Aspen/Snowmass Village, Colo. – The ski and snowboard season gets under way this Thursday, November 22, 2001 with the opening of the Fanny Hill lift and run on Snowmass. The lift will fire up at 8:30 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. and a full level of services will be available including childcare, ski school, and a couple of rails and hits for the young and young at heart.

At Aspen Mountain, the Silver Queen Gondola will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for foot passengers only. At the top of the mountain, the Sundeck will be open for lunch, and there will be free guided snowshoe nature tours.

There will also be a small terrain park near the Sundeck for anyone who wants to slide around on a Burton Snow Deck, a Snow Skate, or their toy of choice. Tickets for the Gondola and Fanny Hill are $15 for adults, $10 for kids 17 and under. These tickets are valid for both lifts each day, just in case the thrill seekers want to go for a double header, Aspen and Snowmass in one day.

“Thanks to some help from Mother Nature and a lot of hard work by our snowmakers, we’ll get people up on the hill for Thanksgiving,” said Mike Kaplan, vice president of mountain operations. “It will be great to go out and catch a few runs before the big feast.”

Snowmaking crews are moving up to Cabin Trail on Snowmass tomorrow, and continuing to work on the World Cup course at Aspen Mountain. With the forecast calling for cold temperatures and snow, there may be additional terrain opening on the upper mountain at Snowmass by the weekend.

“We need about 12 more inches of snow to open some of the upper trails and lifts at both mountains, so keep thinking snow,” said Kaplan. Early season packages to Aspen/Snowmass for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend are available starting as low as $55 per person. To book, contact StayAspenSnowmass at 877-622-7736 or 970-925-9000. Or check out www.StayAspenSnowmass.com.

For the latest weather and information updates, call the Aspen/Snowmass snow report at 970.925.1221 or toll free at 888.277.3676 or on-line at www.aspensnowmass.com.

Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen Sardy Field (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (70 miles from Aspen). For more information on Aspen/Snowmass, please call 800/525-6200 or 970/925-1220 or on-line at www.aspensnowmass.com