[R304R, Okemo Mountain Resort] in Ludlow, Vt., has put in a new, 180-foot-long carpet lift in its Snowstars Galaxy Basin.

That's the learning center for kids ages 3 to 7.

The new carpet lift replaces a Poma T-bar, the last at Okemo, signaling the end of an era.

"We're so glad that's done," said Okemo's Bonnie MacPherson. "It really hurt to watch some of the kids struggle with the Poma. One would fall, and then they'd all fall, and then someone would come along and stand them all up again. It doesn't happen with the carpet."

Okemo also has a new Prinoth BR 500 "Beast" groomer, third one in the mountain's fleet of snow groomers.

"It's the most powerful, widest, biggest, longest groomer on the market," MacPherson said.

Two years ago Okemo became the first eastern resort to deploy a Beast.

Okemo has instituted a Safety Pass Program in the Nor'Easter Terrain Park, and will put the system into practice next year at all its terrain parks.

Park users will have to take a 10-question quiz, online or in person, to get a laminated pass to use the park.

"It's simple, and the questions are common sense," MacPherson said.

Another change this season is choice for the Learn to Ski and Ride programs, with participants now able to sign up for 15 weekends or 30 weekends, rather than an entire season of 40 weekends.

More information.  Or call 802-228-1600.