Red Lodge promotes early-season packages By Jonathan Siskin / October 13, 2004 Share 1 -- RED LODGE, Mont. -- The welcome mat is out and final preparations are nearly complete for the upcoming ski season at the Red Lodge Mountain Resort, with opening slated for Thanksgiving weekend. Winter tends to begin early in Yellowstone Country, this ruggedly mountainous region of south central Montana.Key selling points that keep skiers and snowboarders coming back are reasonable, family-friendly rates along with uncrowded slopes that make for a hassle-free ski experience.Dont expect long lines here because there are eight lifts that transport more than 10,000 skiers an hour. There is plenty of elbow room on the slopes, too, with more than 70 trails spread out over 1,600 acres on two mountain peaks.All skill levels are accommodated: 25% of the trails are designed for beginning skiers, 40% for intermediate, 25% for advanced and 10% expert. Base elevation is 7,016 feet with a summit elevation of 9,610 feet and a total vertical drop of 2,400 feet. The average annual snowfall at Red Lodge Mountain is 250 inches.Among the amenities and services are one restaurant, two cafeterias, two bars, one espresso shop, a ski and snowboard rental and repair shop, a licensed day care for children ages 1 to 4 and certified ski and snowboard instruction seven days a week, with lessons available for kids age 3 and up.Lift and lodging packages for every style and budget can be booked through Red Lodge Mountain Reservations, which will arrange for all aspects of a winter vacation, including lodging, air fare, lift tickets, car rental, equipment rental and ski school programs. The property is offering three seasonal lift and lodging packages, as follows: Clients who want to hit the slopes between Nov. 26 and Dec. 25 can book a Winter Escape package that provides early-season rates for two days of skiing and two nights lodging, priced at $50 per person, per day, double, and $38 per person, per day, quad occupancy (ideal for families). From Jan. 3 through Feb. 18, the Cheap, Steep and Deep package is priced at $67 per person, per day, double, for two days of skiing and two nights lodging, and $51 per person, per day, for quad occupancy. During the last two months of the season, Feb. 21 through April 10, the Red Lodge Rendezvous package offers midweek and weekends at the same rate of $67 per person, double, and $51 per person, quad. There is a selection of lodging options to choose from in and around the town of Red Lodge, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, condominiums and private homes. For more information and reservations for couples, families and groups up to 100, contact Red Lodge Mountain reservations at (800) 444-8977, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site at www.redlodgemountain.com.To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to email@example.com.