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Vail at Christmas

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can anyone tell me the cheapest way to do this.
Basically, we have been given some free accommodation near Beaver Creek and have booked flights from UK.
There are 4 of us. 2 adults, a 12year old and a 17 year old.
All dfferent ability levels.
I cnnot beleive the cost of lessons and lift passes.
We thought about ski school just because we would all be able to ski with someone and not get lost on the mountain, but the prices are making me think that this is a big mistake.
The lift passes also are eye watering.
Can anyone give me some advice to make this a bit cheaper.
We have no tour operater as we booked flights direct with the airline and have been given some accomodation as a payment for some work I did for someone.
Any help and advice would be appreciated
post #2 of 7
I wish you well with this because Christmas Week is undoubtedly the most expensive time of the year to ski Vail. I wish I had some suggestions for you regarding lifts and lessons. I'm afraid its a supply and demand situation and there will be no discounts.

I had an unexpected trip to go to Denver for a meeting between Christmas and New Years occur and hoped to ski a couple of days around the meeting. Couldn't find any affordable lodging. Fortunately you have that covered. Good luck.
post #3 of 7
The only way to save any money is to purchase your lift tickets in advance thru the Vail website. If the lift tickets are too expensive, then you should not have spent the money on airline tickets! That's like booking a trip to Disney World without figuring out that theme park tickets cost about $60 per person per day.

Anyhow, to save money ski fewer days and do other activities. As far as getting lost on the Vail or Beaver Creek mountains: the trails are very well marked and there is no need to worry.
post #4 of 7
Mortgage the house, hock the car, live off of melted snow and biscuits for the week and buy those $80 (or whatever) lift tickets. You have a possibly once-in-lifetime opportunity that even most American skiers can't dream of - prime time at the prime resort - Christmas at Vail. AND it's a very snowy December for Colorado this year!
post #5 of 7
Unfortunately, the 7-day advance purchase discount applies to US citizens. As international guests, you have to pre-book tickets at least 14 days in advance to get any kind of ticket discount, and that's on at least 3-day tickets (no discounts for less days). You say you'll be there for Christmas, so it looks like you've just missed that 14-day window required. They offer no discounts at the ticket window.

Consider driving about 30 miles to Summit County and ski some of the more affordable resorts: Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland. (Breck and Keystone are owned by Vail and are about $5 cheaper, but it sounds to me like you want to save more than that.)

At Copper Mountain, you get the best discounts by purchasing tickets online at their site 7 days in advance. I do not know if they require a longer period for international guests or not. If you can't buy them online, you will still get discounted multiday tickets if you buy at the window, it's just not as large of a discount (but better than no discount!). At the window, adults and the 17-year-old will pay $72 for one day and receive discounts for 3 days or more, the 12-year-old pays $34 and receives discounts for 3 days or more. You can also get a 10-percent discount on lessons if you pre-book them either online or by calling the resort.

At A-Basin, during Christmas adults pay $51. Your 17-year-old will pay $41 and your 12-year-old will pay $22. There are no multiday discounts, so you'll pay that price per day. But, what a difference! And A-Basin is definitely worth a visit.

At Loveland, adults and 17-year-old pay $50, 12-year-old pays $22. Again, that's the price per day.

post #6 of 7
Oh, and if the only reason you plan to take lessons is to have a guide to show you the mountain, most resorts in North America have free tours of the mountain a couple times a day. Ask when you buy your tickets.

post #7 of 7
Option 1: See if one of the locals on this board will let you use their address for your peaks card/pre-purchase - paypal them the money, have them do the purchase for you and then meet them the first day to collect the peaks cards/lift tickets. I would be very willing to do this for you, but I leave for Austria on Monday - ask, and I bet someone would be willing to help you out.

Option 2: Take thatsagirl's advice and ski at some of the less expensive areas in Summit. Copper, Loveland and A-Basin are all a lot cheaper than the Vail Resorts. At Copper you can get "4-packs" (that's 4 days lift tickets per person - not 4 tickets for 4 people on one day) on ebay for $60 to $80 - check to see if there's blackout dates on them, I don't remember (someone want to help out on that ?). At A-Basin, if four of you show up at the ticket window and tell them you all came in the same car, the adult lift tickets are $35, kids 6 to 14 are $22, under 6 = free. Loveland is $50 for adults and $22 for 14 and under - folks who ski there more often than I do (almost never) should have more insight on discounts there.

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