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Before you think about having kids...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My wife just totalled up the costs of our last week of skiing. This was a banner week for us because it's the first time we had TWO kids on skis. My 7 year old is in his 4th season and my 3 year old just clicked into bindings for the first time. We didn't even have all 4 of us skiing every day.

My son skied 4 1/2 days
I skied 4 1/2 days
My wife skied 4
My daughter skied 2.

Total for lift tickets and lessons...wait for it...


Ouch. This doesn't include lodging or food. We have a third who will be on skies in about 3 years. I don't even want to think of the cost of that week!

Oh well, retirement's overrated anyway. [img]smile.gif[/img]

EDITED: I should mention that skiing bumps with my always-excited-to-be-skiing son and watching my daughter make her first turns was worth way more than $820!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 15, 2002 08:41 AM: Message edited 1 time, by KevinH ]</font>
post #2 of 17
Yep - thats why I can never stop skiing professionally, free equipment and lift tickets for kid(s) help make up for lost revenue of being in the (American) ski business.
post #3 of 17
Keep in mind that Todd gets the goodies cause he is at "the top of the food chain".

Now you gotta start playing the angles and learn where the discounts are, cheap lodging is and what hills have the best swap meets.

Start by checking the web sites of the hills in September for season pass deals. Our hill offers them darned near half price if you buy two before October ..... season lockers were half off too.
post #4 of 17
Kevin, try Sierra-At-Tahoe. Kids 5 and under ski free and ages 6-12 ski for $10. Adult seaon pass $199 (Sun-Fri, no holidays, next year it will be $249).

It's a 3 hour drive from San Ramon. I know because I live in SR too. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...never tried Sierra.

For quick day trips, we only ski Sugarbowl. It's a bit cheaper than Squaw and very close as well. How's the terrain at Sierra? I like Sugarbowl because, for a small mountain, it's got some great expert stuff up top and fun groomers for my family.
post #6 of 17
Kevin, thanks, but it's too late for me
I've got two kids, and I've introduced them both to skiing.
That's one of the main reasons I'm down from
30-40 dd/year skiing to 10 (this year, past years were even worse!).
The math is simple: 4pplx10dd=40 (monetarily equivalent to, if not more expensive than, my old 40 dd). To that you've got to add
children illnesses and family visits...
But, seeing them ski, and the way they enjoy it, it's wonderful, and counterweight everything else!
post #7 of 17
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KevinH:
How's the terrain at Sierra? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They have 7-8 expert runs, only one of which occassionally got groomed. So, plenty of ungroomed bump runs. I like steep and groomed, in addition to bumps, so I would have liked to see at least one more of these trails regularly groomed. They are all great after a good storm. If no storm, then...

The blue groomers are pretty good too. I went to Heavenly once this season and thought their blues should have been green. Very boring, very flat. Not so at Sierra. Great for novices and intemediates in the family. There are only about 8 of these, though. So when the bump runs are not skiable, these can get boring because it's always the same trails.

No snowmaking.

Good wind protection.

Lot's of boarders, but they have a lot of terrain of their own. In fact a large chunk of the mountain has been converted to terrain trails. The whole backside area is basically for boarders.

Free advanced group lessons! These are great!

Vertical Plus club - pay $ and get a wristband that lets you cut the liftline all season and counts your vertical feet. You get prizes base on how much vertical you accumulate, and you get to cut the line.
Good at Northstar as well. Should have done this.

Backcountry access gates. New. Guided tours available.

Bottom line is that the season pass was a bargain, so I made some concessions for resort size and terrain. Have a great time regardless.
post #8 of 17
I just checked the Internet for pass prices at a local small ski area. The whole family can ski on annual pass for $809. Roughly, the same as 10 regular mid week ticketed days.

We also saved on the lodging costs by buying a motorhome (cheap!!! really cheap!!!) and using it to park in the lodge p-lot for the weekends and up to about 5 days. We take all the school inservice work days and holidays and go skiing. The cost include fuel up and back and propane for the on board furnace. We sleep in and get first tracks everyday.

Yeah, I can hear some of you saying that the cost of the MH purchase has to be figured into the whole thing to get an accurate cost evaluation. Well, since we would have taken about 2 weeks each year and traveled to Bachelor or some other destination resort, I just compared the price for those two weeks against the purchase price of the MH.

One week for the family costs at least 2,500 for lodging and gas in Sunriver, Oregon or for flight and lodging at most destination resorts. At that rate the MH will be paid for within six years - without figuring any other uses (we use the MH more than the 2 weeks listed above and will use it even more as our 2 year old grows and begins to ski, etc.). Plus it is a great place for spring bar-b-cues after skiing and a nice place to meet people before or after skiing.

KevinH, while this is not a solution to everything, it may be a good way to really reduce your costs and make the trip more enjoyable for the whole family. You don’t have to drive as much, you can go more often since costs are lower, and you have the evening to sled, snowshoe, and play with the kids (we take quick and easy oven meals for dinner so there is little cooking or cleanup). Plus, the season pass reduces the pressure to always put the kids in lessons (we used to do this so we could ski on the few days we were able to get up to the mountain).

I could go on and on. Obviously, I am a fan. If anyone has questions I would be more than happy to chip in my $.02 regarding the pros and cons.

[img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow! Great advice, all.

This trip, unlike most of our previous trips, we did absolutely nothing to try and reduce our costs. We could have saved a few bucks by buying 3-of-4 passes; brining our lunches; getting discounts at Bay Area shops; etc.

I guess I should say that I'm not really complaining about the costs, I'm just more surprised by them. When my wife and I were living in Colorado and skiing before we had kids, we could ski for a weekend for about $100(Military Discounts rock!). I knew the costs would go up when skiing with kids but didn't realize HOW much they would go up :

I don't mind paying it...the experience is worth way more than the money. Besides, I'd just blow it in the tech market anyway [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 17
With only one child, our family ski expenses are at least not multiplied, but in a "starving artist" type profession everything's a stretch! But all the dollars and all the instructional hours (when you could be ripping) are paid back a thousand-fold with just the first glowing suntanned grin when they get something right. It gets even better when they can leave you in the dust on the steeps, and the greatest thrill...when they can tune their own skis! Here's hoping that your kids will take to the sport (not everyone likes it) and that your family joy will only grow.
post #11 of 17
Since the birth of my now 6 year old daughter my family skiing costs have actually gone down. This is because I pay only $400 a year for two season passes( previous to that two passes cost $1200, I never bought them but purchased lift tickets instead), plus another $600 or so for lift tickets to other resorts. Up through next season I don't see costs rising too much as most resoerts in the Tahoe area offer $5-$12 tickets for kids 6 and under. The price of my two season passes is going up to $500 total, though :

With the cheap season pass availablity it's going to be a while before I match the expenditures of the pre kid days [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 17
I've got 2 kids which will both be in their teens this next season, plus my wife who also skis. We put in about 40-50 days per season, so it adds up to a pretty hefty bill even after all the discounts and bargains I can scrounge up. I've been afraid to add it all up because I'd probably cut back the ski days if I really knew how much its costing.

I wish that Whistler would offer some kind of a family discounts like some of the other resorts here in B.C.

Skiing is definitely not a poor man's sport.
post #13 of 17
Miss who's that girl, Take those free lessons every chance you can! Bear Mtn, another Booth Creek place, used to have them about 4 years ago. Get them while they last! I had a few REALLY great lessons there, hopefully the quality is as good at Sierra.
post #14 of 17
I do volunteer ski patrol at nearby Smuggler's Notch. The whole family skis free, most gear is at least a half price deal or better, cafeteria food is discounted, but mostly we bring a cooler so we don't spend anything on food. In fact, I'm so cheap I put hot chocolate packets and hot cups in the cooler and tell the kids to bum hot water off the cafeteria line, just tip the cashier. I give the 13-year-old a fiver for walking around money and I spring for junk food for him and his buddies on the way home. They think I'm a big spender, but I tell you that I spend less than $20 on a day of skiing, actually, closer to $10.

Before I was a patroller, I would buy season passes in the summer at big discounts. That worked out great, but the ski patrol thing is more fun. No lift lines, dudes. A family we ski with brings a cooler full of ingredients: loaf of bread, lunch meat, cheese slices, veggies, condiments, soup mix, hot choc, etc. and sets up right in the cafeteria, make-your-own.

So, check out the ski patrol class and ski on the cheap ever after.
post #15 of 17
Kids are hideously expensive. Teenagers are even more expensive than the little guys. The only comfort I can take while I'm shelling out for skiing is that the kids are as expensive back in town as they are up on the hill, and at least I like what I'm paying for up there.
Yeah, there are ways to cut the costs--early purchase season passes and packed lunches, or taking it a step further, part time work with comped family access. But there is no getting away from the fact that kids are expensive. A friend of mine once said he wouldn't take a million dollars for either of his daughters, but wouldn't pay a nickel for a third one (couldn't afford to).
post #16 of 17
Just wait till one of the critters starts racing.
That's when the bills start to mount up. First year J-5's aren't too bad, any old skis will do, but as they get better ....... Whooooooooe!

How about lost items like gloves and locks?

My son and I left the house at 4 am for a VT trip, an economy last fling in the spring. Whe we got to VT he announced that he forgot his shoes. He will also NOT eat first thing in the morning..... the free hotel breakfast, and he suddenly gets hungry as soon as he smells the cafeteria food at the hill and has to have the big $$$ special. :

But he's such fun to ski with and he's faster than me now.
post #17 of 17
STOP!! Your scaring the heck out of my check book! : (joking)

All joking a side.....
Rowann is going to be 3 1/2 next year, and going to start some real snow skiing(her legs wasn't strong enough last year). I think Mayha is going to TRY to follow her big sister(she is already pulling herself up to stand).

The MB sounds like a great idea, hopefully I can get some bargains out of my godfather.
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