Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ring In Winter Close To Home In The Great Western Catskills

Winter is set to rock this year with predictions of El Nino influences bringing over 100 inches of precipitation to the region. For many in the downstate New York area, there’s no better place to enjoy winter weekends than close to home in the Great Western Catskills of Delaware County.

Adult season passes at Plattekill Mountain ( in Roxbury, NY) that are purchased before November 15th will receive a $50 discount. After skiing nine times, every visit to Plattekill after that is like skiing for free. New this year, Plattekill is offering a "refer a family" program. When a family (minimum of 1 adult and 1 junior) purchases their season passes and then refers another family who buys at least that number of passes, the referring family receives a $150 refund! Or join the Value Club where $59 gets you discounts on weekend, holiday and Friday rates all season long.

A number of nearby lodging facilities and private home rentals have partnered with Plattekill Mountain to offer money-saving packages. The most popular offering is the Kids Ski Free option. When visitors stay with a participating lodging facility, children 17 and under will receive one free lift ticket for each paid adult ticket (limit two). For families with more than two kids or with no kids Plattekill has a great new buy one get one BOGO discount. Buy your lift tickets for Saturday and get Sunday’s lift ticket free. Kids under 5 always ski free.

Signing up for e-blasts from the tourism office at and from Plattekill Mountain will keep you up to date on the great offerings and ski conditions at 3000 feet above sea level. Many people don’t know it but the mountain range that Plattekill is part of is the first high altitude range east of the Rockies. Mountain evenings are always cold and perfect for snow making.

Improved grooming and additional snow making capabilities will make this the best season for skiing at Plattekill. Signing up for winter ski reports will give readers the best information to make a great ski season even better.

There are two reasons people who love skiing ski here. The first is that Plattekill is an incredibly family friendly mountain. No crowds, relaxed atmosphere and the personal touch make everyone feel at home. The other reason is that people who love skiing, love skiing on Plattekill’s trails. The ski area is open Friday-Sunday from 8:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m. Plattekill will also be open daily during the week between Christmas and New Years as well as in February for the Presidents’ Week holiday. Saturday nights are especially exciting with snow tubing available from 5-9 p.m and extra nights during holiday weeks.

Belleayre Mountain, the state run ski center, provides skiing seven days a week, and offers a children under 14 ski free program with their lodging partners. Also available is a mid week special at $49 per person rate for lodging and a lift ticket. Belleayre also has an Adaptive Snowsports program. For more information on skiing at Belleayre visit

If your winter adventure tastes are more leisurely, Delaware County has many fine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing options. Among the ideal cross-country or snowshoe routes is the 19-mile rail bed known as the Catskill Scenic Trail. Use of the trail is free. This expanse of flat terrain is maintained during the winter by the snowmobile club members who also take care of more than 300 miles of additional trails in the county. For additional information on the rail trail visit To learn more about the snowmobiling opportunities, explore the website for the Central Catskill Trail Association at Volunteers from the Catskill Mountain Club lead guided hikes and workshops throughout the winter (including ice fishing). For an events schedule, visit:

When it comes to lodging options, the Great Western Catskills features accommodations that include everything from cool and hip inns, charming bed and breakfasts, full-service resorts, affordable and accommodating motels to private rental homes and cabins. If your idea of winter romance includes a crackling fireplace or hottub, a number of accommodations can offer such an amenity. For winter lodging packages visit the getaways section of the tourism website at:

Great Western Catskills Tourism
The Great Western Catskills is an easy day trip from New York City metro area, Albany, or Binghamton and a great weekend getaway or vacation destination for all. To learn more about outdoor resources, Stay-and-Play Packages or any other activities in the western Catskills, log on to:

For free travel literature, call toll-free: (866) 775-4425 or e-mail: For timely events in the area visit
Any time of year, come visit the Great Western Catskills of Delaware County and “Let the magic of our mountains move you.”