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5 Ways To Get Discount Lift Tickets At Colorado Ski Resorts

Updated on February 10, 2013
Colorado Ski Resorts
Colorado Ski Resorts

Discount lift tickets in Colorado

I live in Colorado and recently a good friend in Nashville, TN called me in preparation for his family ski vacation. He wanted to know how to get the best deal on lift tickets.

If you are a downhill skiier or snowboarder you know that the price of lift tickets are rising each year. In Colorado it costs at least $50 to go to the smallest ski area and if you want to go to a world class resort like Vail it is $98 or you want to hob knob with the pretty people at Aspen it is closer to $110. But what if you only ski a handful of times a year and you want to save some money?

Here are 5 suggestions for finding discount lift tickets: 1. Check with friends who have ski passes. 2. Go local and check local grocery stores and rental shops. 3. Package deals. 4. Craigslist. 5. Maybe you should just buy a pass.

1. Check with friends who have ski passes

If you have friends with ski passes hit them up for coupons. Often times a ski pass will come with "buddy tickets" that can be up to $20 off the regular price. This is a way for the ski resort to get more people up to the mountain. I have had a ski pass for many years and invariably I never use all my buddy tickets.

2. Go local

When I was young in the early 80's we would wake up at about 430am, throw our ski stuff in the car and head over to the local 24hr grocery store. Back then skiiers could buy discounted lift tickets for any Colorado ski resort at the grocery store. This was a great convenience because you could get about $15 off the normal price and have your ticket in hand to avoid having to wait in ticket lines once at the mountain. Today you can get $5-$8 off but the convenience of skipping the ticket line is still there. Inquire at the service counter at the grocery store to see if they have any deals. If your grocer can not help you out then you should call or visit a ski rental shop and ask the employees where to find a cheap ticket.

3. Package Deals

Ski resorts are going to give you a break if you buy a group or pack of tickets. For example around 2012 a four day ticket at Breckenridge cost $356 and a single day ticket was $99, that is a $40 savings. The catch here is that the tickets are usually dated and can only be used on the dates specified for use at purchase. Be careful not to buy to many days at once. There is always that guy from the flatlands that rolls into the mountains with the 6 day pass. By the third day this guy is dragging and he is only halfway through his ticket use. Remember that skiing is physically taxing. Your legs, back and lungs are going to get a work out so check yourself before you wreck yourself.

4. Craigslist

You got your job there and you unloaded that old sofa why not look for some ski tickets. People get tickets for all sorts of reasons and from all sorts of places and some people would rather make a few bucks and sell those lift tickets online Craigslist. This is the place to get the best deals right now as I have had friends get single day lift tickets $30-$40 bucks off. Craigslist can be a chore and it does require someone on the other end that is not jerking you around, but this is the place to find the cheapest tickets.

5. Buy a Ski Pass

Lift ticket prices in Colorado are reaching the $100 per day mark at many ski resorts. As I write this update in 2013 Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Telluride, Vail, Beaver Creek, Snowmass and Steamboat all cost over $100 to ride the lifts for one day. Season long ski passes range from the most expensive at $659 to around $300. Many ski areas in Colorado are affiliated and a single pass will often allow access at several different mountains. Purchasing a ski pass may be wise if you plan on skiing for more than four days. Be sure to research and find the proper ski pass to buy for the mountain or mountains that you want to ski. Have fun and always look uphill!


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