[R488R, Wachusett] grooms every trail twice a day: once overnight, and once before the night skiing session begins at 4 p.m. To maintain that pace, the Central Massachusetts ski area has purchased two new state-of-the-art Pisten Bully grooming vehicles to supplement the other three machines in the fleet.

"We are extremely proud of our record for grooming quality," said President Jeff Crowley. "With our overnight groom and daily resurfacing for the evening operations, we have set a very high standard for our customers."

The mountain also is offering an expanded "Learn to Turn" Beginners program with options for a one-, two- or three-day package now available for new skiers or snowboarders.

Best part of this deal? The three-day Learn to Turn Program includes a complimentary Bronze Century Pass after the third visit. Prices for the package are $74 for one-day; $124 for two-day; and $199 for three-day. (The Bronze Century Pass alone would cost $209 at the early season rate.)

Also new this year, Wachusett is offering its first-ever College Season Pass. The new UPass is available to current college students (with valid ID). It costs $129 and is good all nights and non-holiday midweek days.

Another program for area residents is "Ski Free with FCHP." Fallon Community Health Plan and Wachusett have teamed up this season to provide FCHP members and Wachusett skiers/snowboarders with up to $300 per family to cover lift tickets, season passes or beginner packages as part of the insurance plan's "It Fits" program.

Last but not least, for the 2008-09 season, Wachusett Mountain has launched a completely new Web site redesigned for easier use and on-line purchasing.