Since lift tickets are part of what makes skiing so expensive (not to mention clothes, equipment, overpriced meals, and lodging), I was excited to read about a few websites specializing in discounted lift tickets and spent some time checking them out.
The good news is that many of the top US/Canada ski regions are covered – the bad news is that a limited number of resorts in each area participate. That said, if the priority is price – you can search by region and pull up all the discounted offers for a given area.
This site had compelling resorts participating, but took some time to understand. You have to go a few levels in read about what is being offering and unlike Liftopia, it doesn’t list the specific discount that is being offered – so the value of the deal is not clear. Also, some resorts require a purchase of lodging and airfare in order to be able to access the discounted lift tickets.
This is a place to go for information versus a place where you can buy discount tickets online. Ski resorts are listed by state with a direct link to the ski resort’s homepage that in turn lists any specials (although you can find that without going through the Discount Lift Tickets homepage). There are some useful tidbits around retailers selling discounted tickets, but this wouldn’t be valuable for people living far from the retailer when the promotion is not available online.
Ski Coupons.com – is just that – a place to go for ski-related coupons (including lift tickets, rentals, lodging, ground transportation, and restaurants) for a wide variety of US/Canada ski destinations. Offers are not consistent between resort areas, so if you wanted to just access lift ticket discounts for example – it would take a few clicks to see if that is even an option. There are, however, a wide variety of offers for each ski area, so a quick visit to the website would be worthwhile before finalizing plans.
Of course, the downside of buying lift tickets tied to a date ahead of time is that if the weather is bad or the kids are tired and you don’t want to ski – you are stuck with a non-refundable and non-transferable ticket. I assume it would be at the discretion of the resort if they would let you use the pass for another day. At some resorts young kids ski free, so it is important to note the specific policy before buying tickets prior to the trip online.
Photo by Amie O’Shaughnessy
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