Saturday, December 25, 2010

Discounts for Skiing and Snowboarding (2010)

On our website, we posted a list of recommended places for skiing and snowboarding. Here we'll give some advice on how to decide, where to buy your tickets, and where to rent equipment.

How to decide

As a rule of thumb:
  • More expensive resorts tend to be bigger, have more options for advanced terrain, and have fancier lodges and restaurants on the mountain.
  • Less expensive resorts tend to be cozier, less crowded, and have as many options for beginners.
With that in mind, we recommend:
  • Families with first-time young skiers: Granlibakken is an intimate resort with a single lift that offers beginner skiing, snowboarding, sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing at a great price.
  • Beginner adults: try either Granlibakken or a slightly bigger resort like Homewood or Diamond Peak, which have more beginner variety for a good price.
  • Advanced skiers: you'll be happier with the resorts listed below for $49 or above. If you want to explore lots of space and variety, then go with a resort listed for $70 or above.
  • Looking for comfort: Northstar, Squaw Valley, and Heavenly have really nice villages with comfortable restaurants and shops to explore on foot. They also have a variety of activities such as snowshoeing and snow tubing for kids.

Where to buy tickets

Here is the list of non-discounted prices for resorts in Tahoe:

ResortDealsAdultAdult Hol-
Youth AgesYouthYouth HolidayChild AgesChildChild HolidayTots AgesTotsTots HolidaySenior AgesSeniorSenior HolidaySuper Senior AgesSuper SeniorSuper Senior HolidayMilitary
Alpine Meadowsdeals$71$7713-18$54$595-12$15$200-4$0$062-69$51$5570+$22$22$0
Bear Valleydeals$62$6213-19$49$496-12$19$190-5$5$565-74$25$2575+$10$10$40
Diamond Peakdeals$49$4915-17$39$397-14$18$180-6$0$065-69$39$3970-79$18$18-
Dodge Ridgedeals$59$5913-19$46$466-12$16$160-5$0$065-81$24$2482+$0$0$49
Donner Ski Ranchdeals$25 (Tue-Thu)$4213-17$25$347-12$10$130-6$5$570+$15$15----
Mt. Rosedeals$69$7413-17$55$596-12$19$190-5$5$565+$55$59---$39
Soda Springsdeals$35$3513-17$25$250-12$25$25----$35-70+$25$25-
Squawdeals$86$9213-18$62TBA0-12$12TBA---65-75$62TBA76+$39TBA$0 except peak/
Sugar Bowldeals$71$7713-22$59$656-12$23$230-5$0$060-69$59$6570+$17$17$35/38
Tahoe Donnerdeals$39$39-$39$397-12$19$190-6$0$060-69$19$1970+$0$0-
For more information: Sliding on the Cheap

For discounted tickets, click on the "deals" link for any of the resorts. If you're coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, your best bet might be to buy discounted tickets from a store like REI, Sports Basement, or Costco . Make sure to call them first for availability.

Where to rent equipment

If you would like to save money, then rent your skis and snowboarding equipment from a local store independent from the ski resorts, which typically costs about $30 per day. See this list of local rental shops.

If you're skiing or snowboarding for multiple consecutive days, most shops will let you keep the equipment overnight and return at the end of your stay.

You can also rent at the ticket office of any ski resort if you run out of time or prefer the convenience of not going to a separate location for rentals. But then you'll probably be paying about $50 per day.