The Downhill Report, December 1996
The next time you hear someone gripe about the high cost of skiing, speak up. You could say, "Only a chump walks up to a ticket window and pays full price." Which is true. Or, if tact is an issue, try, "Yo, hayseed, may I alert you to the fact that with minimal know-how, you can save major ducats?" These days, the ski industry is making like a boiler room full of time-share salesmen: ready to deal. You just need to sort out who's offering what.
For instance, in Colorado, Crested Butte (800-754-3733) offers free skiing from November 27 to December 20 and again April 7 through 20. At Telluride (970-728-4424), you can choose free skiing, free lessons, free child care, or free lunch when you stay at a participating lodge from November 28 through December 20 or March 31 to April 13. For Vail/Beaver Creek (800-525-2257), buy a $15 Vail Valley Club card and get $5 off lift tickets and other perks. At Copper Mountain (800-458-8386), tickets cost $33 for adults and $12 for kids--a $4 savings--if purchased by phone before February 14.
In Utah, Park City (800-453-1360) offers free skiing from opening day through December 20 if you book at least four nights at any one of 18 lodges. Snowbird (801-742-2222) lets two kids 12 or younger ski free with a paying adult.
In Vermont, students who pay $25 for Okemo's College Card (800-786-5366) get free skiing on their first midweek visit, half-price midweek tickets after that, and $10 off on weekends and holidays. Regulars at Stratton (800-843-6867) who purchase the $39 Frequent Skier card can save $10 to $17 on lift tickets. Or earn points toward a free ticket when you ski at any American Skiing Company resort (207-824-3000), including Killington and Sugarbush in Vermont and Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine.
In California, join the Ski Club at Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Valley (916-541-1330) for $40 before December 22 and receive $9 off lift tickets all season. At Kirkwood (209-258-6000), the Avid Skier program offers a free day for every four paid. Farther south, spend $60 to join the Mammoth Club (888-462-6668) and get $10 off lift tickets and discounted lodging and dining.
Finally, in Oregon, Mount Bachelor's Inside Edge Card ($59; 800-829-2442) saves you up to 35 percent on lift tickets. And on January 31, anyone who donates food or clothing at the ticket window skis for an indisputably cool price: $0.
Filed To: Snow Sports