Save money at Vail Ski Resort
December 14, 2006 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I am going to Vail, Colorado this weekend. How can I save some money on a one day lift pass?

I know some resorts offer discount lift passes. Buy tickets at a local bank, grocery store, etc. Or, bring a soda can... any of these apply to Vail? Any ideas?
posted by blueplasticfish to Travel & Transportation around Vail, CO (5 answers total)
You can try grocery stores, especially King Supers. If not there, try the rental shops away from the slopes, i.e. along I70 or in Denver for a few bucks in savings.
posted by dirtpedaler at 12:02 PM on December 14, 2006

And another thought: If you're hitting the slopes with someone who has a season pass, they can often buy a one day ticket at a discount.
posted by dirtpedaler at 12:09 PM on December 14, 2006

look on craigslist for nearby cities. You can nearly always get screaming deals on passes that way and I haven't been ripped off yet.

If you're an REI member you get discounts at a lot of resorts too. Finally look online for coupons for rentals from local shops.
posted by fshgrl at 4:37 PM on December 14, 2006

This isn't a direct answer to your question but may be a reasonable alternative depending on your moral inclinations.

If you are willing to be a bit of a sketchy character, you can hang around in the parking lot after about 12:00 pm and bum tickets from people who are done for the day. Bring a leatherman or a pair of scissors and maybe offer the person a few dollars for their trouble. If you are polite and ask a lot of people, you are sure to get a ticket whithin ~20 min.

This is probably illegal but I've seen people use this technique successfully many times. When deciding who to approach, look for people with paper lift tickets, those with the plastic "ID Card" style tickets are long-term pass holders and will not be able to help you.

Finally, when somone agrees to give you a ticket, it is best to give them the cutting implement and let them do the cutting of the wicket. This avoids the awkward situation of futzing around with a sharp tool around somone's $500 ski jacket while they are wearing it.

Remind your new friend to cut the wicket and not the ticket itself. If the zip-tie style wickets are being used, you can just chuck the old zip-tie and replace it w/ a new one (available at the ticket counter). If the old school metal wickets are in use, it is important to cut the wicket at a single point where the metal enters the paper. This allowes you to reaffix the ticket to your jacket in such a way that it won't come off easily.
posted by Popcorn at 5:36 PM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Maybe you could wait until 15 mintues before the lifts close. they never check the tickets then.

But seriously *everything* at the resort is going to be expensive. Perhaps look into saving money other ways. Instead of paying $4 for a can of coke, bring your own refreshments. Make sure you have tons of clothes, gloves, goggles or sunglasses, hand wamers, ski pants, jackets, even bottles of water.

I went skiing last week, and the items I forgot cost much more than the lift ticket. The resort did have free microwaves to use, so I wish I brought some bottled water and hot chocolate. I think our fast food style meal cost us $30 for two people. So I wish we brought some hot pockets or soup to feed us during the day.

One other thing, skiing for only one day is hard. Or at least it was for me. I wanted to make sure I got my money's worth, and stay on the slopes for the entire day, but thirst and hunger prevented me from doing that. I ended up just forking over the money and time.

Overall it was a great experience and there's really nothing better than going up the lift for the first time of the day and the last time. Just note it'll be expensive.

I guess to answer your question, I got my tickets for $20 off by buying them on expedia. As for renting the equipment I checked prices and at the resort it was around $25 and offsite for one day it was around $15-$20 i think. Either way it was hardly worth it to me to save the $10 only to have to carry everything all down from the parking lot. (remember if you want to park close that will cost you as well)

Hope that helps!
posted by bigdave at 6:34 PM on December 14, 2006

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