Big Boulder Resort in Pennsylvania's Poconos mountain range became the first resort in the Keystone state to open for the winter when it cranked up its lifts Dec. 6. Big Boulder has taken the honors four years in a row and about 2,000 people turned out for the occasion. The resort gave free lift passes to those who brought contributions for local designated charities, a second year tradition at Big Boulder. First skiers and riders donated more than 7,000 cans of food and 300 toys.

The planned opening at Jack Frost was Dec. 12 with four lifts operating. Both areas have received natural snow and are making it.

Jack Frost is offering a deal to encourage those nine and older to take lessons. The Discovery Card includes three snow passes, three days of rentals and three lessons for $199. The card is good any time during the season but only can be used by one person for all three packages. January could be a good time to take advantage of it since the month has been designated Learn a Snow Sport Month nationwide.

The Discovery Card comes with a complimentary Five Finger Discount Card that can be purchased separately for $99. That card discounts snow pass prices 50 percent midweek and 25 percent on weekends excluding holidays.

Pass photos are required with the cards. Headshot photos (no sun glasses or hats) can be e-mailed to save time or photos can be taken at the JFBB Guest Services offices. Details are on the Web site.

More Information. Or call 570-443-8425