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Value-Oriented Family Ski Vacations in New York's Adirondacks

One word defines family winter travel right now and that is "value." For families looking to take a quick winter family getaway without spending a lot of money or time researching the best deal, smaller ski resorts throughout the Adirondack Region of New York offer shorter lift lines, cheaper passes, ski packages and varied terrain. For the price of one plane ticket out west, an entire family in the Northeast can book an Adirondack family winter escape.

Big Tupper Resort in Tupper Lake, New York re-opened in 2009 as a not-for-profit, no-frills, re-invigorated Adirondack ski resort run entirely by volunteers. With a 1,200' vertical drop and 17 trails of beginner-to-expert terrain, Big Tupper is the biggest bargain in the Adirondacks. The Wild Center and Big Tupper will once again partner to offer a "See and Ski" deal: purchase a ticket to either Big Tupper or The Wild Center, and get one free pass to the other venue good for two weeks after the purchase date. A lift ticket costs just $15 for the 2010-2011 season. Visit the AdirondackLakes.com website for more information on downhill skiing at Big Tupper.

Since the 1940s, Titus Mountain in Malone has been a hub for Adirondack skiing. Originally called "Moon Valley," Titus has undergone some major changes in the past 70 years. Eight chairlifts, 27 trails, a ski school and 1,200' of vertical drop make Titus a great option for Canadians, as well as skiers and boarders from nearby Vermont. It's also the third highest ski area in the entire Adirondacks, yet an all-day ski pass costs less than $40 during the 2010-2011 season.

In Warrensburg, just north of Lake George, is Hickory Ski Center, a re-invigorated small-town mountain with a lot going on. Day passes for the 2010-2011 season range from $30 to $45 and half-day tickets range from $20-$30. Participants in New York State's "Learn a Snow Sport Month" this January, can get 20 percent discount off a lift, lesson and rental package at Hickory.

More family-oriented Adirondack skiing options include:

Dynamite Hill Recreation Center in Chestertown is an excellent choice for beginning skiers, and it's free! Night skiing and sledding is available on the toboggan hill as well.

Snow Ridge in Turin often has the heaviest snowfall in the east. It is scheduled to open on Christmas Day. Snow Ridge offers 7 lifts, 22 trails, a ski school, rental shop, restaurant and more.

Beartown Mountain in Beekmantown is a good options for families coming into the area from Canada. It is tentatively scheduled to open on December 26th. For more information on Adirondack cross-country skiing and downhill options, visit skibeartown.com.

West Mountain in Queensbury celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Go to VisitLakeGeorge.com for a full list of information on the areas ski and snowboard school, rentals, tubing schedule and more.

Oak Mountain in Speculator, snowmaking is underway way on the 14 trails. Open Thursday-Sunday, the ski center also offers tubing Friday through Sunday. Lift tickets prices are $32 for adults and $22 for juniors (ages 6-12) for the 2010-2011 season. Kids under 5 ski free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Group rates and special discounts are available.

Mt. Pisgah in Saranac Lake is a classic small mountain family ski resort. Its five trails are groomed for beginner to intermediate skiers. Lift tickets are $15-$20 per person during the 2010-2011 season. Night skiing and tubing are also available.

Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, and Gore Mountain in North Creek have initiated the Empire, Student and Snowball cards so that families can save on ski passes all winter long. Separate cards for different age groups offer card carriers their first day of skiing free, and $15 off each subsequent visit to Whiteface. After five visits, the sixth day is free. Additional perks and benefits apply.

For more information on Adirondack ski centers, places to stay in the Adirondacks and Adirondack ski packages, visit www.visitadirondacks.com.

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