6 Tips for Spending Less on Skiing

6 Tips for Spending Less on Skiing

Photo Source: Whiteface Lake PlacidAt some ski resorts, adult lift tickets can top $100. Add in gear rentals, lodging and après-ski cocktails, and you’re talking several hundred bucks a day to slide down a mountain.

Here are a few ways to notch down the costs.

Buy online. You can buy heavily discounted lift tickets online at sites like liftopia. But that means planning ahead, since the tickets are for specific dates and are non-transferrable. That said, you can also get dining and other discounts bundled with lift passes.

Look for packages. Consider booking your lodging and lift tickets together—it’s often cheaper than arranging everything separately. If you’re headed to an area with several ski resorts, look into discounts for skiing at more than one. The official website of the destination is a great place to find deals.

Stay at home (someone else’s). It is often cheaper to rent a condo or a house than stay in a hotel, especially if you are traveling in a large group and/or are staying for a while. Try go-tos like HomeAway and Airbnb, but also Google your destination with “home rentals” to find local sources.

Take a weekend pass. Skiing mid-week, like flying mid-week, tends to be cheaper.

Go to town. The mountain is generally the most expensive place to rent skis. Get your gear in town instead. If you’re planning more than a trip or two, renting for the season at home can mean big savings.

Drive. The farther away your lodging is from the slopes, the cheaper it is likely to be.

Blizzard bonus: We found three destinations that offer up top-notch ski experiences while being a little easier on the wallet.

No Need for Wheels: Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah gets an average of 500-plus inches of snow a year and boasts 14 ski resorts. Salt Lake City receives flights from more than 75 U.S. cities so it’s easy to reach. You can choose from a slew of lodging choices and visit several ski resorts within a 40-minute drive—without a car, since public transportation can get you there. Salt Lake is offering a Super Pass that provides savings on four different resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude), plus 20% off rentals.

Luge, Anyone? Lake Placid, New York
Whiteface Lake Placid has the tallest peak summit of any East Coast resort, and was good enough for the 1980 Olympic Games. Lift tickets don’t come at bargain-basement prices ($84 a day in peak season), but they’re still cheaper than at luxury spots out west, and if you’re on this side of the country you might not need to fly. Besides, where else can you skip a ski day for an Olympic luge ride?

Lower-Priced Lodging: Alberta, Canada
Alberta is home to three world-class ski areas, Lake Louise, Banff and Sunshine. You’ll find fresh powder and thousands of acres of terrain, and a major highway makes the slopes easy to reach from Calgary. Best of all, summer is peak season, which means that you can save big on hotel rooms right now. Mid-week rates at the upscale Fairmont Lake Louise, for instance, are about 40% less in the middle of January than in the middle of August.

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$1 trillion joke?… Disney magic…& more

$1 trillion joke?… Disney magic…& more

It’s payback time. It sounds like a joke. A little-known loophole could permit the Treasury to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin (or coins)—which the president could then use to pay off part of the nation’s debt. (ABCNews)

Are they kidding?

Here’s the deal: Rather than repeat the debt ceiling nailbiter of 2011, some economists have proposed a solution that sounds like a Monty Python script: mint new money, pay off some of our $16.3 trillion debt so we don’t hit the bloody ceiling, and skip the whole show, whot?

As NYT columnist Paul Krugman points out, it sounds ludicrous, but it’s just a shortcut for what the government would do anyway if it raised the debt ceiling.

And speaking of fiscal responsibility… whether you love Mayor Mike or hate him, NYC’s outgoing billionaire has given $16 million through his philanthropy to set up Financial Empowerment Centers in five cities (including Philly and Denver), that offer free counseling to lower-income folks. Alas, Washington, D.C. isn’t on the list. (Philadelphia Biz Jnl)

One ring, er, bracelet to rule them all! Later this year, Dis-o-philes will be able to visit the Happiest Place on Earth without worrying about tickets, credit cards, or long lines, thanks to a new wireless rubber bracelet parkgoers can wear. Downside: The bracelet acts as a tracking device, so Mickey can always find you.

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