Sunday River (tel. 800/543-2754; www.sundayriver.com) beat all comers by opening Oct. 22, two days before Loveland in Colorado. "Opening day was super exciting," says resort spokesperson Darcy Morse. "This is the first time we've been first to open in the country and the fourth time we've been first to open on the East Coast. It took 19 hours of nonstop snowmaking, but we did it."
While about five trails are currently open on weekends only, cold weather in the two weeks since opening day has allowed snowmaking to continue, says Morse. "Conditions continue to get better." And the resort has a great early-season deal to boot: Book by Dec. 1 and receive $75 off a two-night stay or $100 off three nights or more, subject to availability.
More New England Ski Deals
Mount Snow (tel. 800/498-0479; www.mountsnow.com) in Vermont is offering a Thanksgiving Getaway package from Nov. 23-28 that includes a free day of skiing and night of lodging when you buy two. The package starts at $190 per person for three days and nights and coincides with the resort's annual Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Nov. 27, with a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The ski-in, ski-out Stowe Mountain Lodge (tel. 888/478-6938; www.stowemountainlodge.com) has a ski-and-stay deal at Stowe Mountain Resort (tel. 800/253-4754; www.stowe.com), home to Vermont's highest peak, Mount Mansfield. The package includes a lodge room, breakfast for two each morning, and two adult lift tickets per day, as well as a $50 gift certificate to the lodge's spa. The package starts at $321 per night with a two-night minimum.
Book at Vermont's Okemo Mountain Resort (tel. 866/786-5366; www.okemo.com) by Dec. 1 and receive 30 percent off weekday stays, subject to availability. An early-season "Winter Weekend" ski-and-stay deal starts at $78.25 per person per night (lift tickets included), based on a room with two adults and two kids; it's available weekends from opening day (the current anticipated opening is Nov. 20 through Nov. 24 and Nov. 28 through Dec. 23). Okemo is also offering a season-long midweek deal on lodging for guests staying Sunday through Thursday nights that includes free skiing the afternoon of arrival and a $50 credit that can be used anywhere at the resort. Another package includes a free beginner lesson and rental package with two nights of lodging.
In Maine, Sugarloaf (tel. 800/843-5623; www.sugarloaf.com) has put together a "Christmas on Us!" package: Book four or more nights over Dec. 25 and the lodging on Christmas night is free. Both lodging and lift tickets must be purchased, and the lift tickets on Dec. 25 are not discounted.
Also in Maine, Mt. Abram Resort (tel. 207/875-5000; www.mtabram.com) is offering 10 percent off e-tickets booked online through Dec. 5, as well as season-long deals on Thursday -- two-for-one lift tickets -- and Friday -- for $75 for lift tickets for everyone who is crammed into the car.
Switzerland Ski Deals
Alex Schlosshotel Tenne (tel. 41/(0)27-966-44-00; www.alex-schlosshotel.ch) in Zermatt is offering a package that includes three nights' lodging with a free room upgrade plus a two-day ski pass and access to the resident wellness center for 650 Swiss francs per person ($664), based on double occupancy. The deal is good Dec. 4 to 17 and Jan. 8 to Feb. 4, but escalates to 710 Swiss francs per person Dec. 18 to Jan. 7 and Feb. 5 to April 30.
At Hotel Chesa Guardalej (tel. 41/(0)81-836-63-00; www.chesa-guardalej.ch) at Champfèr-St. Moritz, the early-season package gets you two nights lodging, some meals, and a one-day ski rental for 480 Swiss francs ($491) per person based on double occupancy; the offer is good from Dec. 3 to Dec. 22, when it escalates to 520 Swiss francs per person.
Ski Deals in France
At Val Thorens (tel. 33/(0)4-79-00-01-06; www.valthorens.com), Ski & Boarderweek runs Dec. 11-18 with a package deal that includes seven nights' lodging, a six-day ski pass for Val Thorens-Orelle, and access to the European Snow Sport and Music Festival. The package starts at €222 ($311) per person for the entire stay based on quadruple occupancy.
Check out this edition of the Traveler's Ski Report for ski deals in the Western U.S.