Kelowna, BC: This is the moment that skiers and snowboarder have been waiting for all summer long! On Thursday, November 25, the switch will be flipped and the bullwheels will start turning when the Okanagans two most popular resorts Silver Star and Big White open for the 2004/2005 season. Locals , not requiring accommodation, can take advantage of half-price lift tickets - $30 for adults, (GST extra), $26 for youth and seniors, and $16 for children. Kids five and under ski for free , while American visitors celebrating the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend or others requiring accommodations through the mountains' Central Reservation systems ski free, details on both Big White and Silver Star's websites.

"We're happy with the early-season conditions" says Michael J . Ballingall , Senior Vice President for both Big White and Silver Star Resorts. "A little snow goes a lot further than it used as we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on summer slope grooming with crews working extremely hard in anticipation of our scheduled opening date.

At Big White for this weekend the Ridge Rocket high-speed quad and The Plaza Quad will service three runs, Highway 33, Easy Out, and Hummingbird.

Over at Silver Star, The Silver Queen and Magic Carpet lifts at Silver Star will open, and non-skiers can enjoy the skating pond. The Kid's Centre and Silver Star Snowsports School will be providing daycare and ski and snowboard lessons. Silver Star's renowned cross country trails will be open as well; currently, Silver Star boasts more open trails than any Nordic resort in the northern hemisphere! Nordic Festival events will continue throughout the weekend, including the Turkey Trot Loppet on Saturday, November 27.

As the season progresses, skiers and riders will notice many improvements at both mountains: the new TELUS Park at Big White, with its Super Pipe, half-pipe, rail garden, and boarder and skiercross course. Six new trails on the Gem Lake side and the new Cliff and TELUS Park chairlifts will be operational as soon as conditions permit.

Silver Star has a new Bombardier BR 300 winch cat will buff out some of its steeper runs to corduroy perfection. You'll also find a new boarder/skier cross course, air-style jumps, and more terrain park features. A new recreational race centre and a spacious glade on the Putnam Creek side of the mountain round out the improvements at this gem of a resort in British Columbia's northern Okanagan.

For further information, contact:

Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Schumann Resorts for Big White & Silver Star Ski Resorts.

Email:; Phone: (250) 765-3101