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      Mt. Holiday preparing to open Saturday

      Mt. Holiday's parking lot will soon be full of cars.

      The staff at Traverse City's Mt. Holiday Ski Resort have been busy preparing to open the slopes by Saturday at 10-a.m.

      They fire up the snow machines at night, but spend all day grooming the hills and getting the equipment in top form. Organizers with Mt. Holiday say that this is the first time in more than ten years that they've had enough snow to open this early in the season, but they still routinely run the snow machines to keep a good foundation in place should things warm up.

      On top of the daily slope preparation, the resort will open to the public at 2-p.m. each day this week, allowing people to come pick up their season passes, which were available as early as March.

      Before skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes on Saturday, Mt. Holiday will host Breakfast with Santa beginning at 9-a.m. Santa Claus will be arriving by fire engine at 9:30-a.m.

      New to the resort this year is a zip-line, which staff hopes to have open by Christmas. Organizers say that the ultimate goal is for the zip-lines to allow them to keep Mt. Holiday open year-round.