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Forums : NELSAP Discussion : NELSAP Discussion
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How do you economize on lift tickets?

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Author Post
joshua segal
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 11:09 AM GMT
Edited: May 14, 2007 - 12:50 PM GMT

The mud has barely dried on my ski boots and already, the traffic on SJ is down to summer doldrums levels. So hopefully, this will be some grist to get you planning for next season:

As I have mentioned before, skiing as we know it, is sustained by the 10-day a year retail customers and not by the fanatics (a group that IMHO includes most SJers.)

Many SJers ski mostly free because they are Ski Patrol, Ski Instructors, Sports Shop Employees, Ski Area Employees or writers.

Many who are not in the above categories manage to reduce their per-day costs with season passes.

There are many ways to get get free or discounted skiing:

Comps:
1. Ski Shows
2. Contests (such as, be the 10th caller to radio station WXYZ)
3. Perk with a purchase of equipment
4. Perk with a purchase of a membership (e.g. I received a free pass with a membership renewal to Friends of Tuckerman)
5. Friends who work at ski areas
6. Older than age XX.
7. Participation in a contest at an area (such as Mt. Dew Challenge, May Day Race)

Discounts (note all the comp options can also be discount options)
1. 2-fer days
2. Memberships: (E.g. PSIA: occasionally free: mostly discount)
3. Gasoline purchase discounts
4. Newspaper ads/promos
5. Having a season pass at another area

Others?

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Joshua Segal
Talisman
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 11:53 AM GMT

With a CT or NY Ski club membership buy discount ski vouchers

With a CT Ski club membership get CT Ski Council Days

Ski NH bulk ticket program

VSAA bulk ticket program
iskiatomic
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 11:55 AM GMT

Well, generally I ski for 50% + off the rack rate, by belonging to a ski club. meridenski.com, which is a member of the Connecticut Ski Council, skiclub.com. Both offer substaintial discounts. I also run weekend trips through our club and will be comped through the resort and lodging property.

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rocket21
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 12:48 PM GMT

Other discounts include web based promotions on ski area web sites, military discounts, police/fire/teacher/some other gov't positions, local charity discount books (Lion's Club, high school sports cards), radio station bucks (in the Pioneer Valley in MA, there's a thing where you can buy stuff for 30% off), etc. Some ski areas also do Frequent Skier Cards, in which you get a discount card for late season skiing from either skiing at the mountain or being part of a school group.

Some ski areas also give out free season passes to certain race coaches, multi-week group coordinators, etc.

Another way to get discounts or freebies at many areas is to do some whining - complain about something after a few hours and get a voucher or a discount.

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bousquet19
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 12:51 PM GMT

Good idea, Joshua! Being one of those occasional skiers (8-15 days per season), I've generally had to suck it up and pay full price.

Last season, though, I had some flexibility on weekdays so my wife bought me a $199 pass to Wintergreen (VA) good in the early season, the late season, and then on weekdays and Sunday afternoons during the main season. It included a "mountains of distinction" list of areas that offered 50% weekday discounts to pass holders.

Something I'm considering for the 2007-08 season --- which I don't think has been mentioned yet -- is a discount card that costs around $75 and provides something like a 35% discount on each ticket. Every sixth ticket is free. Whitetail (PA) offers one that is good at the other 2 resorts the parent company owns: Roundtop and Liberty. There is also a hookup with Windham in NY.

Many of us, including me, took advantage of Stratton's online giveaway last year. Great skiing, and the freebie helped make up for my daughter's full-priced lift ticket, rentals and lesson. (Yeesh!)

Hope to find some other options on this thread that will work for a mid-March trip to Vermont and/or Quebec.

Woody

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bobbutts
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 1:47 PM GMT

Last year I got the rideandskine.com card which came with a few additional comps. Someone had actually posted it on this board. The
proceeds go to a good cause (children's hospital) too
Looks like their site is down right now, hopefully they'll be back next year.

I got a Jay ticket from a Shaw's promo for buying certain items and sending in receipt, 2 passes for Sunapee/Okemo from 99pub promo offer, and of course the Stratton ticket.
photogf128
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 2:04 PM GMT

the Riv way

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skierpilot
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 4:17 PM GMT

I bought a large coupon book called "The Entertainment Book"that has quite a few buy one get one coupons . The Pico coupon was good any day and the Whiteface coupon was good Sun. through Fri. The book costs about $30.00 and will pay for itself quickly. Belleayre also offers alot of deals all season long.Every month they have one Friday of skiing for $15.00 as well as ski your birthday for free. If your birthday falls during the offseason, the date gets plugged into to one of the in season months. As others have mentioned, check the various ski area websites. Sometimes they add special deals as the season goes on.
Bkroon9175
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 4:48 PM GMT

We do a combination of Threedom passes, Ski NH passes and a collection of freebies coupons and the like. We got a fair number of discount and free passes at the Boston Ski Show, a couple of discount passes from the Entertainment book, and several discount passes from ski area websites. I find that you never have to pay full price if you work at it. It takes time but the payoff is big.
bousquet19
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 5:12 PM GMT

Chris,

Could we add a "Bargain Tracker" forum to SnowJournal?

Woody

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joshua segal
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 5:24 PM GMT

Time for a summary and Woody's idea for a "bargain-tracker forum" is a good one!

Comps:
1. Ski Shows
2. Contests (such as, be the 10th caller to radio station WXYZ)
3. Perk with a purchase of equipment
4. Perk with a purchase of a membership (e.g. I received a free pass with a membership renewal to Friends of Tuckerman)
5. Friends who work at ski areas
6. Older than age XX.
7. Participation in a contest at an area (such as Mt. Dew Challenge, May Day Race)
8. Whining about conditions to management (getting stuck on a lift works too, but more difficult to plan.)

Discounts (note all the comp options can also be discount options)
1. 2-fer days
2. Memberships: (E.g. PSIA: occasionally free: mostly discount)
3. Gasoline purchase discounts
4. Newspaper ads/promos
5. Having a season pass at another area
6. Belong to certain clubs
7. Pre-buy vouchers through a variety of programs
8. Discount books/Coupons
9. Military discounts, police/fire/teacher/some other gov't positions
10. Early season/late season discounts

Got more?

__________
Joshua Segal
jaytrem
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 5:38 PM GMT

Surprised nobody said e-bay or craigslist yet.
riverc0il
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 10:19 PM GMT


my 05-06 and 04-05 average costs were even lower due to no season pass and more flexibility to follow the deals. i paid more this year to ski but i got what i paid for... which is another part of the equation that always going for the cheapest ticket price does not address. flexibility is the most important part of the equation. i will probably not re-up the $35 ski club membership dues since the ski club discounts were not very flexible, as an example.

the SINGLE most important method of reducing lift ticket costs is to ski mid-week. not only are full day tickets cheaper, most of the best deals are offered mid-week. interestingly enough, this is also the best time to score powder days (see the link photo ref'd for the stats on the amount of pow days i racked up this season). i get 15 days vacation a year, i use at least 10 during the ski season. we can't take a summer vacation this year, so i bank an extra 5 for a total of 15 for next year which is gonna be sick.

pre-purchasing deals such as the mad card and wild card are excellent if you know you will ski those mountains at least that many times (i would recommend pre-purchase plans only if you plan to ski more than the minimum to ensure you get your moneys worth). of course, if you have that one single mountain you love, a season pass can really help you rack up the days. but it removes the flexibility issue and locks you in. i still skied seven different mountains this year despite having a pass to the natural snow king in the northeast.

of course, avoiding the holiday weekends by skiing lesser known areas (that often have cheaper day tickets around the $40ish range) is not a bad idea either.

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riverc0il
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Posted: May 14, 2007 - 10:22 PM GMT

forgot to mention this issue, but starting next year, i am going to keep extremely anal retentive records of any gas costs associated with skiing and any food purchased on mountain to have a true calculation of total season cost (excluding equipment purchases which is not comparable year to year due to various factors).

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TheSnowWay.com
Skileader
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Long Island N.Y.


Posted: May 15, 2007 - 5:55 AM GMT

I mentioned this before. Sometimes when there is a major event or race an area will ask for volunteers. Whiteface did it this year for the World Cup Snowboard event in March. Usually for course prep, brining up and down fencing, gates, maybe crowd control. You get some limited skiing that day and a voucher for another day. Sometimes they even throw in a lunch. I know a guy in Rutland who joins the Killington ski club every year for $80-100 and joins the race crew. He agrees to give them 11-12 days a season and gets a pass. Not a bad deal. I asked him what happens if he doesen't hold up his end? He said they just void the pass.

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Bob P.
rickbolger
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Posted: May 15, 2007 - 12:59 PM GMT
Edited: May 15, 2007 - 1:00 PM GMT

I've purchased unwanted ski area gift certificates at discount, then used them to buy tickets.

edit: via above mentioned ebay & craigslist
professor
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Vermont


Posted: May 15, 2007 - 1:13 PM GMT

I keep my ears open for special days, like Mad River Glen's roll "back the clock" day and Killington's frequent Vermonter Days. I also bring a bag lunch (no great loss there) and avoid the bar (sometimes tough to do!). Finally, due to my employee discount, my season's pass at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl is $125.00 per year (just gloating - sorry!).
Talisman
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Posted: May 15, 2007 - 4:43 PM GMT

I'm not sure if Jeep Days are still offered, but in the past driving or towing a jeep to a mountain having Jeeps Owner Appreciation days got you two free lift tickets.
jaytrem
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Posted: May 15, 2007 - 5:10 PM GMT

Quote:
I'm not sure if Jeep Days are still offered, but in the past driving or towing a jeep to a mountain having Jeeps Owner Appreciation days got you two free lift tickets.


They brought the Jeep Days back this year after a 1 or 2 year absence. They only had 6 days this year as oppsed to the 18 or so. I don't own one but have many friends who do. Here's the Jeep Days link...

Jeep Days

It should also be noted that there are similar Toyota days at some areas in the PNW. Coulda used my Toyota rental this year, but decided to follow the snow instead...

Toyota Days
NJSkiBabe
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Posted: May 15, 2007 - 5:35 PM GMT

Join any ski club and you should be able to get great discounts on lift tickets.

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