[R489R, Waterville Valley's] new owners have invested $500,000 in improvements to the resort in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

The list of enhancements includes new snow guns, a new grooming machine, base lodge upgrades, and new gear in the rental shop.

The new snow guns are 25 energy efficient tower guns, which resort operators hope will allow them to offer skiers and riders more terrain for opening day, set for Saturday, Nov. 20.

A group led by the Sununu family of New Hampshire bought Waterville from Booth Creek Resorts.

General Manager Bob Fries said, "We completed the purchase of Waterville Valley on Oct. 13 and are now going as fast as we can to make improvements before the start of the ski season. The increased snowmaking capacity will help Waterville leverage its 4,000-foot elevation, allowing us to open a greater variety of terrain for Thanksgiving and early December."

Part of the money was spent to upgrade Waterville's base lodge, with new ground-floor bathrooms, more family bathrooms, and a renovated Alpine Grille cafeteria and menu.

The resort also is adding new equipment to its ski and snowboard rentals, including mini Burton snowboards for kids.

Waterville also is offering a $35 learn to ski or snowboard package for guests age 7 and up, Sunday through Friday, non-holidays. The package includes a lower lmountainlift ticket, ski or snowboard rentals, and a two-hour first-timers lesson.

More information. Or call 800-468-2553.