'Tis the season: Slopes at Big Bear open Thursday to skiers and snowboarders

The winter sports season officially begins at Big Bear Mountain Resort on Thursday, but only for season pass holders. 

Lifts open at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the season. To start out Thursday, Bear Mountain will only open chairs 9 and 7, Snow Summit will open with access to chairs 1 and 8. 

According to Big Bear Mountain Resort, this year's opening day is about on average for the season. According to Snowpak.com this season's opening day is the latest the mountain's opened since the 2017-2018 season. That year the mountain opened on Dec. 8. 

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Over the summer, the resort has added a number of features to streamline the process to help skiers and snowboarders get on the slopes. 

"We have in the past couple of years tried to do a lot to help people get through the base areas onto the snow so they can enjoy that because that's what they're really here for," said Justin Kanton, marketing manager at Big Bear Mountain Resorts.

Some of the features they've implemented over the summer include RFID gates at all of the chair lifts, meaning people get onto the lift without taking their passes out of their pockets. The resort has also added an online reservation system, so guests can print out their tickets when they get there.

The resort opens to the general public Friday.

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