[R225R, Magic Mountain] in Londonderry, Vt., has quite a deal for college students. The full, unlimited, no-blackout-date season pass costs $129.

The resort also offers a Magic Card for $39, which offers holders $10 off weekend and holiday lift tickets, and the ability to ski for $25 Fridays, Mondays and powder days.

The Magic 3-Pack offers lift tickets at pre-season discounts. Buy before Dec. 5 and three anytime lift tickets cost $120.

Unrestricted passes for adults and teens are $389 until Oct. 11, then increase to $439. Unrestricted passes for juniors and seniors are $329 until Oct. 11, then $379.

Magic plans to operate Friday through Monday, all holidays, and any day following a 6-inch snowstorm with at least 50 percent of the mountain open.

Magic has had some tough years, largely because its snowmaking infrastructure and lifts are showing signs of their age, but the mountain's operator sees signs of hope for a solid future.

"I've been here four years, and after some initial, rocky, tumultuous days, things are looking up," Magic's President Jim Sullivan told OnTheSnow.com.

"We did well enough last season to keep a core crew of solid workers on over the summer. We've been evaluating the snowmaking system, a soup-to-nuts analysis, tested all the air and water lines. We knew we had leaks and inefficiencies, and we found a lot. We attacked them one at a time, and by my calculations we're going to be about 25 percent more efficient this year, with 25 percent more snowmaking capacity as a result," he said.

The mountain is still trying to raise $3 million for a five-year capital improvement plan by selling 1,000 shares in the Magic Mountain Partnership at $3,000 each.

Sullivan said Magic has committed to selling 300 of those shares before tapping into any of the money, and is two-thirds of the way there.

"That's $900,000, and in the world of ski areas, $900,000 isn't a lot of money, but there has been so little investment in infrastructure here that it would have a big impact," Sullivan said.

He outlined plans for the $3 million as (roughly) $1.27 million in snowmaking improvements; $500,000 in lift improvements; $150,000 in lodge improvements; $125,000 in grooming equipment; $580,000 in operating and other expenses; and $300,000 in title transfer and debt reduction.

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