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Mount Snow opens for the weekend

A photo taken Thursday at Mount Snow, Vermont. Dave Meeker

Vermont's Mount Snow will be the first ski area on the East Coast to open when it cranks on one chairlift on Saturday and Sunday for an early-season rail jam. The ski area will then close again after the weekend with their grand opening scheduled for Nov. 19.

On Thursday afternoon, Vermont saw the first snowflakes of the year and Mount Snow is expecting several inches of snow by Friday morning. The ski area will be running the Discovery Shuttle lift and opening one trail with a few boxes and rails for their pre-season Launch Pad Rail Jam. Lift tickets will be sold for $10 each, with all proceeds going to benefit North Star Bowl & Video, a local company that was damaged during Hurricane Irene. Mount Snow was largely spared during the flood, sustaining only minor washouts and some electrical damage to their snowmaking pump-house.

"It is very exciting for us," notes Dave Meeker, communications manager for Mount Snow. "Being able to take advantage of the cold temps, lay down some snow, coupled with being able to raise money for the local community is great ... it's also really cool to see the snow flakes fly."

Several resorts in Colorado have already begun to spin their lifts, with help from a big early season storm that slammed Colorado's Front Range earlier this week.

Late October and early November is typically when East Coast resorts begin to kick-off the season. Last year, following an early season snowfall, Maine's Sunday River was the first resort to open in the East on Oct. 22. As of Thursday, "the weather wasn't cooperating," said Darcy Morse, director of communications at Sunday River. "As soon as the weather allows us to make snow, we'll be blowing, and will try to open as soon as possible."