EAST: Stave off weekend prices and save about $35 per day by skiing midweek with Vermont's Ski the Valley program. You get two ski areas in the deal: Sugarbush and neighboring Mad River Glen. The three-night/three-day packages start at $177 per person and include lodging, breakfast, and lift tickets (at both areas) and your choice of 15 different lodges. Contact: The Chamber of Commerce for Mad River Valley (800-828-4748, www.madrivervalley.com).
ROCKIES: In midwinter, resorts team up with major airlines to offer supercheap packages. Example: The Steamboat Springs Value Season Package ($669) flies you into Denver from Dallas-Fort Worth on United Airlines and offers five nights at Steamboat Springs' bare-bones Alpiner Lodge; the Canyons Value Season Package ($749) flies you into Salt Lake City from Chicago or L.A. and offers five nights at the Red Pine Condominiums. Both packages include four-day lift tickets, airfare, and airport transfers. Contact: Ski Vacation Planners (888-822-6754; www.skivacationplanners.com). FAR WEST: In California, Heavenly Ski Resort's Build Your Own Package program lets you choose from 14 lodging options ranging from three to ten days. Example: Starting at $315 per person, stay three nights at the Tradewinds Motel-Heavenly, located next to the new gondola, and ski for two days. Contact: Heavenly Ski Resort (800-243-2836, www.skiheavenly.com).
The one-year-old Rossignol International Test Center at the top of Vail's Lift 4 is leading a movement by ski manufacturers to get you out of the rental line and onto the mountain faster. Present the Rossi Test Center with a free coupon from any Rossignol dealer in the country (www.rossignol.com) and try out skis, boots, snowboards, and telly gear, gratis. BUZZ
IF YOU TIRE OF SHARING the mountain, consider renting (or buying) your own resort. Turner Mountain in Libby, Montana, is available Monday through Thursday for just $2,000 per day. The lone chair lift climbs 2,110 vertical feet and accesses 800 acres of trails (406-293-4317, www.skiturner.com). Lookout Pass Ski Area in Wallace, Idaho, is available Monday through Wednesday for $3,000 a day. One lift and one rope tow access 850 vertical feet and 360 acres (208-744-1301, www.skilookout.com).
Or, what the heck, why not just buy your own ski area? This summer, eBay listed Laurel Mountain Ski Resort in southwestern Pennsylvaniawith snowmaking, five lifts, night skiing, and a base lodgefor a brisk $9.5 million. At press time, the resort was still up for grabs.