The Mountain Times

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Pico celebrates being 75-years young

Pico turned 75-years young this past Thanksgiving Day, a huge accomplishment in the ski world.

In fact it is one of the 30 oldest continually operating major areas in the country. But unlike those who grow stodgy with age, Pico grows better as it "packs on the years."

This grand dame of classic and tradition is going adventurous, as if in her second youth.

She's adding elements, not pounds, gates not walkers.

The plan is for more terrain park features (in the Triple Slope terrain park, and some additional identified areas of the mountain) for young or old, big or little, can try a jump, slide on a box, jib a rail, or daffy off a kicker. Pico is definitely going the freestyle action route for newbies with its lower-to-the-ground challenges that even Grandma might try.

You'll find some mid-sized elements, too, but not the tough biggies. You'll have to visit the younger 'big K' which turns 54 on Dec. 13 for that.

Pico is giving the young and young-at-heart their chance this season. Pico is also offering freestyle lessons so those who don't have the faintest idea of how to handle those elements can safely do so.

There's a renewed emphasis on racing, too. So Action Jackson meet Classic Cathy - you both can have fun and meet in the base lodge. With a second timing system, it won't just be the Pico Ski Club kids running fast and loose. College teams, ski councils, and clubs will be enjoying the gates every weekend.

But there's more for us traditionalists, too. Like great discounts all season long and the wonderful return of the children's center! Plus a new book and continued support of United Way with a two-day opening fundraiser.

The celebration spirit reigns with the Pico deals that celebrate the beginning of Pico's 76th season. The area is starting with a Dec. 14 slope sneak preview for season passholders (aka Appreciation Day for My Pico Pass holders) and for those who have an Express Card. The latter will receive free skiing on this day. Those who purchase the card on Dec. 14 will also receive free skiing. Plus Pico will donate $10 of the card purchase price to the United Way.

Then on Saturday, Dec. 15 the area opens to the public. Express Card holders and purchasers will pay for lift tickets on that day, but $20 from each purchase will go to United Way.

"Pico's continued United Way support is a big part of our annual campaign; it goes to support everything from housing to health agencies," noted Traci Moore, executive director of the Rutland County United Way.

Tracy Taylor, Pico's Director of Operations, commented that Pico "strives to support our community through various fundraisers," adding that, "It's a great way for our guests to give back to an organization dedicated to the community we love so much."
The Pico Express Card retails for $45 on Friday, Dec. 14 and increases to $55 from Saturday, Dec. 15 until Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The card offers discounted lift-ticket rates for the entire 2012-13 season with mid-week tickets $29, and weekend/peak day tickets, $39. Like a season pass, the Express Card has a photo of the skier or rider, and is scanned directly at the lift. It's linked to a credit card, which charges the discounted rate.

The deals get better as everyone gets a chance to purchase a lift ticket for $19.37 from Dec. 15 - 21 in celebration of Pico's 1937 debut.

Ski council members will also be able to purchase $19.37 lift tickets on Fridays throughout the season with exception Dec. 28 and Feb. 22, Taylor added.

Every non-peak Thursday will be "Ladies Day" when women can pay $19.37 each for tickets, rental equipment, lessons, half-day child care, as well as a half-day ski or snowboard lessons for kids.

Want to ski with a friend or introduce someone to Pico?

All My Pico Pass holders are invited to bring a friend to ski or ride midweek (Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays) non-peak for $19.37 lift tickets.

Taylor explained the wonderful deals, noting, "We wanted to take this opportunity to showcase Pico's diverse terrain by offering a variety of 75th Anniversary promotions throughout the winter."

For those without snow in their yards and wondering how Pico can open when we've had no major storm, Taylor said he was watching one of his workers snowboard down Lower Pike as we spoke on Monday. He added that they have put a "ton of snow down and plan to be open for Friday and Saturday on Fools Gold to Lower Pike and on Forty-Niner to Lower Pike and possibly Bonanza as well if the weather forecast holds.

As Pico turns 75 this season, there's also an updated Pico book, which includes its 75 year-history available locally and from author Linda Goodspeed.

Pico is still a dramatic, tall, and broad mountain but now sports 53 trails with a 1,967-foot vertical on a big 265 skiable acres! Lift hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and peak days.

At 75, Pico is one gorgeous and exciting lady to dance with-and one of the least expensive dates in skierdom! A true mountain of value.