Guest Author - Carol Viau
Letís face it. Skiing isnít the least expensive sport out there, yet as anyone who loves it will tell you, where there is a will, there is a way. Those ways often include searching for discounts. If you are wondering where to look for them, look no furtherÖ
Ski Swaps are a great start if you are looking for used equipment. Alpine, Nordic and Snowboard shops often try to sell their rental equipment from the previous year at these locations. The swap meets are often arranged in the fall by a local ski club.
Discount coupons can be found in a variety of ways. I googled summit county ski discounts and arrived at a website that said to check back closer to ski season for discount coupons. Mountain Sports Club is another website offering discounts on lift tickets for 10 states in North America, as well as a couple resorts in Canada.
Some states offer discounts books you can buy to use throughout the ski season. Often they are sold at local ski shops, so try contacting them to see if there is a program like this near you.
Joining a local ski club can often have fringe benefits. You donít have to live near a ski resort to join a ski club either. Even Florida has ski clubs, despite not having any ski areas in the state. They also travel on annual ski trips and because they travel in a group, they are able to get discounted lodging, lift tickets, and even flights.
Ski resorts often own their own lodging companies, and will offer package deals on lodging and lift tickets for guests staying for several days to a week. If you are traveling to a ski area and staying with friends to save money, you can still buy a several day ski pass, which is generally cheaper than buying individual day passes.
If you donít live near a ski resort, but plan on visiting one multiple times over the course of a season, maybe you should consider buying a season pass. If you add up the number of days you intend to ski, and compare that to the season pass price, you may find the season pass to be the better deal. An area such as Summit County also offers a season pass valid at several mountains (Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek Colorado and Heavenly in California). Intrawest also offers a season pass good for both Winter Park and Copper (in Colorado).
Military IDís usually qualify for discounts for lift tickets, as do travel agents. The amount of the discount and the amount of times you can use it may vary by resort.
Kids can grow so much from year to year, parents are often reluctant to buy them ski boots, bindings or skis. Sometimes ski shops offer a seasonal rental program for kids, just for this reason. This type of program allows kids to change equipment in mid season should they have a growth spurt. The added benefit here is that parents are not buying equipment that will soon become obsolete.
Keeping your eyes and ears open for discounts can really pay off in the end. It all adds up, ideally to more time on the slopes!