New Gondola Debuts at Sun ValleyAt Sun Valley, ID (tel. 800/786-8259; www.sunvelley.com), the eight-passenger cars of the new Roundhouse Gondola travel from River Run Plaza to the Roundhouse Restaurant area in just eight minutes. It starts operating at 8:30am for skiers and riders to snag a quick Continental breakfast. The ticket office sells a $15 First Tracks Breakfast package for early lift access, food and a crack at the untracked corduroy or powder. From the Roundhouse area, the Christmas high-speed quad accesses the top of Bald Mountain. Après-ski around the new outdoor fireplaces at the River Run Lodge caps a fine Baldy day.
Improved Telluride Air Transportation
At 9,070 feet, Telluride Regional Airport (www.tellurideairport.com) is North America's highest commercial airport, and it now has an all-new runway to meet current FAA standards. The west end was lowered 30 feet, the east end lowered 15 feet and the center was raised 16 feet to flatten out the infamous dip. Also, the runway was extended in length to 6,911 feet. Montrose Regional Airport (www.flytelluride-montrose.com), the larger field 68 miles from the resort, has nonstop service from nine coast-to-coast cities via six carriers.
New Women's Ski Center at Vail
Jeannie Thoren (www.jeanniethoren.com), a veteran crusader for women's ski equipment, has opened the country's first ski center exclusively for women in Vail just steps from Lionshead gondola near chair 8. The center, which claims the largest inventory of women's skis in the country, encourages women to slope-test as many skis as they need to before committing to a purchase. New skis or not, personalized boot fitting can make a world of difference in a woman's skiing.
New Frequent Skier Card for the Catskills
The new $25 Catskill Region card gives frequent skiers 20% off lift tickets at Belleayre, Hunter, Windham, Plattekill, and Holiday Mountain all season long, except holidays. It is non-transferrable and non-refundable. Purchase it online at www.mycatscard.com or by calling 800/ 697-2287.
Whistler: Short-Stay Olympics Packages & MoreTo catch the world's best skiers and other top winter athletes in Olympic action without a week or two away during the Games, check out short-stay packages from Roadtrips (tel. 800/465-1765; www.roadtrips.com) in Whistler or Vancouver during the Feb. 11-Mar. 1 timeframe. Before and after the Games (through Feb. 10 except over the Christmas-New Year holidays and after Feb. 28), the luxurious Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre (tel. 888/905-9995; www.panpacificwhistler.com) Adventure Package includes three nights in a one-bedroom suite, daily breakfast, one-day Whistler/Blackcomb lift tickets, Outdoor Adventures' Valley Dogsledding Tour, Ziptrek Ecotour's Bear Tour, C$100 dining credits at a choice of Village, and C$50 food-and-beverage credit at the Pan Pacific Mountainside. The three-night package costs C$1,699 for two.
Ski Free on Arrival Day in Utah and at VailIf you're flying into Salt Lake City and skiing around the town of Park City (tel. 800/453-1360 or 435/649-6100; www.parkcityinfo.com), present your boarding pass and get a free Deer Valley, The Canyons or Park City Mountain Resort lift ticket for the rest of the day. Similarly, when are flying into Vail/Eagle County Airport, ski Vail for free on arrival day upon presentation of your boarding pass and a Vail Valley lodging confirmation.
Ski New Hampshire's New Interchangeable Lift Tickets
Ski New Hampshire (tel. 800/887-5464; www.skinh.com) has introduced a new "Anywhere, Anytime" lift ticket package. It consists of a selection of fully-transferrable, mix-and-match lift tickets that can be used at 19 ski areas anytime during the season at 19 ski areas. The package, which saves 20% off weekend and holiday rates, begins with a minimum of 12 tickets, broken down into price categories of $25 to $60 per ticket.
New Ski More Card
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies'(tel. 800/258-7669 or 403/254-7669; www.skircr.com) new "Ski More Card" offers significant discounts and free days at Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Nakiska in Alberta, plus discounts at six smaller and/or more distant ski areas. The C$69.96 card, available until Dec. 26, includes three free ski days plus discounts up to C$26 on subsequent lift tickets, free upgrades to a Direct-to-Lift Ski More Card and discounts on resort, retail sales, rental equipment, food and beverage, and getaway packages.
Quebec City Getaway Ski PackageQuebec City's Loew's Le Concorde (tel. 866/239-5322; www.loewshotels.com) offers a season-long "Ski Temptation Package" that includes one night in a spacious room overlooking the St. Lawrence River, a pair of one-day lift tickets to Parc du Mont Sainte-Anne or Le Massif, roundtrip shuttle between the city and the slopes, and access to the hotel's fitness center, Jacuzzi and sauna. Package starts at C$349 for two.