to go before the snow.

Mount Snow (tel. 800/498-0479; www.mountsnow.com), one of Vermont's premiere ski resorts, is offering a $68 Ski Free package where the "skiing and lodging package is so cheap it's like skiing for free." Lodging choices include area motels, Inns, hotels or condominiums. Lift tickets and lodging are included in the $68 per person per night price. This package is available daily from November 27 to December 22, 2006, and March 31 to April 8, 2007 with midweek dates open from January 2 to March 30, 2007. This deal is not available over any holiday period. Mount Snow also has a beginner's package starting at $99 per day per person including lessons, equipment, and a low-level mountain lift ticket. Good from November 25 to December 15, 2006 and January 2 to March 25, 2007, this package is great to teach new skiers and boarders while their advanced travel mates hit the black diamonds. This is Mount Snow's 52nd ski season. With 18 lifts and 106 trails including over 60 intermediate trails, the resort attracts a wide range of skiers and boarders.

For weeklong packages to resorts all over the United States, Ski.com (tel. 800/778-8589; www.ski.com.) consistently offers sales and low-priced deals to major ski locales. Five days in Vail, for example, start at $664 with travel good from November 23, to December 14, 2006. The four-night lodging three-day of skiing comes with a full-size rental car with airport pickup. Accommodations are at the Lodge at Vail, with walking access to Vail's major ski lifts. Amenities at the luxury lodge include four hot tubs, an outdoor pool, in-room massage, a fitness center and a laundry/dry cleaning facility.

Ski.com also offers a five-night (one-night free) ski package to Crested Butte's Wood Creek starting on November 18, 2006 for $579. Including accommodations, four days of lift tickets, and mid-size car rental, this package is only valid for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday or arrival. Good until December 15, 2006, the price is based on midweek double occupancy lodging. Just 50 yards to a lift, the lodge has rooms with working fireplaces. And now for the really good news? Crested Butte has seen ten inches of snow in the last 72 hours with more coming. Get your ski boots out.

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