Downhill skiers, rejoice: Spirit Mountain, Mont du Lac and Lutsen Mountains announced that they'll be opening for the 2017-18 season Saturday - a few runs, at least.

Spirit Mountain is planning to have its Tow Park and the Bindle Stiff run open Saturday, along with the Spirit Express II lift.

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"Still much fun to be had for those early-season turns, but just not a ton of real estate," Spirit Mountain officials reported online.

Additional terrain should open by Thanksgiving weekend, when Spirit Mountain also will host the annual Amsoil Duluth National Snocross.

Mont du Lac reported that it will have its bunny hill and a lane on its tubing hill open this weekend.

Lutsen Mountains is planning to have two lifts and four runs in operation Saturday. By Thanksgiving, the resort is aiming to have five lifts operating and 12-15 runs open.

"This has been the best start to a season in several years," Jim Vick, marketing director at Lutsen Mountains, said in a news release. "With more than a foot of snowfall in November and consistently cold temperatures for snowmaking, the crew is well ahead of target in laying down a base on Lutsen's 95 runs."

Lutsen is again offering free skiing on the Friday after Thanksgiving, following retailer REI's lead encouraging folks to "Opt Outside" on Black Friday.

Lift tickets will be free that day for all who register in advance - and non-skiers can register for a free gondola ride. Find more information at

Giants Ridge near Biwabik is planning to open Nov. 24. Find more details on all the resorts' plans for this weekend and beyond on their websites or Facebook pages.