|A BRAVE NEW SEASON: The sun rises on Killington Resort (image courtesy, Ski Vermont)|
Sunday River, Maine
Maine's Sunday River Resort kicks off the season with an opening weekend food drive. Donate three cans of food and you'll be thanked with a $20 lift ticket. The program is known as the Tin Mountain Round Up, with similar deals at Sugarloaf Resort. Typically, Sunday River opens in mid-November, depending on snow. The resort offers eight mountains and 131 trails, making it a popular spot for skiers and riders in the Northeast.
Sunday River also offers a Ski and Stay deal for opening weekend at around $59 per person, per night. (www.sundayriver.com; 800.543.2SKI)
Killington is renowned for the most extensive snowmaking of any resort, and it is also the largest ski area in the east. So as long as the temps drop when they're supposed to, this may be a pre-season-lover's best bet. Ski-and-stay pages are the best early-season deals, offering as much as a 30 percent savings by purchasing lift tickets and lodging together through Killington's website, or by calling central reservations. And you can save even more on lift tickets by purchasing a minimum of two consecutive days online.
As celebrations go, Killington gets into the holiday theme of things on November 17 with its annual Loaded Turkey Rail Jam, where boarders and skiers compete on the rails for turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other prizes. (www.killington.com; 800.621.MTNS)
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication