Pico Mountain plans to open a day earlier than anticipated with a good deal for a good cause.
Purchase one of the Vermont resort's "Express Cards" for $39, and not only will you ski free on Dec. 17, Pico will donate $20 for every card sold to the United Way. The Express Card allows direct-to-lift access and discounted skiing all season long. An even better deal, the Super Express Card ($99) touts the same benefits, except that it comes automatically with three days of skiing as opposed to one. That's $33 a day before the discounts even kick in. The latter is only available through Dec. 16. Of course, peak blackouts apply.
Something else is getting blacked out at Pico this season, when it will become the first ski area in Vermont to ban smoking. Nothing worse than standing in a tight lift line with someone close by sucking down a cigarette, not to mention the littering aspect of people flicking butts off the lift. The ban begins on Jan. 1.
Pico operates Thursday through Monday this season.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.