Perhaps the onset of ski season has left you regretting that you didn’t buy a season pass last spring when prices were at their lowest. Or, maybe you have one but are looking for ways to ski an area or two this winter that aren’t covered by your season pass.
With the approach of Thanksgiving, which some regard as the unofficial start of ski season, we’ve pulled together some ideas on how you can save money on skiing and riding in Colorado this year.
The first thing to know is that some good deals currently available will expire soon.
Epic passes prices will increase on Nov. 21 when the current 20% discount expires. The Epic Pass will go from $819 to $1,024, the Epic Local pass will go from $619 to $774 and the four-day pass will go from $337 to $422.
Loveland 4-Paks ($199) will be on sale only through Nov. 21. You can use your 4-Pak yourself on four different days or break it up to share with friends and family on the same day. There are no restrictions or blackouts.
The last day for Arapahoe Basin multi-day packs at their current pricing will be Cyber Monday (Nov. 29). Currently, those prices are $299 for a five-pack, $269 for a four-pack and $239 for a three-pack. They are unrestricted, have no blackout dates, and do not need to be used within a specific time frame or on consecutive days.
Colorado Ski Country USA has two great programs for budget-conscious skiers. If you buy a Gems card ($39) for skiing or riding at Colorado’s smaller ski areas, you can get two-for-one lift ticket deals or get 30% off the ticket window price. And, you get to do that twice at each of the 11 participating areas: Arapahoe Basin, Cooper, Echo Mountain, Eldora, Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Kendall Mountain, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn and Sunlight.
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Ski Country also has a great program for kids. Through its Passport program ($59), kids in fourth, five and sixth grade can get four free days at 21 Ski Country member areas. That’s every area except the five owned by Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte), which doesn’t belong to Ski Country, Silverton and Wolf Creek.
Another way to save money, if you don’t have your own gear, is to opt for season rental packages rather than renting daily. Epic Mountain Gear doesn’t do season rentals and Christy Sports concluded its season rental program in the Front Range on Sunday, but options remain.
Larson’s Ski & Sport in Wheat Ridge has adult season rental packages ranging from $120 to $190, while packages for kids 5 and under start at $86 and older kids at $120. Breeze Ski Rentals in Lakewood has adult packages at $199 and kids packages at $139. Packages include skis (or snowboards), boots and poles.
Mountain Threads, located near the Interstate 70 Genesee exit, rents ski clothing for daily use. While most of its customers are tourists — especially those from warm-weather regions of the country — they have seen an increase in local customers in recent years that seems to be coming from new Colorado transplants, according to store manager Bella Wagner. An adult package (jacket, pants, goggles and gloves) costs $40, a children’s package costs $30, and every package goes out the door in a duffel bag for convenient transport. All clothing is laundered and sanitized after it is returned, a policy that predates COVID.
Pack yourself lunch when skiing at Arapahoe Basin. At the Legend, they don’t mind if you brown-bag your lunch, so you can eat it in the A-Frame at the base or the Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain without anyone hassling you. A-Basin is also doing season equipment rentals for kids up to age 14, priced at $144.
In honor of Aspen’s 75th year as a ski resort, Aspen Snowmass is offering $75 lift tickets during early season (Nov. 25-Dec. 21) and late season (April 3-17). There is a catch, though. You have to book at least one night lodging through them.
Daily passes at Cooper are heavily discounted if purchased 48 hours in advance online. For example, you can buy an adult lift ticket at $50 that would be $90 at full price and a children’s pass at $35 instead of $70. Keep in mind this deal is only available Mondays through Thursdays and is not in effect over holiday periods or spring break.
Copper Mountain’s Play Forever Thursdays, in its third year, will partner with 13 non-profit organizations from Jan. 6 through March 31 to offer $99 lift tickets purchased in advance online. And for each Play Forever Thursday lift ticket sold, $5 will go to the non-profits.
Kids 12 and younger ski for free at Keystone with no blackout dates if their families book two or more nights through Keystone Resort lodging.
Adult first-timers at Loveland can get three lessons and a season pass for $547. Children 7-14 can get three lessons and a season pass for $399. And here’s a reason to consider buying a Loveland season pass, currently priced at $499: As a bonus, you get three free days at Purgatory, Monarch, Cooper, Sunlight, Powderhorn and a dozen out-of-state areas.
All kids 12 and under ski free at Purgatory. And, on select dates, when you purchase three or more consecutive days of lift tickets, you will receive a $20 credit per lift ticket that you can use anywhere at the resort.
At Wolf Creek, on designated Locals Appreciation Days (and everyone is considered a local), lift tickets will cost only $60. Those days are scheduled for Nov. 29-30, Dec. 1-2, Dec. 6-9, Feb. 2, 9, and 13, March 6 and 30, and April 3. And on designated College Days (Dec. 5, Jan. 30, Feb. 27 and April 2) college students with valid college IDs and current class schedules can snag lift tickets for $60.
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