Time to hit the slopes
Colder temperatures have enabled several local ski areas to get an early start to their season.
Blue Mountain Ski Area, in Lower Towamensing Township, plans to open on Black Friday, while Jack Frost and Big Boulder, in Kidder Township, have already been open for several weeks.
Blue Mountain Ski Area will open at 8:30 a.m. Friday with seven trails.
The Summit Lodge will be open to the public for season pass and ticket sales, equipment and locker rentals, tuning shop services, retail sales at the True Blue Mountain Sports Store, and limited food and beverage sales are available at Cornerstone and the Slopeside Pub & Grill. The Valley Lodge & Tubing will not be open until further notice.
"We've made a lot of snow over the last three days," said Barbara Green, president. "I think whatever rain is coming isn't going to affect us too much."
Tickets on Friday can be purchased for half price, Green said. The price for tickets will be $40 over the weekend.
"It's nice to have an early opening," she said. "We had a couple of late ones here the last two years."
Green said this is only the second time the resort opened the day after Thanksgiving.
"We're looking forward to it," she said. "It's nice to get a good jump on the season."
Thanks to the cooler weather, Jack Frost and Big Boulder have been open since Nov. 14.
"Typically, we always shoot for Thanksgiving, but we're a little early this year," said Heather Schiffbauer, director of marketing. "The weather was there, we were able to make snow, (so) we just jumped on it."
The ski area held its annual Boulder Give Back on opening day, at which time children were asked to bring a toy for Toys for Tots, or a can for the food pantry at St. Peter the Fisherman Church in Lake Harmony. Those who did received a free lift ticket on that day, Schiffbauer said.
Schiffbauer said the ski area is off to a great start.
"The kids are having a great time; they're happy to be on the slopes," she said. "With the weather, we're making snow at every chance."
At present, Big Boulder Park is open with Freedom Park, but plans to expand throughout the week to have three more slopes open by Friday, Schiffbauer said.
"We're opening as many slopes as we can," she said. "We're looking forward to a great winter."