Deal or Snow Deal

Five strategies for saving this season
Bookmark Liftopia.com. The online clearinghouse has partnered with some 200 ski resorts, allowing them to control the price point and inventory on any given day. Which means that on dead days, you can save up to 85 percent off face value at places like Park City, Copper Mountain, and Sun Valley.

Embrace shoulder season. Many mountains offer great deals during the early winter and spring. From November 25 to December 17 and March 28 to April 3, Taos drops lift-ticket prices to $48. skitaos.org

From November 23 to December 16, Crested Butte offers a 50 percent lift-ticket discount with the purchase of lodging—and rooms at all resort properties are $50 per person per night. skicb.com

Guests who book three nights' lodging at Steamboat between November 25 and December 17 or April 1 and 10 receive free lift tickets. steamboat.com

From November 11 to 23 and April 25 to May 31, book two days' skiing and two nights' lodging at Mammoth Mountain and receive a third day and night for free. mammothmountain.com

Wear green on St. Patrick's Day at Vermont's Mad River Glen and get a $17 ticket. madriverglen.com

On April Fool's Day, lift tickets at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, cost $1. Really. waterville.com

If you're going with a group, rent a house. Look to Vacation Rentals by Owner (vrbo.com), which updates by the minute, offers more than 140,000 rentals worldwide, and has detailed listings for each property.

For last-minute rentals, get the Kayak or Priceline Negotiator iPhone app. Both are free and can access deals for hotels, flights, or rental cars.

Consider a season pass. An Epic Pass (epicpass.com)—good at California's Heavenly and Colorado's Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, A-Basin, and Breckenridge—costs $619. That's about the same cost as six days of skiing at Vail. On the East Coast, a Peak Pass at Okemo, Vermont (okemo.com), runs $1,225—the equivalent of 17 days of skiing—and is good at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire, and for three free days at Crested Butte.

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