As this summer of heat and hurricanes winds down, snowriders are looking forward to the winter to come. Because of lackluster snow during 2011-12 season in much of the country, unprecedented quantities of ski and snowboard equipment, apparel and accessories are on sale now, and lift tickets are also at pre-season low prices that will increase as opening days approach. With their snow-crazed populations, Colorado and Utah are battlegrounds in these price wars. Visitors can benefit, too.
You can buy your season pass or mujlti-day pack now at great discounts. We’re giving you the adult season pass prices available now. Season passes for children, teens, families and seniors are more economical, as are some with day-of-the-week restrictions or holiday black-out periods. Some resorts have an opt-out insurance for $20 or less, and pass holders often get discounts on ski or snowboard tunes, cafeteria food and lessons. A welcome new trend is the ability to use a season pass at several areas.
Colorado areas sell by far the most inexpensive season pass and multi-day lift ticket deals. Resorts resorts that attract both vacationers and day-tripping locals offer the best prices, but also the biggest crowds — and yet the highest lift capacity, too. Copper Mountain and Winter Park, both close to Denver, are selling their individual early purchase passes for $369. Spend $100 more on a Rocky Mountain Super Pass and get unlimited skiing and riding at those two resorts plus six days at Steamboat. Tickets for as little as four days of sliding are priced to entice Denver area locals across the Continental Divide, and vacationers can plug into those savings, too.
Vail Resorts Inc. operates four huge ski areas in Colorado (Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek) and three in the Lake Tahoe area (Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood). Season or multi-day passes to some, most or all of these enormous resorts come in various permutations under the umbrella name, Epic Pass. Current low prices are guaranteed through September 3.
If you are planning to come to Colorado at all, invest just $10 in a Gems Card, which provides discounts of various sorts to eight smaller resorts, all of which would be giants in the Midwest and credible mid-size mountains in the East but with Rocky Mountain snow. Use it when you want a change of pace with a day away from one of the state’s mega mountains. Monarch Mountain, one of those Gems, created One Planet, One Pass valid at 32 ski areas in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, California, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, British Columbia, Germany, Austria, and Spain. Buy by November 12 and get ready to ski in five countries on two continents. The new $549 Yeti Pass is good for one day at each of Utah’s 14 ski areas, and if you hit every one, you’re sliding on the trademarked “Greatest Snow on Earth” for just $39 a day.