With the cost of ski full-day lift tickets reaching $100 at many resorts, frugal families may find skiing too expensive this year. But instead of skipping the slopes all season, try these simple ideas to save big on lift tickets.
1. Deeply discounted tickets on Liftopia.com. Know when and where you plan to ski? Head to Liftopia.com and buy your tickets in advance for up to 90% off regular price. Liftopia sells discounted, date-specific lift tickets, rentals and lessons to more than 150 resorts in North America. You must buy in advance for the date you plan to ski, so purchase early if you are planning to go over a holiday.
2. Buy your tickets in advance at local ski shops, Costco or REI. Most local ski shops offer discounted lift tickets when buying at the shop, but search online to find area-specific deals. For Utahns, Canyon Sports and AJ Motion Sports offer great discounts. REI and Costco members can purchase discounted tickets in stores, but you will need to check with your local store to find out which tickets you can purchase there.
3. BOGO FREE Lift Tickets with Shell Fuel Purchase. Skiers in Colorado and Michigan can receive a BOGO voucher for participating ski resorts with the purchase of 10 gallons of gasoline or more at select Shell stations beginning on January 4, 2016. Visit skifreedeals.com for dates and details for this promotion.
4. Discounted tickets for new skiers during January’s Learn to Ski or Snowboard Month. This nationwide program offers great beginner packages that include lift tickets, rentals, and lessons at a minimal cost so newbies can get interested in snowsports. Check for individual resort details here. You can also participate in free activities nationwide that are part of Winter Trails Day, which has been expanded to last throughout January.
5. Kids Ski FREE! In Utah, Brighton, Canyons, Eagle Point, Park City Mountain Resort, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, Snowbird, and Solitude allow kiddos under 6 to ski FREE with a paying adult. Sundance allows kids 5 and under the same deal. Check with resorts in your area for their policies on kids skiing for free. In Colorado and Utah, participating Epic Pass resorts offer four or five days of FREE skiing to kindergarten through 5th grade students as part of their Epic SchoolKids program. Deals for kids skiing free in other states can be found on About Travel.
6. Think small! Colorado Gems Card, a discount card for use at eight smaller Colorado ski areas, costs just $20 and is good for a one-time buy-one, get-one lift ticket at each participating area (Arapahoe Basin, Eldora Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Monarch Mountain, Powderhorn Resort, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch and Sunlight Mountain Resort). It again includes a Flash Deals component for last-minute promotions and savings available only to Colorado Gems Card and announced via the Gems newsletter, on social media and on the Gems website. Only 1,000 Gems cards will be issued and are available until sold out, so order online now.
7. Buy online from the resort. Not all resorts allow you to buy from resellers, but there are others ways to save. If you plan to go just a few days, get ticket three- or four-packs after the cut-off date for regular season passes. Vail Resorts offer tiered pricing that varies according to dates and conditions. On an early- or late-season day when not all lifts and runs are open, prices can be 30% or more lower than during the holidays. But these must be purchased in advance. In Colorado, Vail’s best-price window is seven days out, while at Lake Tahoe resorts, it’s three days.