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Albany, NY -  Continued cold weather and new snow are setting the stage for more terrific skiing this weekend in New York State. Over the past five days, many Empire State ski areas have received significant new snow, including Plattekill Mountain in Roxbury (26 inches), Peek ‘n Peak in Clymer (22 inches), Kissing Bridge in Glenwood (21 inches) and Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington (20 inches). If that isn't enough to get you out on the slopes before the season ends, there are plenty of great late season deals to be found, plus competitions, demonstrations, a money saving "Ski and Stay" offer, and a birthday party at Gore! Gore Mountain & North Creek Prepare to Celebrate Skiing History! An exciting calendar of Gore Mountain 75th Anniversary events kicks off Wednesday, March 4 at 10:30 a.m. on the train platform of the North Creek Depot Museum. An Upper Hudson River Railroad train car will be open for morning refreshments and participants are invited to explore the displays of both the museum and the Owens House Gallery, as well as browse the railroad's gift shop until 2 p.m. At 7 p.m. that evening guests can enjoy a wine and cheese reception, followed by a presentation of historical ski films. On Thursday, March 5, Gore Mountain guests can enjoy a guided ski from Gore's summit to the historic North Creek Ski Bowl at 3 p.m., with return shuttle service starting at 4. Friday, March 6 will feature "Big Air at Little Gore" kicking off at 5 p.m., with prizes including a new Flow snowboard. The celebration culminates on March 7 with the Coca-Cola Fireworks Spectacular at the North Creek Ski Bowl at 7:50 p.m. followed by live entertainment. Visitors and residents of the Gore Mountain Region are invited to enjoy several $19.34 dining and shopping opportunities Wednesday through Saturday evenings.  For complete details, including a full schedule of events and other Gore news and information, visit http://www.goremountain.com/. Hunter Mountain to Hold 'Exceed the Need' Winter Food Drive In light of the difficult economic conditions, cold winter months and growing need for food donations, Hunter Mountain has organized the Exceed the Need resort-wide food drive to take place on this Saturday. Skiers, snowboarders and visitors alike who donate three non-perishable food items will be rewarded for their generosity with a $20 lift ticket discount voucher valid from March 1 through the end of the 2008-09 season. Hunter Mountain's March into Spring pass is available for its second year, for $149. The season pass is valid March 1 through the end of the 2008-09 season (potentially allowing for up to 6 weeks of skiing and riding for $149). Perfect for anyone looking to enjoy spring skiing or riding in the Catskills, the pass coincides with March Mountain Madness, an area-wide promotion including many lodging specials through the month of March. March into Spring passes are on sale now at http://www.shop.huntermtn.com/ . For more information on these and other Hunter happenings, visit http://www.huntermtn.com/ . Belleayre Cup Race this Saturday Winter is far from over at Belleayre Mountain. In the past week, Belleayre has received over 16 inches of accumulation, powdering the mogul trails and flooding the glades with mounds of snow ... and setting the stage for the Belleayre Cup Race, which will be held this Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Lower Yahoo. This fun all-ages race for skiers and snowboarders raises money for the Belleayre Ski Club. Registration will be held in the Garden Room of the Overlook Lodge costing $5 for 18 and under entrants, and $8 for 19 and over. Helmets are required for all racers. An awards ceremony honoring the top racers will be held at 3 p.m. outside of the Overlook Lodge. For more information on this and other happenings at Belleayre Mountain, call (845) 254-5600 or visit http://www.belleayre.com/. Extreme Weekend and Extreme Savings at Swain The Swain Extreme Games begin this Friday night, February 27, with the Big Air Contest under the lights.  Other extreme events this weekend include rail competitions, skiercross/boardercross and demonstrations. There's also plenty of food, music and fun to make this a weekend of thrills for competitors and spectators. Now is the best time to buy a Swain Resort season pass - not only is it a great price, but if you buy now you get to ski the rest of the season for free!  With an average "break even" of just six to 8 visits, you can "get your money's worth" before" visiting a single day next season. Save anywhere from $40 to $400 (the price of a "whole family" pass purchase) off full price skiing. But act now - this sale ends March 31 and the sooner you buy the sooner you can ski and snowboard for free. For more information on these and other Swain Resort events and offers, visit http://www.swain.com/. Spring Season Pass Sale at Holiday Valley Holiday Valley in Ellicottville is offering savings to skiers who purchase their 2009-10 season pass between March 12 and April 12, 2009. Existing pass holders will pay last year's pre-season rate, while new purchasers will still get great pre-season rates for an entire season of winter excitement. There are a variety of plans to suit everyone, so don't delay ... log on to http://www.holidayvalley.com/ today! Ski and Stay For the weekend of March 7-8, guests can book a weekend "ski and stay" package and get the third night's lodging and a third day of snow sporting for free at one of several participating properties.  For a complete listing of participating properties and to book this package, go to http://www.skiandrideny.com/. Make a Connection at Windham with Networking Wednesdays Skiing is sort of like golf in some ways. It's a social activity, so you can do some business while playing. People have been closing deals on the chair lifts at Windham Mountain for many years - and sometimes at Legends Bar & Grill in the base lodge. For the remainder of this season, guests bringing their business card to the ticket window on Wednesdays will receive a 10 percent discount on their adult lift ticket purchase. On those days, Legends will offer half-price wings and specials on domestic beers. At 4 p.m., one business card will be selected at Legends as the winner of a Gravity Card. This gives visitors to Windham $25 off a midweek lift ticket or $15 off weekend tickets. Participants must be present at the drawing to win. Those who already have a Gravity Card get an even better deal. Networking Wednesdays will give them another 10 percent off their usual $25 midweek discount. Also, if they win the drawing, they will receive a free lift ticket voucher valid any day of this ski season. So, don't delay - it's time to hit the slopes and feel good about making connections that may really pay! (800/754-9463; http://www.windhammountain.com/) Start your skiing adventure at iloveny.com! In addition to keeping you updated on great travel deals, new events, lodging information and much more, New York State's travel and tourism site, iloveny.com now brings you daily ski conditions. Just log on to iloveny.com and get the latest downhill and cross country ski reports! About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com/. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.

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Contact: Eric Scheffel Empire State Development (518) 292-5274 escheffel@empire.state.ny.us