How to Go Skiing for Cheap

How to Go Skiing for Cheap
Alpine skiing is the perfect cure for the winter blues. However, it is also one of the most expensive recreational sports. Fortunately, with a bit of insider's savvy, as well as some careful planning, you can find clever ways to go skiing for cheap.

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

How to Go Skiing for Cheap

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski gear Lift tickets
  • Ski gear
  • Lift tickets
Step 1
Find less commercial resorts. Ski areas owned by huge corporations charge a lot more for lift tickets than smaller, family owned ski areas. For example, a lift ticket at Black Mountain in New Hampshire will be far less expensive than a ticket at Killington, Vermont. In Colorado, consider Loveland or Ski Cooper, and, in Utah, Brighton will be cheaper than the Park City resorts.
Step 2
Ski midweek. Some ski areas offer reduced-price lift tickets Monday through Thursday. Avoid holidays and Spring Break, when prices are higher.
Step 3
Purchase an Entertainment Book. The annual entertainment books contain discount coupons for local ski areas.
Step 4
Visit Liftopia, www.liftopia.com. The site often has discount lift tickets for resorts across North America.
Step 5
Befriend a resort employee or season pass holder. Most ski areas offer discount lift tickets to friends of staff or season pass holders.
Step 6
Become a mountain ambassador. Mountain ambassadors give tours of the mountain and serve as roaming information centers. Although it's a volunteer position, most resorts only require a commitment of 14 days a season, which gives you a free season pass.
Step 7
Consider half-day tickets. If you're not going to ski for an entire day, there's no need to pay for a full-day lift ticket. Call the resort and ask if they offer half-day tickets.
Step 8
Check out local supermarkets and gas stations. They often have lift ticket deals. Additionally, the American Express Membership Rewards program allows you to exchange points for lift tickets at certain resorts.
Step 9
Ask if your resort offers night skiing. Night skiing lift tickets are cheaper.

Tips & Warnings

 
The restaurants in the major base areas are usually more expensive than the restaurants in remote sections of the mountain. Look for off-mountain lodging. It's much less expensive than ski in/ski out. At the end of the season, the ski shops offer great bargains on used gear. If you live within driving distance of a resort and the local airport closes because of snow conditions, call the resort and ask if they can offer you a deal. They probably had a number of cancellations, so they want to fill their on-mountain accommodations, even if it means that they are practically giving away the package.
 
The restaurants in the major base areas are usually more expensive than the restaurants in remote sections of the mountain.
 
Look for off-mountain lodging. It's much less expensive than ski in/ski out.
 
At the end of the season, the ski shops offer great bargains on used gear.
 
If you live within driving distance of a resort and the local airport closes because of snow conditions, call the resort and ask if they can offer you a deal. They probably had a number of cancellations, so they want to fill their on-mountain accommodations, even if it means that they are practically giving away the package.
 
Never use a season pass that does not belong to you. It's illegal, and you will get caught.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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