[R61R, Blue Mountain], Ontario's largest ski resort, is slated to open for the season Dec. 5 and is offering a $39 daily lift ticket through Dec. 15.  Regular season daily lift rates will be $58, and a day/night combo ticket, good 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., will be $68 this season.

Blue Mountain, located along the southern shore of Lake Huron's Georgian Bay, stretches for a couple miles along the Niagara Escarpment offering panoramic views of the bay and historic community of Collingwood.  Its 720-foot vertical drop (220 meters for our Canadian friends) is the largest in the eastern Great Lakes.

Blue has been towing skiers up the escarpment since 1941, almost as long as any other ski area in the Heartland.  It has grown considerably since Czechoslovakian immigrant Jozo Weilder cut a couple of trails and rigged a lift made of cables, a pair of sleds, and a truck engine. 

Today it has an Intrawest village, 36 trails ranging from beginner to double black diamond, two terrain parks, a super pipe, and 14 lifts, including four high-speed express chairs.  It's arguably one of the best snow sports resorts in the Great Lakes Region and attracts skiers and snowboarders from Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, and Eastern New York.

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