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Rippin Riders

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  • Tip: Six Reasons Why Small Ski Areas Rock

    by Mitch Kaplan

    Photo courtesy Diamond Peak Resort, NV Many of us learned how to ski or ride at small areas. They hold a special place in our hearts. Even if you love the glitz and glamour of the big guys, here's why you should check out the small resorts. They rock!

  • They tend to be simpler. That puts everything close at hand, and avoids pitfalls like kids getting lost on trails that end up miles away.

  • They tend to be friendly. Small areas attract locals and regulars who welcome you like you're visiting with them at home.

  • Services are provided on smaller scale. Day care, nursery, ski school all have fewer participants and can afford personal attention.

  • They tend to have nooks and crannies. With less terrain, kids are more likely to find squiggly trails into the trees, homemade jumps and bumps - and contemporaries who are looking for the same thing.

  • You can bail out more easily. If you're close to home, you can quit and go home. If you're staying overnight, respite is usually close by.

  • They tend to be less expensive. Fewer lifts, smaller snowmaking systems, less infrastructure, a smaller staff - it all adds up to less overhead and lower prices.

    ...... Mitch Kaplan is the author of The Unofficial Guide to the Mid-Atlantic with Kids, The Cheapskate's Guide to Myrtle Beach and The Golf Book of Lists. He is a contributor to The Unofficial Guide to New England & New York with Kids and to the annual guide Ski America & Canada.

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