March is the month for price breaks at New England resorts, and every year the spring deals get more competitive.
As usual, expect aggressive day-ticket discounts to combat the much-ballyhooed “backyard effect” (when there’s no snow in Boston backyards, people tend to forget there’s still good skiing in the mountains).
But a new trend of “spring passes” has emerged over the past several years that specifically targets customers who do the bulk of their skiing from March through May (or wishfully, June).
Killington’s $199 NorBeaster spring pass gives unlimited access from Saturday through the end of the season. Sugarloaf is selling a $155 Spring 3-Pack that includes three individual tickets valid from Friday through season’s end. Okemo’s $99 Spring Skiesta Card offers not only unrestricted skiing from Monday through the end of the season, but you can apply the full cost to the purchase of a 2014-15 season pass if you buy that season pass before April 30. It’s a similar deal at Cranmore, where the price of a $99 three-pack can also be applied to next year’s season pass.
Some mountains work the deal the other way around: Commit to a season pass for 2014-15, and ski free for the remainder of this spring. Bolton Valley, Catamount, Crotched, Pats Peak, and Ragged are among the mountains currently offering this promotion, with others expected to follow.
Steals and deals
It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day in ski country without $17 lift ticket specials. Attitash, Bretton Woods, Waterville, and Wildcat will offer this walk-up discount Monday . . . At Ragged and Mount Snow, it’s the same price provided you buy online in advance . . . Find the “pot of gold” hidden somewhere on the slopes at Saddleback Saturday and the resort will reward you with a 2014-15 season pass . . . Thursday and Friday at Whaleback, bring a food pantry donation and your lift ticket gets discounted to $15 . . . The Wheel of Deals is back at Waterville Valley on Fridays. Spin the prize wheel at the ticket window, and you’re guaranteed at least half off your ticket, plus a chance at other freebies . . . Pico has $24 midweek specials for ladies (Thursdays), men (Fridays), and anyone over age 50 (Mondays) . . . At Crotched, Tuesday pricing has been dropped to $29 . . . Bromley has $79 two-day weekend tickets for March 22-23 if you buy online 48 hours in advance.
The last word
The calendar says plenty of good skiing is still left, but this is the final Snow Sports section of the season. With that in mind, here’s one final shake of the notebook to dislodge the late-spring deals: Bretton Woods will have $25 lift tickets for its March 29 Beach Party provided you show up in beach attire . . . April Fool’s Day means $1 pricing at Waterville Valley and $9 tickets at Attitash and Wildcat. At Mad River Glen, you can ski two-for-one April 1 provided you “act foolish” at the ticket window . . . Bretton Woods closes out the season on Patriots Day with $17.76 tickets on April 21.