Lift-ticket price shock can indeed be a deterrent for skiers and riders without a season pass. That is, unless you do your research.
Let’s consider that the highest-priced daily lift rate in all of New England this season will be at Stowe Mountain Resort, where one-day skiing and riding on Mount Mansfield will run you $124 during the regular season window (Dec. 5-April 3).
That’s not realistic for most.
Yet, consider the difference upon purchase of the Vermont Travel Club Card ($49 individual, $169 family, www.vermont
travelclub.com), which offers discounts at 11 mountains in the Green Mountain State as well as Sunday River in Maine. As a member, that $124 window rate at Stowe would be $71 all season, with no blackout dates. The card is also good for $45 lift tickets at Bolton Valley ($24 weekend rate savings), a $53 daily rate at Jay Peak ($29 savings), and $20 off midweek days at Killington ($10 weekends). Membership also provides dozens of other discounts at restaurants and hotels in the general vicinity of your destination.
That is only one of the many ways you can plan to save on lift tickets this winter. (Most deals are non-holiday, so be sure to check with a resort for timing on pricing.)
Similar to the Vermont Travel Club Card is the Ride and Ski Card (www.rideandski
ne.com). The $49.99 card includes one free lift ticket in addition to various daily discounts at more than 20 New England resorts. A portion of the proceeds go to the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, N.H.
Ski New Hampshire, the state’s skiing trade group, has a sale on lift tickets to most of the Granite State’s ski areas through Nov. 30. Inventory is limited, and includes $40 tickets at Pat’s Peak, $53 at Mount Sunapee, and $45 at Ragged Mountain. www.skinh.com/deals/ski-nh-lift-
As usual, Liftopia.com is a site to check out whenever you’re planning on a certain date in the mountains. Significant discounts can be found with an advance purchase all over the place for the bulk of the season.
Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Loon Mountain Resort, all under the Boyne property umbrella, will be selling tickets online with the savings depending on how far in advance you book. For instance, a midweek lift ticket at Sunday River during the first week in January is currently running $39, a $40 savings. E-tickets can be purchased at www.loonmtn.com,www.sun
dayriver.com, and www.sugarloaf.com.
Black Mountain, in Jackson, N.H., and Cranmore Mountain Resort, in North Conway, N.H., are instituting afternoon deals, seven days a week. Purchase a lift ticket after 2 p.m., and ski the remainder of that day in addition to the following day for one price. Black also has hump day deals on Wednesdays this year, when lift tickets are only $17 after 12:30.
Lift tickets are two-for-$75 (or one for $49) at New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain on non-holiday Tuesdays and Thursdays all season long.
Killington Mountain Resort in Vermont has 2-for-1 lift ticket deals any day through Dec. 16. Just fill out a form at www.killing
ton.com/site/2for1/2for1-ski-16-17 to receive a voucher.
In Vermont, Burke Mountain has some “Wicked Wednesdays” in store. Purchase one lift ticket for $64 and receive two more same-day tickets free.
Purchase the SugarDirect card for $99 at Sugarbush Mountain Resort, in Warren, Vt., and receive walk-up discounts of 50 percent midweek, 20 percent weekends and holidays, at the ticket window all season long. After 10 purchased tickets, your 11th day is free. www.sugarbush.com/plan/sugardirect-card.
Magic Mountain, in Londonderry, Vt., has Throwback Thursdays this season when $25 lift tickets will roll back to prices of decades past.
Vermont’s Bolton Valley offers $19 lift tickets on Mondays and Tuesdays (purchases must be made in advance at boltonvalley
.ltibooking.com), as well as $19 night skiing on Fridays (7-10 p.m.) and Saturdays (4-8 p.m.).
Buy a gift card for Nashoba Valley by Dec. 31, and receive an additional amount added on to your total. For instance, a $50 gift card receives an extra $10, $140 an extra $20, and $200 an extra $40. www.ski
Mad River Glen, Mount Snow, Wildcat Mountain, and Attitash are just a few of the handful of ski areas that will offer $17 lift tickets for those wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Also at Mad River Glen, Jan. 31 celebrates the ski area’s anniversary with $3.50 lift tickets. Go skiing after noon on Sundays at Wildcat and Attitash (non-holiday) and tickets are only $30; $39 at Mount Snow.
Ski or ride at New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley on March 31 for only $1. No joke.Eric Wilbur can be reached at email@example.com.
Correction: Because of a reporter’s error, the date of Waterville Valley’s $1 ticket deal was incorrect in earlier versions of this story.