News from the ski mecca of New Jersey is that Snow Operating has reached an agreement with the Koffman family to take a controlling interest in Mountain Creek Resort. Snow Operating is a group headed by Vernon NJ local Joe Hession, who has been running Creek for recent seasons. Hession is married to the popular ski & board media personality Halley O’Brien…photo above from Trollhaugen; they’re looking to be first to open in Wisconsin. Lifts set to spin at noon tomorrow and they’re hoping for a chair and a rope tow…Granite Peak WI also blowing snow but no announcement yet…California has a lot of snowmaking going on right now, Mammoth Mountain has announced that the Broadway Express chair will begin spinning Saturday morning, which would give them honors for first in the Golden State. I have a hunch that Boreal up near Donner Pass could play the spoiler role here — they’re pushing piles around and they just might cut the ribbon tomorrow. Alpine Meadows has everything cranked up nearby in Lake Tahoe…in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, snowmaking fired up at both Alta and Snowbird, but it doesn’t look like either is all that close right now…over in Wyoming, both Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee have enough natural stuff to open limited terrain, but that ain’t how they roll. Targhee will kick off their 50th season next weekend…in Colorado, add Copper next weekend as well, they’ll be going Friday the 16th. Copper already has ski teams practicing; we hear that Norwegian great Aksel Lund Svindal has been spotted…turn east a little bit on I-70, jump on to US 6 and you’ll find that Arapahoe Basin will crank up the Lenawee lift on Saturday. A-Basin was first to open this season and they’ll now be top to bottom…FIS World Cup checks in, sez Levi Finland is a go with positive snow control…Minnesota’s biggie Lutsen turned their snowmaking arsenal on last night. Loots usually opens around Thanksgiving.