The 2010-11 Colorado Ski Country USA Gems Card kicks off its 11th year of offering skiers and riders free, two-for-one, or discounted tickets at nine ski resorts throughout Colorado. Cards are available for $10 throughout the upcoming ski season until they sell out.

The annual Gems Card announcement reminds snow enthusiasts "that it's time to start thinking ahead to the ski season," says Melanie Mills, CSCUSA president and CEO.

Participating resorts include [R20R, Arapahoe Basin], [R1673R, Echo Mountain], [R143R, Eldora Mountain Resort], [R220R, Loveland Ski Area], [R240R, Monarch Mountain], [R329R, Powderhorn Resort], [R372R, Ski Cooper], [R365R, SolVista Basin], and [R445R, Sunlight Mountain Resort].

All nine Gems offer discounted lift tickets, two ski areas offer free lift tickets, and six other areas offer two-for-one tickets. No other pass, program, or card in Colorado offers such savings for such a nominal fee.

CSCUSA uses the card program to encourage skiers and riders to take full advantage of what these hidden Gems have to offer. Each resort has its own unique Colorado character and offers its own experience to guests.

"This card has been the best way for people to ski mountains they usually wouldn't go to without the benefits of the Gems Card," Mills says. Cardholders can access season-long discounts by purchasing the Gems Card before the snow flies.

More information and to purchase the card.