Sun Valley launched its 74th season of operation with celebrations for the new gondola and lifts running for skiing and snowboarding on Thanksgiving Day. The resort has also added two new lift ticket deals that benefit families with tots and college students.

Opening ceremonies for the new Roundhouse Gondola took place on Nov. 21 with nine Sun Valley Olympians being the first to ride the new lift. Among the local Olympians getting a sneak preview ride on the new lift were U.S. Olympic Ski Team members Betty Bell from 1952, Tyler Palmer from 1972, Maria Maricich from 1984, Reggie Crist from 1992, and Sondra Van Ert from 1998. The celebrity group also included Muffy Davis, two-time overall World Cup Paralympian in 2001 and 2002; Jon Engen, a member of the U.S. Olympic Nordic Ski Team in 1988,1992, and 1994; and Dates Fryberger, U.S. Olympic Hockey Team in 1964.

Sun Valley opened for skiing and snowboarding on Thanksgiving Day accompanied by the whoops of locals and winter storms depositing fresh snow on the slopes. Baldy Mountain opened with five lifts accessing top to bottom groomers on both River Run and Warm Springs sides of the mountain. Daily operations include the new Roundhouse Gondola.

Dollar Mountain opened with three lifts running Thanksgiving Day through Nov. 29. Dollar will operate lifts again Dec. 4-6 and resume daily operation on Dec. 10. Sun Valley altered their children's lift ticket policy this year on Dollar Mountain, giving parents of tots a break. Kids four years old and younger can now ski free with a paying adult.

College students can also save money this year by purchasing the new College Six-Pack. The packs, which cost $249 and much be purchased in person with proof of full-time status, are available throughout the year. A one-time six-day extension is also available.

More information. Or call 800-635-4150.