The nascent ski season is getting ready to go wider, following recent openings in Maine and Colorado, not to mention the resorts in the Swiss Alps and other areas that are already up and running -- or close to it.
As an astute reader pointed out last week, Sunday River Ski resort (tel. 207/824-3000; www.sundayriver.com) in Maine actually beat Loveland and A-Basin to the first-to-open punch by opening on Oct. 22. By booking by Dec. 1, guests receive $75 off two nights of lodging or $100 off three nights.
One of my favorite small resorts in Colorado, Wolf Creek Ski Area (tel. 970/264-5639; www.wolfcreekski.com), opened earlier than expected thanks to last week's storm, running three lifts since Oct. 30. Early-season lift tickets are a bargain: just $31 for adults and $18 for kids and seniors for the time being (they escalate to $52 and $28 respectively in regular season) and lodging in nearby South Fork and Pagosa Springs is similarly easy on the pocketbook.
Copper Mountain (tel. 866/841-2481; www.coppercolorado.com), scheduled to open Nov. 5, is offering an early-season package that must be booked by Dec. 5: Buy two nights of lodging and get the third night free plus one adult lift ticket and $24 kids' lift tickets.
Colorado Ski Deals
At Telluride Ski Resort (tel. 800/778-8581; www.tellurideskiresort.com), Visit Telluride (tel. 888/605-2578; www.visittelluride.com) is offering a ski-and-stay package starting at $89 per person per night with three days of skiing and five nights' lodging. The package is available from the resort's Nov. 25 opening into the spring, based on availability.
Winter Park Resort (tel. 800/979-0332; www.winterparkresort.com) has teamed up with local lodgings to offer a "Ski and Ride Free" package. Guests receive one free adult lift ticket per night of lodging during early season (from opening day on Nov. 17 to Dec. 25). Additional tickets are available at a steep discount for $55 for adults and $30 for kids.
Book by Nov. 15 at Keystone Resort (tel. 800/328-1323; www.keystoneresort.com) and receive up to 33 percent off your lodging bill, with studios starting at $100 per night and two-bedroom condos starting at $150 per night.
More Ski Deals: Montana, Utah, Wyoming & California
Whitefish Mountain Resort (tel. 877/754-3474; www.skiwhitefish.com) in northwestern Montana is offering a lodging special from Dec. 4 to Dec. 23: buy three nights and get the fourth free, or -- better yet -- buy five nights and get the sixth and seventh free. Then the deal shifts in the regular season to buy four, get one free for most of February and March, but the package must be booked by Nov. 15.
Just east of Ogden, Utah, Snowbasin (tel. 801/620-1000; www.snowbasin.com) and Powder Mountain (tel. 801/745-3772; www.powdermountain.com) have teamed up with the Ogden Convention and Visitors Bureau to offer a 20 percent early-season lodging discount. Some properties include dining gift certificates as well. Visit the CVB's website for more information.
Atop East Gros Ventre Butte between Jackson and Teton Village, Spring Creek Ranch (tel. 800/443-6139; www.springcreekranch.com) is offering a ski-and-stay package in conjunction with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort that starts at $87.50 per person per night all season long, with a four-night minimum.
Alpine Meadows (tel. 800/441-4423; www.skialpine.com) and Homewood Mountain Resort (tel. 530/525-2992; www.skihomewood.com) have teamed up with the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino (tel. 775/832-1234; www.laketahoehyatt.com) for a three-night package that includes lodging and two lift tickets at Alpine Meadows on the first day and two at Homewood on the second day for $139.50 per person per night.
See this edition of the Traveler's Ski Report for more early-season deals and packages in the Eastern U.S. and Europe.