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Ski Area and Town Discounts, Savings on the Snow
Date: January 22, 2009
Author: David Smidt, SeniorDiscounts

With the economy this tough, many of us have been putting off vacations and leisure time. But with the amount of snow that has fallen so far, it would be a shame to miss out on some of the great deals on winter activities being offered this season. Ski towns need your business and senior discounts abound.

While there are many discounts to be had on the slopes, the conditions and age requirements can be difficult to follow.

Age Requirements:
Some ski areas keep it simple and provide a fixed discount on lift tickets to all people over a certain age, such as 25% off to all skiers/boarders over 55. But more commonly you will see increasing discount amounts according to age. For instance, skiers over 70 may receive a greater discount than that provided to those in the 60-70 age group, while those in their 50s receive slightly less. It can still be a substantial discount, though, so it never hurts to ask.

Discount Amounts:
Discounts usually range between 15% off the regular adult lift ticket price to free. Yes, that is correct, ski areas offer free skiing to select skiers that are of a certain age. People in their fifties and sixties can expect to see discounts of 15% to 75% off a daily ticket price and anywhere from 30% to 80% off season passes. Usually the older you get the better the discount. Free skiing and deeply discounted lift ticket rates are usually reserved for those skiers in their seventies.

Season Passes:
Mountains are now offering a multitude of season passes, including value passes, local passes, multi-area passes, and senior passes. If you are an avid skier or snow boarder, knowing which one is right for you can save you a lot of money. You may also find that you are just too young to qualify for the senior discount rate and a season pass could be a great alternative. (Often, you will only need to ski a couple of days to recoup its cost.) Most of the discounted passes will have some restrictions like black out dates or a limit on the number of days you can access the mountains. Senior passes tend to be some of the best, with few restrictions and major savings. For instance, skiers over 60 can save almost $900 on a season pass at Park City, UT.

Other Deals:
Check out local grocery and retail stores in proximity to a ski area, many of them will sell discounted tickets to the mountains. You may also want to pick up a local paper when you arrive, as many areas will publish daily coupons to inspire the partiers from the night before to hit the slopes.

Gear and Lessons:
Discounts can also be found on lessons and rentals. Many areas provide ski programs that are specifically designed for older skiers and reduced in price. One may also find discounts on ski rentals, but typically only with those rental shops owned by the mountain. These discounts may only be available in conjunction with a package deal that comes with your lift ticket. People over age 65 get a 10 percent discount at the national chain Modell's Sporting Goods when they ask and show ID. Independently owned ski shops typically do not have deals for the mature market.

Ski Clubs:
There are also ski clubs just for seniors. The Over the Hill Gang and the 70+ Ski Club are just two of the many clubs available. These clubs provide discounted prices and rentals, fun trips, and most importantly friends to ski with.

Other Winter Activities:
Discounts aren't limited to the ski resort. You can typically find discounts on other activities that are seasonable to that area as well, like snowmobiling, ice skating, or cross-country skiing. And the age requirements are usually lower than those on the mountain.

The majority of ski areas have web sites, and one can find the senior rates listed there. When booking a trip, be sure to ask about multiple day prices, especially for those of us who may not yet qualify for a discount. Some ski areas even have special senior packages that include air fare, lodging, lift tickets, rentals and lessons. Many areas are now offering package deals for grandparents and can include free room for the kids and discounts lessons.

So get out there, enjoy the some and save some money this year.

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