"We're always increasing our snowmaking capabilities," said [R40R, Berkshire East] business manager Katie DeNedetti. This summer the area added SMI Wizards and PoleCats, well-suited to snowmaking in early season temperatures and humidity, which often are warmer and moister than the ideal cold and dry condition of mid-winter.

"We also widened Upper Comp, our competition slope, to give us a longer GS course. Our natural terrain is quite challenging and steep, although we do have good beginner and intermediate runs. It's very much a family area, family owned and operated by Roy Schaefer and his son, Jim," DeNedetti said.

"Last year we started a tubing park, and this summer we changed the configuration a little bit to make it work better. It's served by a people mover," she said.

Berkshire East is also replacing the handlebar tow in its beginner area with another people mover, she said.

Season passes are on sale now, with prices set to increase Nov. 1. Unlimited adult passes cost $409 now, and will go up to $459. Unlimited student passes (age 13-18, and college) cost $389, then $439. Unlimited junior passes (age 6-12) and senior passes (age 65 an up) cost $299, then $329.

For every adult pass, a family special student or family junior pass can be purchased. Family student passes cost $359, then $379; family junior passes cost $269, then $299. Limit, one special pass per regular adult pass.