[R1398R, Blue Hills] Chief Operating Officer Corie Stone begins her second year as [R98R, Ski Campgaw]'s person in charge of the Boston-area ski hill with energy and optimism.

"We saw a definite improvement in business, with skier numbers rising, but it was a loss and that's disappointing," Stone said.

That's likely due to a hefty investment in fixing things up, combined with a small window to do so, she said.

"We put over $100,000 of capital improvements into the lifts and buildings last year. With that kind of investment, and particularly with a short time frame to get things going, it was definitely a struggle," Stone said.

Ski Campgaw of New Jersey was winning bidder last year for a permit to operate the venerable ski area in Massachusetts' Blue Hills Reservation.

"Visitors were up, we had more race teams that want to come back this season, and we had a lot of recreation programs that had a good time and want to return," Stone said.

"We get an early start on things this year. We're working on the lift, and plan to have foliage rides through October. Season passes are on sale. We've got a junior program that begins in January, a five-week SKIwee, and a Mountain Adventure program to introduce older kids (ages 7-15) to ski patrol, snowmaking and grooming along with skiing," she said.

"We're going to run a shuttle service for the three parking lots at Blue Hills, with a better drop-off point.

"We're also working with DCR (the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation) on a tubing park," Stone said.

Blue Hills also has a terrain park, serviced by a rope tow, and Stone said there's constant work to improve the offerings.

Season pass prices go up Oct. 15 and again Dec. 1. Unlimited adult season passes are $249, rising to $299 Oct. 15, then $349 after Nov. 30. Evening passes are $199, rising to $230, then $275.

Hours of operation are 2 to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.