Yeah and their single day tickets aren't that cheap either making the season pass a bargin. Saturdays are a mess up there though, which would be our main day we'd likely go, meaning really we'd likely get up there for 3-4 sundays over the course of the season and just barely pay for the season pass.
I'll likely set up a 'slush fund' of money that we'd use for local lift tickets next year and whe that's gone we'd be done skiing. Say $800. That would get us a good amount of skiing and is about the same as what our passes to Welch would have run. Our lutsen trip would be outside that obviously. Actually without Welch's discount to Lutsen I doubt we'd even go for the prices they are asking now.
I've already purchased my Spirit Mountain season pass for next year. $229 is a good deal. You can save an additional $10 by purchasing online. What really makes this a good deal is the partnership they have with Lutsen for next season. The pass allows you to purchase 3 half price lift tickets at Lutsen and after that you can save $30 on lift tickets or $100 off Ski and Stay packages. I believe this is unlimited. The current pricing ends April 30th.
You're correct about Saturdays at Spirit. I usually avoid going skiing before 3 pm. Sundays aren't too bad from opening to about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Lot's of people are church goers or stay home to watch football. Weekdays are always good during the day, hardly anyone there. Race league is on Monday nights, so Blue Ruin/Bull Wacker are closed off to the general public. I think the same is true for Tuesday and Thursday nights, as Team Duluth has practice on those days. I've met quite a few people from the Cities or Canada this past season, and have had some nice chats on the chair lifts and even skied a few runs with some. If you come to Duluth, pull in the parking lot and decide it's too busy at Spirit, Mont du Lac is another option. If you parked at the Grand Avenue Chalet, Mont du Lac is about a 10 minute drive away. It's a smaller facility, technically located in Superior, WI, but you have to drive to Duluth to get there. I think I paid $20 for a lift ticket the one day I skied there this past season. I suppose you could check out their web site to view the trail map and see if it's somewhere you'd be interested in going.
Giants Ridge is another good option. IMO it's one of the best areas for developing a good rhythm, and they do a great job on their slopes.