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How to Cut Your Cost of Skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 

That explains a lot!!!!


Hmmm, well like Plake told Bryant Gumbel, "No, I've done the weird stuff all along."

post #32 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

This is the best tip here, believe me.

 

Get into the ski business yourself....... There is no better way to ski free as well as get free passes for your family or friends....

Being one of those friends must be a pretty sweet gig too =)

post #33 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 


As for me...

 

   There used to be a big ski research facility in my town.  For years I was a "volunteer".  Took gear that weren't on the market yet and let them analyze how my body handled them.  Each study paid a lift ticket or two and I could do a couple per year.  This is how I paid for my skiing for NOW.

 

 

 

Ha! =D

post #34 of 59

I have 1 pair of skis, 1 set of outerwear, 1 pair of boots etc.

 

Really keeps the cost down, though I have more work now then ever before in my life.

post #35 of 59

I virtual ski online here at Epicski. It's saved me hundreds of dollars. Safer too. 

post #36 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I virtual ski online here at Epicski. It's saved me hundreds of dollars. Safer too. 


And you don't have to wear a helmet here. Isn't that nice.
 

post #37 of 59

Yeah, this is the only website I can't access with my mobile device,  so it's the safest!

post #38 of 59

Ah-ha the notorious Cyber-skier.

post #39 of 59

Turn the heat way down in the house during one of the cold months and go skiing! 

post #40 of 59

 Quote:

Originally Posted by Pwdrhnd View Post

Have a brother and/or a friend with a condo in Steamboat.  Only cost me a case of good wine for the week for my family.


A brother, yes. But a friend who live near ski area? I save that for seasons when the cost is high. i.e. boom years! :o)

 

I have a "free" place to stay at Park City. Can have my own room and my friend be my local ski guide! Really fantastic deal. But I don't want to wear out my welcome by going every single year. (nor do I want to ski Canyons every year either) So I've skipped this season since I can get pretty decent deals in other resort and get a change of terrain. Granted, I'm not "limited" by fund but my vacation time. Still, I try to save on the trips I can actually manage.

 

Next season, I'm going to the Gathering at SLC anyway. So I'll hop over to PC and do a couple days of it after the gathering. (unless the bears want to do a Canyon day, then I'll ask if my friendly host can guide...)

post #41 of 59

Accumulate points on rewards programs (I charge almost everything on credit cards -- gas, groceries, etc but pay off all open balances).  In exchange, I've gotten an Arcteryx jacket for $4 (off season sale + REI dividend), free airfare for a couple of vacations, car rental for one ski trip.

 

Buy all gear at off season prices.  Research best times to buy/sources to shop.

 

This last year I did promo work for Bay Area ski bus to pay for some of 2009/2010 transportation costs.

 

Cut OTHER non-ski spending to make more funds available for ski spending!

 
 
post #42 of 59

In addition to the "book" UL wrote, we used my accumulated points with one hotel chain to stay at places on our drives home, saved prob'ly $100. 

 

Use 1 credit card for everything so you can accumulate even more points (that's how we got all those gas cards, saving hundreds on fuel). 

 

I passed on the helmet issue again this year, sold my beloved K2s and continue to wear the same ski jacket I bought after I first learned (it's Spyder, super-warm, and still looks pretty nifty). 

 

Skipped all lessons this year, favoring free events like CubeFest and skiing with really good skiers who offer coaching because they're just want to help.  I didn't ski alot this year for a variety of reasons, but it was actually a really good skill-development season (I think it's my Luna-tics!).

 

UL does all our waxing and tuning so we save a ton there too.  Maybe one trip to Christy's in Dillon for $25 but otherwise he's very adept at keeping the boards slide-y and ready to go.

 

Now, if anyone knows any great pet sitters in our neck o'the woods, that could save us a little bit more next season!

post #43 of 59

 I bought fewer tickets and did more hiking at smaller distances from home.

post #44 of 59

I didn't do a thing different from my usual routine. I bought new snowboard gear and took 3 trips on top of local weekend skiing. My day job is secure, my car gets 43 mpg, I get discounts almost everywhere and I get paid to ski. And I won a new snowboard at a raffle at the end of the season. Life is good.

post #45 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

........ my car gets 43 mpg.......

 

Do you own a TDI? That's another thing I did to save money. I bought a used VW TDI and get an easy 40-45 mpg combined city/highway plus it handles well and hauls ass down low, a really fun ride. It also has a split fold down rear seat so now I don't have to listen to roof rack howl.

post #46 of 59

Roof rack howl? Awwwwooooooo - where-roofs of London!

 

2004 Jetta Wagon TDI. I have a buddy that has the exact same car (down to the color) that gets 48 mpg. Diesels are like that. After the vent-ectomy, the tank holds 17 gallons. I'd tell you what the highway mileage is, but I'm too old to drive >700 miles without stopping. It's a funny car. At 80mph the tack and the speedo are centered straight up. The car just loves that speed and it never gets tickets (hey it's not me - it's the car!). And it has started in temps as low -14.

 

Compared to my old Rodeo, it cut my fuel costs by about half. And I spend 1/4 as much time filling up.

post #47 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

Here at EpicSki we saw a drop of about 20% in visitors and unique users over the previous year--this trend began months before the conversion

 


I find the new layout confusing and hard on the eyes.  I believe the changes have contributed to the drop off.

post #48 of 59

 SIJ, Like you, I had a hard time adjusting to the lay out, and felt that it took away from the sense of community, but if you opt for the classic blue, it helps with the eyes.

 

As for the sense of community, I feel it coming back as the huddler team makes progress with tools.  I really like the IMG capabilities.

 

All the tools and toys can't replace the amazing people that ARE EpicSki!

post #49 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Roof rack howl? Awwwwooooooo - where-roofs of London!

 

2004 Jetta Wagon TDI. I have a buddy that has the exact same car (down to the color) that gets 48 mpg. Diesels are like that. After the vent-ectomy, the tank holds 17 gallons. I'd tell you what the highway mileage is, but I'm too old to drive >700 miles without stopping. It's a funny car. At 80mph the tack and the speedo are centered straight up. The car just loves that speed and it never gets tickets (hey it's not me - it's the car!). And it has started in temps as low -14.

 

Compared to my old Rodeo, it cut my fuel costs by about half. And I spend 1/4 as much time filling up.


I bought '97 Passat TDI with about 100,000 on the odometer, just broken in, no rust anywhere. The tank holds 18.5 gallons (no vent-ectomy). I filled up drove from the Pittsburgh area to Long Island loaded with my daughter and her belongings for college. I then drove around there on errands and a few round trips to my hotel, maybe about 4-5 15 mile jaunts, then I drove back and made it about 20 miles from my house before I absolutely had to fuel up. I was driving large stretches of Interstate 80 at 85 mph and all the rest of the driving was suburban or heavy traffic on the L.I.E. and if I remember correctly I got about 48 mpg. That's a range of nearly 900 miles. With a few modification you can run it on waste vegtable oil (I don't). Screw hybrids.

post #50 of 59

Lift tickets, lodging, and travel costs are the three biggest expenses that are really not optional.  We can all deal with food costs by eating off the mountain. The best deals I have found on lift tickets are:

 

1. Park City Quick Start- ski free the day you fly at any of the 3 resorts in the town of PC. We get early flights and are riding the lift by 10:15

 

2. Canyon Sports in SLC- discount tickets to all the areas

 

3. Aspen tickets are $20 off if you stay at the hostel in Glenwood Springs.  I know of no other deals for Aspen (other than the 4-pack that requires a separate trip in October)

 

Lodging Deals:

 

 

1. Stay at a hostel.  It may not be fancy, but if your goal is to ski yourself to sleep then who cares. Besides, you meet interesting people.  We spent $16 /pp/per night in Glenwood Springs (as above)

 

2. Ski the day you arrive and the day you leave.  Taking a travel day on each end gets expensive when you add in the extra room and food.  Travelers from the east coast have it made because of the time change.

 

3. Travel off peak.  Every November my two sons and I find somewhere to ski the weekend before Thanksgiving. We book multiple flights on Southwest since cancellation costs nothing.  We have tickets for Denver, SLC, and Reno and go where the snow is best.  We can decide the morning of our flight as long as we are willing to take a chance on lodging.  Three years ago we went to Vail that weekend.  We arrived at the Lionshead base looking for dinner on Sunday night and found an otherwise overpriced Caribbean themed restaurant.   After we were seated our server asked if we had seen the specials.  We said no.  She told us all food was 60% off.  Then we needed a place to stay and asked if they had rooms associated with the restaurant (remember, slope-side at Lionshead) and they said yes.  I asked how much a one bedroom suite for three cost.  The guy behind the desk told me $500.  I said that sounded a little steep.  Did he have any discount rate for walk-ups at 7 PM the weekend before Thanksgiving?  He looked in the computer and said, "How about $100?"  NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR DISCOUNTS.  Oh, by the way, Vail had 2000 acres open on a twenty inch base and no bare spots.  They had a dozen single black trails open and the skiing was great for early season.

 

Travel Options:

 

1. If you fly, use Southwest.  Rarely will anyone else beat their price three weeks+ before departure.  If you want to cancel, do nothing and your reservation ID is active at full value and can be used for any other ticket (or combination) for 365 days.  The best reason to fly Southwest is that they are the best at arriving on time.  This allows you to plan to ski the day you arrive (reliably) which saves the most.

 

2.  If you drive, bring a friend or use a small car.  This logic is obvious.

 

 

post #51 of 59

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaingirl1961 View Post

When I need new skis, I buy demos.  That way I also get rental bindings.  Easier to sell and/or loan out to friends when the time comes.  And I save $$ up front on skis that are usually in pretty good shape - they're trying to make a sale based on that ski's performance so they keep them up pretty well.

 

Wax my own skis.  I don't know how to tune them but a good friend does... if I keep him supplied in Stella Artois he'll tune them for me.

 

Lift food & brown bagging.  And a cooler full of beer in the truck when I'm done.

 

Buy seconds at Sierra Trading Post.  Look for end of season close-outs at shops that sell ski clothes.  Never, ever, ever buy something that isn't at least 50% off... if you look you can do a LOT better than that.

 

Take care of my gear, esp. clothing.  It will last a very long time if you do.  I have ski clothes that are 15+ years old and going strong.

 

+++++++++++++

 

The bottom line is that I'll spend real money on stuff that counts (like boots, footbeds, bootfitting) and otherwise look for ways to save big.  My boots will last me for many, many years, so I buy them right once and hang on to them.  Everything else had better be a deal or I'm not buying.


Great post MTNgirl!  You are one smart cookie!

 

You didn't mention "Hike for your turns!"

post #52 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaingirl1961 View Post

Buy seconds at Sierra Trading Post.  Look for end of season close-outs at shops that sell ski clothes.  Never, ever, ever buy something that isn't at least 50% off... if you look you can do a LOT better than that.

 

Take care of my gear, esp. clothing.  It will last a very long time if you do.  I have ski clothes that are 15+ years old and going strong.

 


Another idea: Check thrift stores for ski clothing. Where I live, I see lots of almost new gear on the rack at Goodwill for next to nothing. A friend picked up a Burton jacket for her kid that was one season old, and paid $20.

 

And I'll second the "take care of your gear;" I have a Marmot Randonee jacket that is going on it's 20th season.

post #53 of 59

Don't buy anything you don't actually need, if you need something then buy exactly what you want so you aren't tempted to keep buying other similar things. Sales are great, but saving 50% on a product you don't actually want is really spending 100% too much.

post #54 of 59

Lots of great suggestions, especially around gear.  I have enough "stuff."  I just want to be outside going down the hill.  My focus is on a lift-served experience, and that means tickets or passes.  While I agree that dollar-for-dollar a pass is the best value, I will never buy a pass.  It's all because I'm an explorer and I bore easily.  I may go to 10-15 different areas in one season.  My focus is east coast, and it's all about finding deals.  

 

The first deal I found, long, long ago is, "join a ski club."  Buying bulk tickets, showing your membership card for price breaks, special days all add up.  

I then started fishing around for deals so much, that it has become an obsession.  And I'm well beyond trolling the web.  I pick up the phone.  I began to share my discoveries with my club, ACE which is a northeast club based in Massachusetts.  At this point, many people look forward to my club mail describing what I've uncovered.  The key however is not finding deals, that's actually the easy part.  The key is determining the best strategy to play with all these options.  Understanding the restrictions is key.  I can even ski at a discount during holiday peak rates if I want.  By season's end, I usually have more deals and vouchers in my pocket than I can use, so they find good homes elsewhere.   Tends to be a terrific strategy for a day-tripper.

 

I don't go searching for for lodging/ticket combos, it's too easy to lose site of the overall costs.  Kind of like dickering for a new car when you're doing a trade-in.  Not for me.

 

I plot the prices, scope out deals each day of the week, compare all the offers from pre-purchase to special days and everywhere in between.  None of these involve getting a group of 40 together for a bus trip.

 

I spend time at AZ where we have a thread to post deals.  Kind of random, but the power of many beats the power of one.  The key then is to organize it into something useful to you.

 

Sure, it's work, but hey, it's your money or your time.  I enjoy the hunt on the off season and get out on the slopes as often as I want at a fairly low average ticket price.

 

I'm interested in hearing your ticket strategies.

post #55 of 59

As soon as I get to my destination, my first stop is usually the grocery store. Me and my friends will schedule cooking responsibilities, and we all chip in for food. Pack sandwiches/fruit/etc for lunches at the mountain. Food usually ends up being dirt cheap this way.

 

Another nice thing has been the use of my camelbak ski backpack. That thing rocks. I can hold tons of water, plus my shoes, extra clothes, food, etc. It has totally eliminated my need to ever rent a locker at the base or buy expensive food at the mountain, plus it's so convenient to always have your stuff with you!

 

For rental skis, I call ahead from home, and compare prices at all the mountainside shops for demos. When they figure out I'm shopping around, they usually offer a nice discount. I usually pay very little for great skis.


Edited by AustinFromSA - 11/1/10 at 8:42am
post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post


For rental skis, I call ahead from home, and compare prices at all the mountainside shops for demos. When they figure out I'm shopping around, they usually offer a nice discount. I usually pay very little for great skis.


Good point, me 2.  I always bring my boots but always rent performance demo skis.  Airlines are getting ridiculous with their baggage policy (esp. if you're coming from an airport without many options) so much  so that what you save by bringing skis you lose in bag fees.  At my age, I would not want to haul skis around, especially since I'm no good at predicting conditions.  Renting allows me to chose my weapon when I get there and see the conditions, including a switch out if things change.

post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post

As soon as I get to my destination, my first stop is usually the grocery store. Me and my friends will schedule cooking responsibilities, and we all chip in for food. Pack sandwiches/fruit/etc for lunches at the mountain. Food usually ends up being dirt cheap this way.

 

Another nice thing has been the use of my camelbak ski backpack. That thing rocks. I can hold tons of water, plus my shoes, extra clothes, food, etc. It has totally eliminated my need to ever rent a locker at the base or by expensive food at the mountain, plus it's so convenient to always have your stuff with you!

 

For rental skis, I call ahead from home, and compare prices at all the mountainside shops for demos. When they figure out I'm shopping around, they usually offer a nice discount. I usually pay very little for great skis.



There is never a need to rent a locker....I just throw my boot bag in a corner or on top of the lockers that every one else is paying for.....been doing that for 20 years and never had a problem.

post #58 of 59

I admit to renting a locker at my home mountain.

 

Why?  So I can have a change in skis if conditions warrant.  So I can have "emergency" extras for those times when I accidentally left my preferred mittens, my handwarmers, my lunch, a boot insole, whatever, at home.  Plus, it makes the walk to the car less of an ordeal at the end of the day if I can leave some of the weight (helmet, poles, skis not ready for tuning) in the locker.  It's been getting pricier here, so now I am sharing the locker (not without "discussions" about who is taking up the most room...). 

post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Don't buy anything you don't actually need, if you need something then buy exactly what you want so you aren't tempted to keep buying other similar things. Sales are great, but saving 50% on a product you don't actually want is really spending 100% too much.

 

This advise wins.  BTW, I have a pair of Soloman AK Rocket Swallowtails I could resell to you cheap.  Barely used!
 

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