Snow has been slow in coming, but ski season is upon us. For skiers and riders who didn’t buy a season pass, it’s time to get savvy about planning their trips to the mountains. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to reach the slopes. New offers and passes from many Colorado Ski Country USA ski areas put the slopes within reach for any budget.
Below is a list of early-season promotions, from lift tickets to lessons and discounted lodging. These are some of the best current ways to maximize a few powder days, so you can worry about being sore the next day instead of worrying about spending too much. If you miss out on these early bird specials, don’t fret; many resorts will announce additional promotions throughout the season.
The Elevation 4-Pass is the guaranteed best value on multiday tickets at Arapahoe Basin. Elevation 4-Pass holders can ski any four days throughout the season with no blackout dates and then upgrade to a season pass afterwards. A great deal for those wanting to ensure they have access during A-Basin’s 70th season.
• $109 for kids aged 6-14
More Info: arapahoebasin.com.
Aspen Snowmass guests who book a minimum of two nights lodging receive 40 percent off lift tickets, 15 percent off Four Mountain Sports equipment rentals and 15 percent off select Ski & Snowboard School products. This offer is valid Nov. 24 to Dec. 18, 2016 and must be booked at least seven days in advance of arrival. Guests who book at least three nights at the Little Nell receive two complimentary ski passes valid at all four ski areas.
More Info: stayaspensnowmass.com and aspensnowmass.com
The XP Pass is back, giving four days of skiing for $109 with no restrictions or blackout dates. That’s $27.25 per day. Bargain. But the pass is only available for a limited time. Beginning Jan. 5, you can take advantage of $30 Thursdays.
More Info: skicooper.com
Copper’s Ski and Ride University (SRSU) launches learners and keeps them skiing or riding all season long. For $249, SRSU participants receive:
• 3 days of ski or snowboard lessons
• 3 days of lift tickets
• 3 days of equipment rentals
• 3 days of parking in the Union Creek lot
• 2 days of lunch
After completing three lessons, graduates receive:
• A season pass for the remainder of the season
• 50 percent off next season’s pass.
More Info: coppercolorado.com/SRSU
It’s BOGO lodging from Nov. 22 to Dec. 16. Get a free night of lodging for every night booked at the Grand Lodge, the Lodge at Mountaineer Square, CBMR Condo Properties or the Inn at Crested Butte. And kids under 12 ski free from Nov. 24 to Dec. 16, 2016 and April 1-9, 2017.
More Info: skicb.com/bookearly
You can buy Eldora’s 4-pack, which has no blackout dates, for $219. Good for exploring Eldora’s three new trails.
More Info: eldora.com
Granby Ranch’s 4-Pak is $169 for all-mountain access with no blackout dates.
More Info: granbyranch.com
New this year, Monarch Mountain has a discounted season pass for college students for only $269. Pass holders can also purchase one buddy pass per day for $45. They receive a one-time offer for four transferrable lift tickets and a 10-percent discount at the Outer Edge Gear and Gift Shop at Monarch.
More Info: skimonarch.com
Not ready to commit to a season pass? After paying an initial $55 for the Loveland Pass Card, holders pay only $46 to $55 for each lift ticket. Plus, every fifth day is free. Pass card holders may also purchase one additional adult ticket at the discounted rate plus up to two child tickets for $25 each on each visit.
More Info: skiloveland.com
To celebrate its 50th anniversary, kids 6 and under ski free all season at Powderhorn. Guests can book lodging at the SlopeSide Inn, less than 100 feet away from the Flat Top Flyer lift, for as little as $179.
More Info: powderhorn.com
Guests visiting Silverton for opening weekend can ring in the new year with packages starting as low as $449 that include three days of guided skiing, daily lunch and apres drinks, and a welcome party and huge New Year’s Eve bash.
More Info: silvertonmountain.com
Home of the Slope & Soak 4-Pack, which is on sale for $199. Pass holders get four full-day lift tickets and four day passes to Iron Mountain Hot Springs, which has 16 individual hot spring soaking pools, a freshwater family pool and a jetted spa.
More Info: sunlightmtn.com
To kick off the season, Steamboat is offering the Boat Launch pass, which includes three days of skiing between Nov. 24 and Dec. 18, for $169.
More Info: www.steamboat.com
First-time skiers and riders can get a great two-for-one learn to ski and ride promotion from Nov. 16 to Dec. 16. Bring a friend, or use both lessons for yourself for $239, lunch included.
More Info: winterparkresort.com
Before Wolf Creek Ski Area is 100 percent open, skiers and riders can enjoy local appreciation lift ticket rates of just $44 for adults and $24 for seniors and children. Several local appreciation days are set between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pre-announced College Days offer college students who present a valid school ID and printed class schedule $44 adult lift tickets.
More Info: wolfcreekski.com
Last Chance for the Epic Pass
If you’re still thinking about going all in for access to Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek and resorts in Utah, California, Switzerland and more—you’ve got until Dec. 4. You’ll pay top dollar this time of year, but those powder days will erase the memory of sticker shock.
More Info: vail.com