Last updated: 04:00 AM ET, Sat November 14 2015

Where to Ski Over Thanksgiving Break

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | November 14, 2015

Where to Ski Over Thanksgiving Break

PHOTO: Purgatory ski resort in Colorado. (Courtesy Purgatory)

A series of storms has dropped enough early-season snow in Colorado, Utah, California and Nevada for many of the West’s top ski resorts to open early for the 2015-2016 ski season. Further enticing skiers and snowboarders are a number of deals and promotions on everything from lift tickets and lodging to ski lessons and equipment rentals. The best part – many of these deals extend throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.


Early-season snow is welcome in the Golden State for more reasons than just the benefit of early skiing and riding, but that doesn’t mean that resorts aren’t taking advantage. Boreal, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley and Mountain High are already open.

Boreal Mountain Resort

Boreal is open from top to bottom. The resort offers the Unlimited Pass for $299 and $15 skiing on Fridays. It’s the closest resort to Sacramento, located near Truckee, Calif.

Heavenly Lake Tahoe

Heavenly joins other Lake Tahoe, Calif., resorts in opening before its scheduled opening day. The resort will open on Nov. 14 so skiers and snowboarders, and especially passholders, can take advantage of an extra week of riding.

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth is open for the season and is offering a fourth-night free deal for early season getaways, including Thanksgiving weekend. The resort is also offering its Cali4nia Pass, which gives users unrestricted access to four of Southern California’s top ski resorts: Mammoth, Bear Mountain, June Mountain and Snow Summit. The pass is $799.

Mountain High

Skiers ready to rock the early season can take advantage of savings on season passes at Mountain High. The resort is already open and is the closest resort to Los Angeles. The anyday season pass is $399.

Northstar California

Northstar moved up its opening day by one week, opening Nov. 14. For those who are ready to hit the slopes, there are deals on lodging and passes. Guests who book their stay by Nov. 20 will receive 25 percent off lodging and discounted prices on a variety of Epic Season Passes are available until Nov. 20 as well.

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

These two resorts in Lake Tahoe, Calif., have just opened for the season. The resort is offering a Thanksgiving special lodging deal that starts at $157 per night.


In Colorado, many resorts are offering discounted ski passes. One of the biggest trends is the four-day bundled lift tickets that are offered at discounted rates during the early season.

Arapahoe Basin is already opened for the season with limited runs. For those ready to head to the slopes, the resort is offering the Elevation 4-Pass. Passholders can ski any four days throughout the 2015-16 ski season with no blackout dates and can purchase additional days for $59 per day ($28 for kids aged 6-14).

Aspen Snowmass

Opening just in time for Thanksgiving Guests to Aspen Snowmass who purchase a minimum of two nights' lodging get 40 percent off lift tickets, equipment rentals, up to 30 percent off participating lodging properties, and up to 40 percent off select Ski & Snowboard School lessons. In addition, day guests at Aspen Snowmass can save 25 percent off advance purchase pricing on lift tickets. Early season lift ticket pricing and the Early Escape package are offered from Nov. 26 – Dec. 18 and must be booked at least seven days in advance of arrival.

Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain just opened and guests who want to get a jump on the early season can book two nights and receive a third night for free and many other benefits, including 33 percent off Adult Performance and Junior Rental Packages booked for three or more days, a free third day of Youth or Adult Group Lessons, 33 percent off the purchase of two or more tubing sessions, 33 percent off Woodward Freestyle Lessons, a free half day of skiing on day of arrival or departure, and a free Secret! Pass upgrade.

Crested Butte

Guests at Crested Butte Mountain Resort on the resort’s opening day, Nov. 25, ski and ride for free. The 2015/16 opening day at Crested Butte is pirate themed, and there will be a champagne toast at 9 a.m. and a treasure hunt on the mountain throughout the day. Après-ski will feature live music from Rapidgrass at Butte 66 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Other early-season deals at Crested Butte include special lift ticket pricing from Nov. 26 – Dec. 11 and free skiing for kids age 12 and under Nov. 26–Dec. 18. 


Eldora will open on Nov. 25 and is offering its Mountain Explorer All-Day Package for kids age 4-12. This includes a lift ticket, rental equipment, lesson and lunch for $99. Price subject to change at any time and must be used before Dec. 18.


Loveland was one of the first resorts to open this ski season and is offering 4-Pak, four fully transferable lift tickets with no restrictions or blackout dates for $139 through Nov. 22. In addition, guests at Loveland Ski Area can enjoy early-season pricing on lift tickets ($53 for an adult ticket; $25 for kids aged 6-14; kids 5 and under ski free) through Dec. 11.  


Purgatory will be open on Nov. 21 and guests at Purgatory Resort during Thanksgiving receive 35 percent off lodging and $45 lift tickets. Purgatory is open the entire week of Thanksgiving and will offer a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner served at Purg's Slopeside Restaurant. 


Steamboat will open on Nov. 25 and is offering savings in the form of the Boat Launch Pass which offers skiing and riding any three days between Nov. 26, and Dec. 29 for $169. The pass can be used on non-consecutive days and must be purchased at least 48 hours prior to the first day of use.


Telluride’s Jump Start package features four nights of lodging and three days of skiing starting at $96 per person, per night between Dec. 1 and Dec. 17. To receive the best rate, this package must be booked by Nov. 20.

Winter Park

Combining the convenience of a season pass with the flexibility of a daily ticket, the Winter Park Four Pass offers four unrestricted days at Winter Park Resort with no blackouts for $219. The pass also includes perks such as discounted friends/family tickets as well as discounts on rentals, food & beverage, and Coca-Cola Tubing.


Just like California and Colorado, Utah has seen its fair share of snow in October and November and resorts many resorts will be open in time for Thanksgiving.

Brighton Resort

Brighton Resort is celebrating its 80th year with an awesome promotion for families. It is bringing back its kids 10 and under ride free for first-timers on Dec. 12 and 13. The resort is planning to open on day is scheduled for Nov. 20.

Brian Head Resort

Brian Head Resort is counting down the days to its season opening, which will take place on Nov. 20. The mountain offers three terrain parks and 71 runs and offers families a number of options when it comes to lessons.


Early Season Ski and Stay packages give guests 20 percent savings on lift tickets, equipment rentals and lodging at the resort, which opens on Nov. 21.


Snowbird has invested in a variety of upgrades to its resort experience over the last year and guests can take advantage beginning Dec. 21. For those ready to go for the Thanksgiving break, there are several options that include Thanksgiving dinner. Choose from the Aerie, the Atrium or the Lodge Bistro. Packages start at $110.

Park City

Park City will open on Nov. 21. The resort has a number of early-booking deals, including Ready, Set, Snow! The offer includes discounts of up to 40 percent at Grand Summit Hotel, Silverado Lodge, Sundial Lodge, Vintage on the Strand and Doubletree by Hilton.


Snowbasin is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The resort will open on Nov. 25 and has a series of special events to commemorate the anniversary.

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