Bear Mountain in Big Bear opens today, joining sister resort Snow Summit and Mtn. High in Wrightwood in welcoming skiers and snowboarders before Thanksgiving.
Well, paying skiers and snowboarders anyway.
Snow Valley outside Running Springs also opens today. Mammoth Mountain near Bishop got the snowball rolling by opening on Nov. 11, followed the next day by Mtn. High. Summit opened Nov. 13.
It had been previously announced that Bear and Summit, which are owned by Big Bear Mountain Resorts, would open on Thanksgiving Day, but ideal snowmaking conditions coupled with the competition's early openings seem to have forced the moved-up dates--not that we're complaining.
"With the recent snowfall and ideal snowmaking weather, these conditions are definitely the best I've seen for Thanksgiving week in years," says Clayton Shoemaker, park development and youth marketing director, in a Big Bear Mountain Resorts statement that notes a timely weekend storm added four to six inches of fresh snowfall to the white stuff snowmaking machines have been blowing on the slopes around-the-clock.
Bear, which is geared toward boarders but skiers are also welcome, today will open Chair 9 that accesses Park Run, which will be stacked with jibs and snow features. New this season at Bear is Skill Builder Parks, which are terrain parks with rails, boxes and transitions aimed at helping beginner skiers and boarders refine and improve their skills.
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Down the road at Summit, which is more of a traditional, family friendly resort, Chair 2 that leads to the top of Summit Run opened Tuesday, joining Miracle Mile (Chair 1) that was humming opening day. This Friday and Saturday beginning at 3 p.m., night skiing will be open at Summit. Make sure to bundle up!
One lift ticket works at both resorts, and special early season rates apply today: $40 for adults 22+ for a full day (8 a.m.- 4 p.m); $35 for young adults (13-21); $10 for children (7-12). Half-day rates (noon-4 p.m.) are $35 for adults, $30 for young adults and $10 for children.
The regular season rates--$56 for adults, $46 for seniors and young adults and $25 for children--kick in on Thursday.
For updates, the latest conditions and other information, text "SNOW" to 52406 or call 800-BEAR-MTN or 888-SUMMIT-1. Or visit bigbearmountainresorts.com.