Ultimate Guide: Colorado Lift Ticket Deals & Discounts

With this Guide to Colorado Lift Ticket Deals & Discounts, we'll highlight some of the best ways to find ski deals so you'll never pay “ticket window” prices again!

Posted: Tues, November 26th, 2013 by ColoradoSkiResorts.info - updated: 12/4/2013

 


So, you want to hit the slopes at one of the many awesome Colorado ski resorts but don't want to pay full price? Join the club. Lift ticket prices aren't cheap and continue to climb every year. Luckily, there are a few reliable ways to save if you plan ahead.


Visit Mid-Week, on Non-Holidays, or Early/Late Season

Ski mid-week and save!

This might be a no-brainer for most seasoned skiers and boarders but you’re typically going to find better deals if you visit your favorite Colorado ski area during weekdays. Most people work during the week so the resorts will naturally be slower, which generally results in better mid-week promotions. 

Less crowds + better deals = duh! Call in sick and ski or ride during the week! You’ll have more fun AND it’ll cost less. Mid-week discounts are usually applicable Monday through Thursday.

Holiday trips will cost more. Period.

While it’s great to spend time with the family on the slopes during the holidays, avoid any resort during these busy times if you want to ski on the cheap. Most resorts hike their prices and blackout some passes and coupons so expect to pay more. 

Popular ski holidays include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Presidents Day and Spring Break.

Early and Late Season is just as much fun.

Most the Colorado resorts offer some kind of discounted rates during the early (November-early December) and late season (April-June). Resorts tend to be less crowded too. Look for these special rates on the resort websites.


Visit the Smaller Ski Areas

It’s no secret that the smaller Colorado resorts tend to be quite a bit cheaper. This is usually because they offer fewer amenities, such as lodging and fancy restaurants. 

If you’re looking for a no-frills, “I just want to be on the snow”, kind of resort, take a look at these smaller Colorado ski areas. But don’t let their size and cheaper prices fool you! You’ll still get to ski or ride epic Colorado snow conditions, while sticking to your budget.

All these resorts offer Adult (all-day) lift tickets for under, or around $60 bucks! (2013-14 season)

  • Ski Cooper - 400 acres - Lift Capacity: 3,300 pph - Adult Lift Ticket: $47
  • Sunlight - 470 acres - Lift Capacity: 4,700 pph - Adult Lift Ticket: $57
  • Wolf Creek - 1,600 acres - Lift Capacity: 8,480 pph - Adult Lift Ticket: $58
  • Powderhorn - 1,600 acres - Lift Capacity: 4,370 pph - Adult Lift Ticket: $59
  • Ski Granby Ranch (Sol Vista) - 406 acres - Lift Capacity: 6,000 pph - Adult Lift Ticket: $59
  • Loveland - 1,800 acres - Lift Capacity: 14,293 pph - Adult Lift Ticket: $61


Buy a Season Pass

If you ski or ride more than 6-7 days a year, it usually makes the most sense to get a season pass. Colorado ski resorts offer all kinds of options when it comes to annual lift ticket passes. 

Most the individual Colorado resorts offer their own variations of season passes but the best bang for your buck is with one of the Colorado multi-mountain season passes. 

Not only can you get unlimited skiing and riding at multiple mountains but they often come with extra perks such as buddy passes (free lift ticket for a friend) and bonus days at other resorts. 

Whatever you do, make sure you buy your Colorado ski pass early in the season to lock in the lowest rate possible. Generally multi-mountain passes are no longer available and prices on single mountains passes go up after late-November/early-December.

The two most popular multi-mountain Colorado ski passes are:

Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus - $529 (2013-14 Season)
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Monarch
http://www.skicolorado.com/Multi-Mountain-Passes.aspx

Epic Local Season Pass - $569 (2013-14 Season)
Vail Resorts - Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora
http://www.snow.com/epic-pass.aspx


Gold Pass

The Gold Pass is the most exclusive season pass available in Colorado. For $3,000 you get unrestricted access to 20 different resorts! The pass is also fully transferable so you can share it with anyone you want (friends, family, etc). Direct lift access. No blackout dates. No hassles.

Participating resorts include: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Purgatory, Eldora, Howelsen, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Snowmass, Ski Granby Ranch, Steamboat, Sunlight, Telluride, Winter Park and Wolf Creek

For more information or to purchase, visit the website:

http://www.coloradoski.com/gold-pass


Multi-Day Passes

If you only get up to the mountains a few times a year or just simply can’t afford to fork out all the cabbage for a full-blown season pass, check out the various multi-day options available at your favorite resort. 

The nice thing about these is that they can usually be used anytime of the year and do not need to be used on consecutive days. They are only available early in the season so buy them early! 

With the multi-day passes (usually a 4-pack) you'll get to hit the slopes for close to half off regular ticket window prices, without making a full season pass commitment. For details, visit each individual resorts’ website.

Resorts that offer 4-packs of passes (2013-14):

  • Arapahoe Basin - Elevation 4 Pass - $129
  • Aspen/Snowmass - Classic Pass (4 or 7 day) - $229-$359
  • Copper Mountain 4-Pack - $159
  • Eldora - Alpine 4-Pack - $169
  • Keystone 4-Pack - $179
  • Loveland 4-Pack - $129
  • Ski Cooper - XP Pass (4 day) - $99
  • Winter Park 4 Pass - $169


Multi-Mountain 4-packs options:

  • A-Basin/Keystone 4-pack - $179
  • Epic 4-Day - Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin - $389
  • 4by40 - Steamboat/Winter Park - $199


College Student Passes

Most individual resorts and the multi-mountain collaborative's offer some sort of discounted college student passes that can save a lot. Visit your favorite resorts website for individual mountain options or check out the multi-mountain options below:

Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus College Pass
Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Monarch
http://skicolorado.com/College-Pass.aspx

Epic Local College Pass
Vail Resorts - Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin and Eldora
http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/passes/epic-local-college-pass.aspx

College passes require a valid student ID as well as a copy of your class schedule to be eligible. 


Gems Card

Visit Colorado’s hidden gems and save big! The Colorado Gems Card offers unique discounts and promotions for a small price. For just $20 bucks you get a buy-one, get-one free offer at all 8 different participating ski areas. 

Participating ski resorts in Colorado include: Arapahoe Basin, Eldora, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch and Sunlight.

The card can only be used one time per resort. Buy them quick because only 5,000 Gems Cards are sold every season!

http://www.coloradoski.com/gems


Shell Ski Fee

While I don’t typically buy gas at Shell because it’s a little further than my local station, that changes when ski season rolls around!

Shell gas stations started partnering with local Colorado (and 6 other states) ski resorts in 2002 to offer their, now wildly popular, SKI FREE voucher program. They gave away over 70,000 free lift tickets in 2012-13 and the program appears to be still going strong.

All you have to do is buy 10 gallons of gas at any participating Shell gas station. Just bring your receipt inside when you’re done pumping and the attendant will stamp it and staple it to a stamped voucher. Make sure you get the voucher and receipt stamped.

The voucher is good for one free lift ticket when you buy one ticket at full price. Buy one, get one free! Participating Colorado ski areas include Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn and Winter Park Resort.

The program usually begins after New Years and vouchers are valid through the end of the season. They are only valid mid-week but for half off, it’s hard to complain!

Check out the SKI FREE website for more details and to find participating Shell stations.

http://www.skifreedeals.com/


Wells Fargo 2-for-1 Rocky Mountain Super Pass

We see all kinds of offers geared directly at college students every year. One of the most popular, year after year, has been the Wells Fargo student/faculty season pass offer. 

At participating Wells Fargo locations, any college student, faculty, and staff members of accredited colleges/universities in Colorado or Wyoming will receive a 2 for 1 Adult Rocky Mountain Super Pass voucher when they open a new Wells Fargo Checking Package.

Check out the Wells Fargo website for more information and disclaimers:

www.collegeskideal.com


FirstBank Copper Mountain 4-Pack (added 12/4/2013)

This year FirstBank has partnered with Copper Mountain to offer a free 4-Pack of lift tickets for all new Colorado residents who open a new personal checking account with direct deposit.

See the FirstBank promotional page for more information:

www.efirstbank.com


Discount Ticket Brokers

If you know your travel dates, a great place to look is one of the discount lift ticket brokers that have popped up in recent years. They have basically done for the ski resort industry what websites like Hotwire.com have done for air travel and hotel stays. 

These sites offers discounted lift tickets to visitors traveling to Colorado by helping ski areas sell their ticket inventory on typically slower days. You’ll find the best deals offered from Monday-Thursday. Prices fluctuate based on day of the week and time of year. We’ve seen discounts range from 20-80% off. Lift tickets are generally non-refundable and can only be used for the day that you purchased them for.

For more information check out:

Liftopia.com

Discount lift tickets for Breckenridge and other Colorado Ski Resorts!

GetLiftTickets.com



Buddy Passes

A few Colorado resorts offer free "buddy passes" with the purchase of a season pass. A buddy pass allows holders of certain season passes to bring a friend to the slopes for free. A great way to ski free or cheap is to score one of these passes for a day from a friend with a season pass. Is your buddy feeling generous?

Buddy pass etiquette:

  • Offer to drive or pay for gas
  • Buy beer and/or food for buddy
  • Thank buddy for sharing
  • Repeat


Kids Ski FREE

Most resorts offer free lift tickets all season for kids up to age 5. Many resorts also offer Kids Ski FREE discounts and promotions throughout the year for older kids (6-14). Most of them require some sort of adult ticket or lodging purchase.

Keep an eye on your favorite resort websites or visit our website for details throughout the season for kids ski free deals.

Here are the best “kids ski free” deals that we know of so far this season (2013-14):

  • Arapahoe Basin - 12/1/2013 - 12/20/2013 - Kids up to 14 years old ski free. No strings attached.
  • Keystone  - all season - Stay 2 nights and kids 12 and under ski free. No blackouts.
  • Steamboat - all season - Kids ski free the same number of days as an adult.


Kids 5th & 6th Grade Ski Passes

Colorado resorts have been offering discounted and free season passes to 5th and 6th graders for over 15 years now! Hundreds of thousands of families have participated in these wonderful programs since their inception. It’s a great opportunity to get budding snow sport enthusiasts out on the mountain at almost no cost.

There are two different programs available. One through Colorado Ski USA and another through Vail resorts.

5th & 6th Grade Passport (Colorado Ski Country USA)

This is the  best value of the two programs. Participating 5th graders get 3 free days at each of the 20 member resorts (60 days for free!) and 6th graders get 4 days at each of the 20 member resorts (80 days for only $99!).

You will receive one free beginner lesson and rental package for all 5th grade passport holders.

See the website for additional details and for information of how to sign up:

http://www.coloradoski.com/passport

5th & 6th Grade School of Shred (Vail Resorts)

School of Shred is a free program available to all 5th and 6th grade Colorado residents. The program provides 4 free days of skiing or riding at each of the Vail resorts, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin (20 days for free!)

The program also includes one complimentary first time lesson and one day of rental equipment.

See the website for additional details and for information of how to sign up:

http://www.snow.com/epic-pass/info/schoolofshred.aspx


Craigslist

I buy and sell tons of stuff on craigslist. Lift tickets vouchers and coupons are no exception. It’s one of the first places I go to look when I’m planning a trip to any Colorado resort. 

I consider myself a savvy “craigslister” and have found that, for the most part, people are honest and are quick at returning phone calls, emails and texts. That said, you still have to use caution and common sense because there are scammers out there.

Be sure to check the Denver craigslist page first. It tends to have the most lift ticket and voucher related results for Colorado resorts.

Denver Craigslist - lift tickets

Once you’re there, look under “For Sale > Tickets” and then type in a search such as “ski” or “lift tickets” and you should get a number of results.

You can also check other nearby areas such as:

  • Boulder
  • Colorado Springs
  • Fort Collins
  • High Rockies
  • Western Slope

Don’t be afraid to haggle a little. Most people know they’ll be negotiating on their item.


 eBay

You should also check out eBay for lift ticket deals. I’ve found some fantastic coupons on here over the years that I personally would not have found locally. You tend to find the best deals later in the season because people are trying to get rid of their unused pre-purchased passes.

www.ebay.com

Try searching for various generic terms such as “Colorado lift ticket” or more specific phrases that include your favorite resort, such as “Copper Mountain lift ticket”, and you should have luck.

The nice thing about eBay is that it’s a little safer to conduct your transaction than Craigslist. You don’t have to deal with sellers directly (face-to-face) and your lift ticket, coupon or ski voucher is shipped right to your door.


Coupon Books

If you’re local, there are a number of coupons books that circulate every year offering anything from buy one, get one free passes, to flat rate discounts off tickets, deals on equipment rentals and more. 

Many people sell the individual coupons from these books on eBay and Craigslist so if you can’t find the books you can also look there.

Some common Colorado coupon books that offer ski resort coupons include:


Warren Miller Film Tour

Warren Miller Entertainment is famous for their annual ski and snowboarding films. Their recent films include “Ticket to Ride” and “Climb to Glory” and can be viewed in select locations all over the country.

Attendees to Warren Miller films are eligible for special offers, including discounted lift tickets, by entering a key code from their show ticket on the Warren Miller website. To find a showing near you or to redeem your discount visit the website:

http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/


Local Grocery Stores

Some local grocery stores sell discounted lift tickets to many of the major resorts and ski areas. Just go into the store and visit the customer service counter for details. Prices vary by resort but are not as substantial as some of the other deals listed in this article. 

Some of these grocery stores include:

  • King Soopers
  • Safeway
  • Albertson’s


Local Businesses

Every year we see cross-promotional coupons with ski resorts and local businesses. You can also get lift ticket deals at local sporting good and ski/snowboard rental shops. Keep an eye out when you’re out shopping and dining.

Some local businesses that have offered lift ticket discounts in the past include:

  • Smashburger - Winterpark 2-for-1 voucher
  • Wendy’s - Copper Mountain 2-for-1 voucher

Let us know of any other local businesses offering lift ticket discounts!


Lodging Deals

If you’ll be visiting a Colorado resort for multiple days, you can usually find great lodging and lift ticket deals when your trip is purchased as a package. Try booking your trip directly through your favorite resorts website or check out the many property management companies in every Colorado ski town.


Parking Lot Scalpers

While I wouldn't rely on getting your lift ticket this way, you may get lucky and score a good deal on the mountain with someone that has an extra ticket or wants to go in on a BOGO deal with you. While ticket reselling is legal in Colorado, as long as you’re not buying/selling for more than face value, the resorts tend to frown upon this.


What NOT to Do!

Don’t try to let a friend use your season pass - resort employees pay closer attention than you think. I’ve even heard that some resorts offer their employees incentives for catching people using their friends passes so don't risk it! It’s not worth losing your pass over.


Let Us Know About Other Deals

Thanks for checking out our Ultimate Guide to Colorado Lift Ticket Deals & Discounts! This article will be updated annually and as new ways to save come to our attention. If you have any other suggestions or money savings tips, please let us know and we’ll update our site.

 



Share this page: