Living in Colorado we are blessed with some of the best skiing and riding in the world, but coming with those amazing resorts is a plethora of ski passes to navigate. With so many options out there, capitalizing on your ski pass can be a mystery. Most ski passes offer some extra perks depending on when you bought it or the type of pass you bought. We compiled a list below to help you hack your pass and maximize its value this winter.

Get a Limited Day Pass

Photo by Brent Clark Courtesy of Vail Resorts

If your ski plans this year don’t require unlimited access, most of the resorts around the State offer multi-ticket packages to give you just the right amount of days on the mountain. In addition to giving you the perfect amount of days on the mountain, these passes offer an inexpensive way to explore a new resort and discover some of the hidden gems in Colorado.

Ski Cooper XP Pass

The Ski Cooper XP Pass offers holders four unrestricted ski days throughout the season. This pass is $119 and will stop being sold on November 30. This pass breaks your days down to just under $30 a day.

Granby Ranch 4-Pack

The Granby Ranch 4-Pack costs $169 and gives skiers and riders the ability to ski four days between January 8 and April 1. This pass is great if you are looking to plan a specific trip and avoid the holiday rush.

Silverton Mountain Spring Pass


If you are a spring slush rider and looking to check out a resort way off the beaten path, the Silverton Spring Unguided Pass is calling your name. The $169 pass includes unlimited riding at Silverton on March 30, 31, April 1, 7, 8 and 9. Included with this pass are 36 days at partner resorts, discounts on heli-drops, discounts on guided days and discounts on draft beer.

$6.50 Lift Pass at Snowmass

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Snowmass is doing a huge discount for its single-day lift ticket. Based on what a lift ticket cost when they opened in 1967, the ticket is only $6.50. Today, single day lift tickets can cost upwards of $165 for a full day of skiing. However this deal is only good for one day, Friday, December 15, 2017. It’s likely the resort will be packed but tickets are still on sale at Aspen Snowmass.com

Buy a Colorado Gems Card

Photo by Jon Resnick Courtesy of Vail Resorts

The Colorado Gems Card is one of the more unique skiing passes around. Instead of specific days, this pass offers holders either two 2-for-1 day passes or two 30-percent off lift tickets at each of the 10 Colorado Gem Resorts for just $25. The Colorado Gems include Arapahoe Basin,  Ski Cooper, Echo Mountain, Eldora, Granby Ranch, Hesperus Ski Area, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn and Sunlight. This pass is blacked out from December 17 – January 1 and expires April 15.

Half-Day Passes

If you are looking to just spend part of the day on the slopes, most resorts throughout Colorado offer half-day passes. Most notably the Vail Resorts offer afternoon skiing at a discounted rate. These passes are sold at the ticket windows and the prices vary from day-to-day depending on demand.

Buy Tickets In-Store or Online

It takes a little digging, but most grocery stores and ski shops throughout Denver sell discounted lift tickets. King Soopers and City Markets both offer discounted day passess. Evo, Colorado Ski & Golf and Christy Sports all offer discounted day passes as well. If you are looking to shop multiple pass discounts Liftopia and SkiCentral offer varying discounts throughout the season. For a last-ditch effort on your way out of the city, stop by a Shell station and purchase at least 10 gallons of fuel to receive a buy-one-get-one Ski Free ticket.

Get Ski with a Friend

Photo by Jack Affleck Courtesy of Vail Resorts

If you’ve ever been an EPIC pass holder you are probably familiar with the terms Buddy Pass and Ski With a Friend passes. These are two of the more common perks that come with the Vail Resorts season passes, and nice features to bring your pass-less friends along with you to the mountains. The amount of Buddy Passes and Ski with a Friend Passes varies depending on when you purchased your pass and what pass you purchased.

Buddy Passes

These come preloaded with the Vail Resorts Epic and Epic Local passes. They are redeemable for single day passes for a flat rate at the Vail Resorts excluding Arapahoe Basin. Last season, these passes cost $96 at Keystone, $114 at Breckenridge and $124 at Vail and Beaver Creek. But it’s important to note that normally these passes are included with Epic Passes pre-ordered in May.

Ski With a Friend Passes

Ski with a Friend (SWAF) Passes differ from Buddy Passes in that the price varies throughout the season based on the demand for lift tickets. Six SWAF tickets come loaded on the Epic Passes that offer unlimited riding. When using these passes, you are able to purchase any combination of one to six tickets. Since the price for these is increased with ticket demand, using them away from holiday and high-traffic weeks will yield the most bang for your buck.

 

 

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