You Don’t Have to Be a Colorado Resident to Purchase Them
by G. Kunkel
(This article was originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 1/8/2011)
Well-seasoned ski vacationers to Colorado know that many ski resorts offer discount lift tickets. Where they can be bought, who can purchase them, and the actual discounts change with time. Finding reliable information about purchasing discount lift tickets is possible with insider information. Don’t rely on internet myths or old information about finding lift ticket discounts in Colorado.
Myth 1 – You have to be resident of Colorado to purchase them
Colorado ski resorts really do not care what drivers license is in your wallet. They do want to maximize profit like any successful business. If you can make it to the ski pass sale, find the deal online, or the lift ticket window – they’ll sell you the product. Be prepared to pay with cash or credit card. They may need to see picture ID as evidence that it really is your credit card. At smaller ski areas, the ticket seller really will help you find the best lift ticket deal.
Myth 2 – You can buy them all online
Not all discount ski lift tickets or discount ski passes can be purchased online or all the time. To maximize profit, ski resorts will stagger discount promotion offers and where they can be purchased. Vail Resorts, Intrawest, and other Colorado ski resorts sell their discounted full-season ski passes from April to around the end of November.
Vail Resorts, Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, and a few other small ski resorts sell their discounted season passes online at some time period. To buy all of the discount passes, you’ll need to travel to Colorado to purchase them when they are on sale.
The best sales event to buy all the discounted passes in Colorado is the annual ski show held in Denver in early November. Every Colorado ski resort will be offering their discount products at this giant pass sale event. It’s the best time to fly to Denver and purchase your passes. Most picture passes must be bought in person.
Myth 3 – They have secret discount codes to purchase them
Ski season passes are not purchased with secret internet discount codes in Colorado. Don’t waste your time scouring the internet for a discount code to buy a discount ski pass. If a new discount pass product is offered, there will be no further discounts on that product online.
Myth 4 – Colorado ski resort do not want you to know about discounts
When business is slow at a Colorado ski resort within a two-hour drive of Denver, Front Range residents hear the ski resort commercials hourly on the local radio stations. Competition is fierce for skiers and snowboarders and Colorado ski resorts want everyone to come to their joint. Advertisements for ski discount deals abound.
Myth 5 – Colorado grocery stores sell lift tickets to every ski resort
If a ski resort lies within a two-hour drive of Denver, it probably offers a discount deal. There are exceptions. The chain grocery stores like King Soopers, Safeway, and City Market do not sell lift tickets to Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Telluride, Beaver Creek, and many other well-known ski resorts. These resorts in general do not offer any discounts once their ski pass sales events end in November.
King Soopers, City Market, and Safeway sell discount lift tickets to Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland Ski Area, Breckenridge, Keystone, Monarch Mountain, Ski Sunlight, Ski Cooper, Sol Vista, and Eldora Mountain Resort. Safeway also sells tickets for Crested Butte.
Myth 6 – Every ski resort in Colorado offers discount lift tickets
Most large popular destination ski resorts in Colorado do not sell discount lift tickets other than on their website. They are not competing for Denver skiers and snowboarders. This includes Steamboat, Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek, and Telluride. Once their fall pass sales events have ended, do not expect any other discounts. Vail and Steamboat may offer a last minute Spring Break Pass for March.
Myth 7 – The ski resort doesn’t offer real ski lift ticket discounts on their website.
Small ski resorts offer their best season pass deals online. They may also offer ski coupons on the side at area events. Large destination resorts offer the best ski ticket deals online with advance purchase. Vail Resorts now guarantees this on their website. To get the best ticket deals at Steamboat, book your lodging and lift tickets together. Hotels may offer discount lift tickets but they are not selling them any cheaper than what the resort is selling them for.
Myth 8 – Ski resorts in Colorado sell student ski passes
Colorado ski resorts sell lift tickets by age group not by student status. There are a few exceptions. Many resorts sell college passes and college lift tickets. Most of these must be purchased pre-season. Colorado Ski Country USA offers the free 5th Grade Passport and the discount 6th Grade Passport. A few stray ski areas will offer student passes sold through local schools to local schoolchildren.
Myth 9 – They are not a source of revenue for the ski resort
Contrary to popular rumor, lift ticket sales are a major form of revenue. This is why they crack down on lift ticket fraud. Larger ski resorts can and do use software to track skiers and lift ticket useage. Theft of service crimes are prosecuted in Colorado. Don’t try to buy or use someone else’s ski season pass.
Myth 10 – Discount ski season passes are available year-round
The best times to buy discount season passes are April – November. The best time to purchase is in April. After November, ski passes are sold at full price.
Not a myth bonus
It is possible to get free lift tickets in Colorado. Kids five and under ski for free at most Colorado ski resorts. Anyone in any state or country can apply for the free 5th Grade Passport and discount 6th Grade Passport for their children. Application requires an internet connection and a mailing address.
Don’t be fooled by the many internet myths and rumors about lift ticket discounts in Colorado. They can be found but large discounts for prestigious destination ski resorts will require personal friendship with ski area employees.
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