16 December 2016 — Great news out of the midwest, well eastern midwest I suppose, Cleveland area Boston Mills and Brandywine resorts will open today at 3:30…Photo above from Vermont’s Magic Mountain — long known as a ski area on life support — appears to finally be on much better footing thanks to the new ownership group. Time will tell of course, but so far so good as they’ve upgraded their snowmaking arsenal and the famous “red” chair has passed state inspection, and we’re looking at a December 22nd opening. That’ll be the first opening day in Londonderry prior to Christmas in quite a few seasons, so that’s all good. New Englanders who enjoy this throwback area also waiting for word on a second lift, and it seems they may have that running in a few weeks. Right now the plan is to open a week from today (Thursday 12/22) and stay open through the holiday week. We’re glad to see this rapid progress and keeping our tips crossed, hoping for a successful season for the new owners…and back to the midwest, specifically Indiana, Paoli Peaks has been laying down a nice blanket of white thanks to the deep freeze in the midwest and east. They’re going to open today at noon…Central New York’s small but mighty Swain Resort starts their season tomorrow with $35 tix, $25 if you bring a canned food donation for the Dansville Ecumenical Food Pantry. Now that’s a win-win all the way around! Swain plans to fire up Quads I & II plus the “magic” carpet…back to Vermont, I believe Sugarbush is 100% open but can’t confirm if they’re running all their lifts to service it. The ‘bush has a habit of opening terrain on Castlerock but making it hike-to. Which in their case, nothing wrong with that, they’ve got plenty of terrain anyway…and for some nordie love, Stratton will open their XC terrain this weekend…South Dakota’s very cool Terry Peak celebrating the grand re-opening of the Stewart Lodge, that’s with door prizes and all that kind of stuff. And they’re also discounting lift tix to just $40 so you can’t beat that, considering the next closest sizable ski hill is about 300 miles away…in Colorado, kudos to Ski Loveland today, they’re hosting a blood drive from 9 am to 2:30 pm and if you donate, you get a voucher for a free lift ticket. Now I think that’s a noble cause, another magical win-win…The Ski Train, which is a great service, appears poised to return to Winter Park on a much more regular basis beginning in early January. I’ll get some details and follow up next week.