Happy skier and riders are zipping up the hill, and flying down the slopes at Vail. "We probably had the fifth best opening for Vail. The snow always gets people excited," said Vail's Liz Biebl. Early season snows allowed more terrain to be open and ready. The highlight was when the back bowls opened. "Once the back bowls are open, people are in heaven," said Biebl.

The other news is the new High Noon Express lift. The ride time went from 11 minutes to six, carrying 2,400 people per hour instead of 1,400. "The ride time means more laps in the back bowls, less waiting in line, and less sitting on the lift."

It's just as fun and festive off the mountain, as on, as the town of Vail is decorated for the holidays, with Christmas trees, lights, and wreaths. New Year's Eve is the torchlight ski down and fireworks on Golden Peak. The excitement is also at The Arrabelle at Vail Square on New Year's Eve with disco skating, children's arts and crafts, fire eaters, jugglers, and the traditional ball drop. The celebration ends at 10 p.m. Colorado time, which is midnight in New York.

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