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Best Resorts for Thanksgiving Powder Turns

Pic: WIX

Here are a few secrets about skiing and riding during the Thanksgiving holiday: Turkey day tends to be light on crowds at many ski resorts. November isn’t peak season, so resorts offer reduced lodging rates. You can avoid kitchen stress by dining out on traditional holiday meals. Sure, the fledgling snow-pack may rely on heavy snow making for groomer skiing, but most skiers’ legs could use the warm up. However, if pre-season snow totals are big, Thanksgiving skiers may be stuffing their faces with more powder than turkey.

See the below list of North American ski resorts and find your best bet for skiing and riding during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday. 

1&2. Lake Louise Sunshine Village

Head north to Banff for early holiday snow this season. Lake Louise gives skiers and riders access to 4,200 ski-able acres and 3,251 vertical feet of drop. They're already open and are enjoying 26 cm (10 in) of new snow in the last 3 days.

Sunshine Village, Canada’s highest elevated resort, is another option for Banff skiers and encompasses more than 3,300 ski-able acres. Off the snow, soak in hot springs, twirl on ice skates, sight see on the Banff Gondola and Christmas shop downtown. If you're looking to fly into Banff, you'll find many direct flights into Calgary International Airport; from there, Banff is within a 90-minute drive. 

3. Sun Valley Resort

Thanksgiving marks the opening of Sun Valley Resort. Depending on early-season conditions, expect to find at least two open lifts on Dollar Mountain and four to five open lifts on Bald Mountain.

Sun Valley is known for its western flair and European styling. The resort offers 2,054 ski-able acres and 3,400 feet of vertical drop. Grab a plate and enjoy live music and plenty of food at the annual Thanksgiving Buffet, located at the Sun Valley Inn. Off the slopes, stroll through galleries rich in artistic ambiance, catch a movie or play virtual golf at the Nordic center. 

4. Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek Resort adds to warm holiday traditions by passing out cookies hot from the oven for their opening day celebration (November 27). The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition features the top five finalists baking up 1,000 cookies each; you can vote on the tastiest and work off the calories skiing Beaver Creek's 1,832 ski-able acres and 3,340 feet of vertical.  

To add to the excitement, guests are invited to witness the annual Beaver Creek Tree Lighting Ceremony to launch the Christmas season. Carolers, the winner of the children’s poetry contest, the lighting of the village, fireworks and a visit from Santa round out the family entertainment. 

5. Steamboat

Head to Steamboat this Thanksgiving for great early season conditions and holiday events. The Annual Routt County United Way Thanksgiving Day dinner brings the entire community together in downtown Steamboat for a feast to remember.

Steamboat opens on November 15, allowing skiers and riders a first look at the resort's 2,965 ski-able acres. 

6. Park City Mountain Resort

Park City Mountain Resort is a great option for early-season skiers and riders with its projected opening date of November 22 and multiple planned events. Park City, located just 35-minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, offers 7,300 ski-able acres serviced by 41 lifts.

7. Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows opens its doors on Friday, November 15. It spans more than 6,000 ski-able acres and features 42 lifts and 270 trails.

The resort invested more than $1 million in snow making for the 2018-2019 season, so regardless of early season snow totals, there will be plenty of open terrain come turkey day. Don't miss their traditional Thanksgiving meal at High Camp overlooking Lake Tahoe.

8. Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain opened November 9! They currently have 1 chair open, but about half the mountain typically opens by turkey day during lean years. During stormy years, skiers and riders can find all lifts running across Mammoth Mountain's more than 3,500 ski-able acres and 3,100 feet of vertical drop.

Off the snow, join the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and view the annual tree lighting ceremony in The Village; this family event includes kids' activities and live music.

9. Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf opens November 15. The resort, which sits on Maine's second-highest peak, typically offers around 1,700 vertical feet with 3-10 trails open for the holiday weekend.

For families, Sugarloaf offers ice skating and unique indoor fun. The town-owned Anti-gravity Complex features trampolines, a climbing wall, and a skateboard park.

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This article was first published on 11/13/2019 at by Becky Lomax


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