The economy is in the toilet, we get it. Jobs are scarce,
understood. These days we are all having to make tough decisions about
where to spend our already limited discretionary dollars.
That said, Colorado has nearly a half million skiers and riders
living in the state, and having world class skiing and riding in our
back yards is one of the reasons many of us live here. That’s why this
year, Colorado Ski Country resorts are working hard to come up with
creative ways to make it easy to get some good skiing in this winter.
There are lots of options out there for getting on the slopes.
Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are offering a diverse menu
of lift ticket and pass options, including flexible payment and added
perks, with the purchase of a pass. Many resorts are also holding the
line on pricing to help skiers get on the hill.
But you’ve got to do your research to reap all the rewards. Pay
attention to promotion dates and deadlines and you can score well with
a pass that will do your budget good, do your schedule good, and do
your skiing good.
Below are some of the pass products, lift ticket options, and ways to pay for them that skiers can expect for the coming season:
Flexible Payment and Discounts
is offering a payment plan for the first time ever for two new passes,
the Flex Pass and the Escape Pass. The two passes have a reduced
upfront cost and then a pay-as-you-go component for guests to add on
skiing as they like. The Escape Pass is just $299 up front through
December 18th, and offers direct-to-lift pay-as-you-go access to all
four Aspen/Snowmass mountains for $49 per day.
The Flex Pass costs $874 if purchased by November 13th and offers
one day of skiing or riding each week of the winter season (20 weeks)
on all four of the Aspen/Snowmass mountains, plus the flexibility to
add days any time for $49 per day.
Copper, Winter Park, and Steamboat are
coming together to offer a new discounted pass this season, a $339
College Pass, which contains all of the benefits of the Rocky Mountain
Super Pass Plus at a discounted price. Full-time college students are
eligible to purchase the pass when they present a valid college ID and
current schedule in person at participating Front Range Christy Sports
locations. Of course, the Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus is already a
deal at its normal price of $449, offering unlimited skiing at Copper
and Winter Park, plus six unrestricted days and unlimited free Friday
afternoon skiing at Steamboat.
Pass deals sweep through other ski areas too, with Echo Mountain
boasting the cheapest season pass in Ski Country for the 2009-10
season. Denver’s closest, cheapest, and freshest ski and snowboard area
is offering an unlimited 2009-10 season pass for $169. The pass has no
blackout days. Echo’s proximity to Denver means that, with a season
pass, locals can hop up to the mountain after work for night skiing any
day of the week.
Two other Colorado resorts are freezing prices on lift tickets for the coming season. Powderhorn Resort and Ski Cooper
are helping their guests afford skiing in the 2009-10 season by holding
the cost of lift tickets and season passes at last season’s levels. In
addition, Powderhorn offers a Buy One, Get One Free deal through a
partnership with Suncor. When guests purchase $10 of gas or more at any
Phillips 66 station, they can receive buy one, get one free lift
To celebrate 70 years of continued operation, Wolf Creek
is also holding its lift tickets and season pass prices at last
season’s levels. Adding to the fun, the resort has scheduled 14 “Local
Appreciation Days” when adult lift tickets will be on sale for $31 and
child/senior lift tickets for $18. No ID required. In addition, college
students and faculty can take advantage of $31.00 lift tickets on
College Day at Wolf Creek when they present a current college ID.
Sunlight Mountain Resort joins Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, and Wolf Creek
by also holding steady on its pass prices for this season. Besides the
everyday affordable pass prices, there is a slew of savings to be found
among Sunlight’s many pass options. Guests can take advantage of
discounts until October 31st on most pass products, including $90 off
of an unlimited season pass. Of note as well is Sunlight’s “Learn to
Shine” Pass that gives pass holders three lessons and a five-day pass
for as low as $250 until October 31.
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort
released an unprecedented selection of passes for this year, offering
10 passes specially tailored to different types of guests. These passes
include special prices for weekday skiers, college students,
grade-school students ages 13 through 12th grade, seniors, and families
who buy adult and child passes together. On top of these, Purgatory
also offers a Flex Pass, where skiers buy a pass for $109 and then get
discounts on lift tickets all season long. The first day that Flex Pass
holders use the pass is completely free.
is “all thrills, no frills”, with lift ticket and pass options to match
that attitude. This year Silverton will be offering $49 unguided lift
tickets for guests to experience the mountain’s all-natural advanced
and expert terrain. For those guests wanting a guide to show them the
untouched powder caches that abound at Silverton, the ski area has
private and group guided skiing options available.
bringing back its popular Ski Free package this season. With the Ski
Free lodging package, guests who book three nights of lodging through
Steamboat Central Reservations receive free lift tickets with access to
the legendary Champagne Powder(tm) snow, epic trees and the #1 Family
Resort in North America. Ski Free package is valid November 25-
December 18, 2009 and April 4- April 11, 2010.
pass sale lasts online through October 30th and at various ski shows
through November 29th, with prices at 2008-09 levels for individual
purchasers and the opportunity to sink prices to 2007 levels when four
adults purchase their season passes together. This could mean
season-long Telluride passes for $998 per person, a savings of nearly
50% from the normal season price. Telluride offers great deals for kids
with season pass prices at $125 for six to 12-year olds, $175 for 13-18
year olds and $299 for college students. Six and 10-day passes can
have adults skiing Telluride for as little as $49.50 a day and the $60
Telluride Card gives a card holder the first day of skiing for free and
25% off the adult window rate through the entire season.
Only season passes are now on sale for $369 for adult passes and $129
for a Winter Park Four Pass, which is good for four lift tickets. Each
day of skiing with a Winter Park Four Pass comes down to $32.25 per day.
has loaded its season passes with more added benefits than ever before.
For $349, the A-Basin Bonus Pass gives guests unlimited, unrestricted
access to A-Basin for the entire 2009-10 season plus five bonus days
that can be used at four other Colorado resorts (restrictions apply).
The ski area also offers a child bonus pass with the same benefits as
the adult pass, for $259 (prices subject to change). All A-Basin pass
holders receive other season-long benefits including one discounted
half-day lesson, 10% off on food and beverages (excluding the 6th Alley
Bar), 10% off in Arapahoe Sports and Black Mountain Sports shops, one
unguided day of skiing at Silverton Mountain, discounted A-Basin lift
tickets for friends and family, and $10 off of performance tunes for
the entire season.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s
(CBMR) Mountain Cards also heap on added benefits this season, offering
flexibility for those who come to Crested Butte as a regular hot spot
for downhill exhilaration and small town relaxation. At $45, the CB
Card gets guests 25 percent off adult single day lift tickets and
includes one free day of skiing during the 2009-10 season, with no
blackouts. CBMR’s popular X Card includes skiing or riding on any six
days of the season for $275, with no blackouts. In addition, CBMR’s
Child Season Pass, also without blackout days, is one of the best deals
in the Ski Country for kids age seven to 12, at $109. All CBMR season
pass holders receive 15 percent off lodging through Crested Butte
Loveland Ski Area
Season Passes and 4-paks offer skiers and snowboarders some of the most
affordable options in Colorado too. The ski area has held the line on
4-pak pricing from last season, offering a bundle of four lift tickets
for $119, or $29.75 per day. Discerning Loveland skiers will also find
4-paks on sale at Front Range ski shows, including the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo,
for $109. Added benefits abound at Loveland too—now all Loveland season
passes come with three free, unrestricted days at Monarch Mountain,
plus discounts throughout the ski area on food, lessons, rentals, child
care, and sport shop purchases and discounts with other Loveland
partners like Tommyknocker Brewery and Beau Jo’s.
are now good for skiing at 10 other mountains, the most added mountains
of any Colorado resort’s ski pass. In Colorado, Loveland, Purgatory at
Durango Mountain Resort, Sunlight, and Powderhorn are offering Monarch
season pass holders three free days of skiing this year. Silverton
Mountain is providing one day of complementary skiing during their
“Unguided Season.” This is on top of other free skiing days at resorts
in three other states.