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These days, buying a lift ticket is like receiving a hand of cards and figuring out the best way to play them. This season, in Vermont ski areas, you’ll find special ticket deal cards called Magic, X2, Points, Passport, Fanfare, Club, and Express, to name just a few. Buy one of these cards and you will get discounts on elevator tickets and possibly other merchandise and services. Noteworthy is the Ski Vermont trade association sponsorship of free introductory packages to learn to ski or ride in participating ski areas across the state, January 4-10. Visit skivermont.com in December for more details. Here’s a snapshot of the best lift ticket deals currently being offered at Vermont’s alpine ski resorts:
ASCUTNEY MOUNTAIN RESORT
How do you get caught by a Super Saver card? In exchange for parting with $ 199, you get five adult ticket coupons to use during the season – except, of course, during the holiday weeks. Better still is the Buy One Get One Free Two for Tuesday promotion and the $ 29 VT / NH resident ticket on Sunday afternoons.
Similar to Ascutney’s card scheme, again for $ 199, you get five adult ticket coupons under The Great Skier and Rider Bailout program. Or, if you’re craving an early season deal, there’s the $ 14 Happy Holiday Lift ticket, available December 15-19.
At the self-proclaimed Sun Mountain, you can purchase the $ 69 Sun Mountain Card and use it to get a $ 10 discount on your own elevator ticket, any day during the season. On Tuesdays (a perennial favorite deal day) $ 44 buys an elevator ticket with a waitress served lunch. February 5 is a $ 15 day off for moms, and ticket proceeds are donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fridays are Family Fridays – each adult who purchases a $ 39 ticket can purchase up to three youth tickets for $ 12 each.
Sunday afternoon tickets are a steal here at $ 18 for everyone. Residents of Vermont, Coos and Grafton County, NH can purchase tickets for $ 41 (non-holidays), Sunday through Friday.
COCHRAN SKI AREA
For less than $ 30, adults can ride the elevators during the day.
Exclusive to Jay is the Vermont and Clinton County, NY resident ticket rate of $ 47, any day of the season. For everyone else, the way to go is to buy the $ 25 Passport Card. Show it at the box office and get your ticket for $ 49. Bonus: With every fifth ticket purchased, the next one is in the house. The card is also valid for discounts of ten percent throughout the complex.
Get the $ 26 Killington Express Card and save at least $ 10 off every ticket purchased for yourself. The good thing about the card is that it is linked to a credit card to allow direct access to the elevator, thus avoiding delays at the lockers. Vermont Resident Days will return, but were not announced as of press time.
MAD RIVER GLEN
Guess what his card calls this place … yeah, a Mad Card. $ 129 in advance purchases three transferable ticket vouchers. If that doesn’t float your boards, consider the $ 3.50 ticket on January 30 to turn back the clock, or a $ 17 St. Patrick’s Day special. Free skiing for all kids is even better on the town meeting.
Sunday afternoon tickets are good value here at $ 25 each, or there’s the $ 39 Magic Card, which lets you buy weekend tickets for $ 10 off, or Friday tickets for $ 25. Please note that this season, Magic’s normal operating hours will be Friday through Monday and holiday weeks.
SNOWBALL MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE
There are no cards here, just a great old-fashioned value overall. Tickets are only $ 30 on weekdays, $ 44 on weekends, and since the cafeteria caters to college students, the prices are really reasonable.
The best way to save tickets here is with the $ 79 FANfare card, valid for discounts of 50 percent on weekdays and 25 percent on weekends.
OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT
A new twist here this year is that all VT / NH resident tickets for $ 39 on Wednesdays and $ 35 on Sunday mornings must be purchased online 48 hours in advance. The first day off for everyone is Food Drive Day on December 6th. Bring three non-perishable items to purchase a $ 30 ticket. On April 1, Food Drive Day repeats, but lift tickets are only $ 10. Okemo will create deals online as the season evolves as well. that you check their website before visiting it.
Generally, it’s best to purchase lift tickets off-site at the Vermont Shaws grocery and sports stores listed on the resort’s website for $ 50 each. Other than that, there is a $ 15 discount offer on business Mondays, for those who leave a business card at the ticket window. Most Fridays are Vermont days at half price on resident tickets, lessons and rentals. Non-holiday Thursdays mean $ 29 tickets for genuine college students.
RESORT STOWE MOUNTAIN
If you don’t have a season pass, the best deal you’ll get here is with your $ 75 Stowe Points Card, which allows you to purchase $ 59 elevator tickets and offers discounts at the resort’s summer attractions. If you accumulate 450 points through purchases at the resort, you will be rewarded with a lift ticket or a round of golf (with cart).
You can’t go wrong with Stratton’s $ 69 X2 card. You will immediately receive a complimentary elevator ticket and the ability to purchase tickets on weekdays for $ 30 off and on weekends for $ 20 off the official rate. A new promotion here is the Family Sunday 4-Pack: $ 99 toward the purchase of lift tickets for two parents and two children with free pizza after skiing at Grizzly’s Bar.
His card is titled SugarDirect Card: $ 99 buys a ticket in advance and then 25 percent off midweek tickets and 20 percent off on weekends. Primavera for 10 tickets and the eleventh is paid by the house.
On Tuesdays there are two lift tickets for the price of one, with other discount days to be announced.