We have had a few storms already hit Utah's mountains which shows Mother Nature is taking over. Being that is is early October, this is a good sign that the summer ridge of high pressure is heading out and the Pacific Ocean storms are taking over. With that said, ski season is almost here and it's time to find some deals out there to get your family on the slopes.
For the last 7 years, Emily (11) and Brennan (9) have been producing "welcome to Ski Utah" videos every year.
Here is our latest and greatest!
If you're like me, as a Mom, you are always looking for ways to save money. Here is a list of some pass deals to check out:
Ski Utah's 5th and 6th Passport Program: 5th graders receive three days FREE at each of Utah's 14 resorts. 6th graders. 6th graders receive one day FREE at each of Utah's 14 resorts. AND, it is open to ALL visitors, not just Utah. There is a small application fee and it takes a couple weeks, so keep that in mind!
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month: This program is designed to get new skiers and snowboarders out on the slope. Each resort has its own offerings of lesson/rentals and passes. Plan ahead and don't miss up these January opportunities.
Yeti Pass: This is a limited quantity pass which allows you to ski one day at each of Utah's resorts. It is a great idea to buy this to go along with your kiddos in the Passport Program. Another great reason to get this; if you've wanted to buy a season pass at a resort buy aren't quite sure which one, it gives you a chance to give them all a try.
Here is a list by resort:
Alta: Alta has many options when it comes to season passes. Follow the link to score a few days at Alta while having access to many resorts all over the world. Another perk for families is when purchasing an adult season pass, you will get a FREE season pass for your child six and under. If you are just learning and not sure about buying a full day pass, you can Ski after 3 pm on Cecret, Albion and Sunnyside lifts for just $10. Get the kids out for a few runs and just get their ski legs before buying a big pass.
Beaver Mountain: Small and unique in northern Utah. Kids five and under are FREE and with season pass purchase, there are three days of FREE skiing at Brian Head. There are also discounts at many local businesses when showing your season pass.
Brian Head: Located in southern Utah, it is just as close to Las Vegas as Salt Lake City. So if visiting in Vegas, pop up to Brian Head for a couple days and enjoy the slopes and scenery. Terrain based learning is great for the kids. Brian Head University has a deal you can't pass up. Purchase a three lesson program for first timers and If you don't have the concept in those three lessons, you get a FULL refund. There is also the reciprocal pass where you will get FREE ski days at other resorts across the country.
Brighton: Brighton is the resort my family has spent the most time at and Emily had been part of the ski team for three years. For the second year in a row, Brighton offers kids 10 and under FREE with a paying adult. 2 kids FREE with a paying adult. What! No excuses this year mom and dad, you've got to dust off your old gear and get out. Night skiing is also an option with discounted tickets and you pretty much have the slopes to yourself. I have to say, this is my kids favorite time to ski. And...in December, there will be two days of FREE learn to ski/board days. Includes an hour lesson, all day equipment rental and lift pass. You MUST REGISTER. So, I know I will be getting my never ever friends up!!!
Cherry Peak: This is Utah's newest ski resort. With day and night skiing, there are plenty of deals to be had. Kids 5 and under ski free with an adult. Tubing and ice skating will surely be a favorite with families. I'm putting this on my winter bucket list.
Deer Valley Resort: So, a ski-only favorite with my daughter—there is plenty to do both off and on the slopes. There are early season deals with lodging that gives kids 12 and under a chance to ski free. Check the link for dates included. If you are just learning and don't want to ski the whole mountain, you can purchase a beginner pass which keeps you near the bottom on nice, gentle terrain to get your confidence up before heading up high. The lessons and childcare is top notch and a guarantee to be a great day for you and the kids.
Eagle Point: Another resort in southern Utah that is close to Utah's red rock country. Recently launched is an online store which offers a stay and ski package where every ticket is $50! Children six and under are FREE!
Park City Mountain: America's largest resort with 7,300 skiable acres!! There are many options when shopping for season passes. Depending on if you are just skiing at Park City or you would like to use your pass at many other resorts across the country, the Epic Pass offers up the best option for families to get the most terrain under you feet all season. In just it's second year, the Epic School Kids pass is an amazing pass that offers Utah kids get five FREE days of skiing/boarding K-5th grade. Applications for this program has already closed so be sure to check back early next year.
Powder Mountain: From great groomed runs to snowcat skiing to kite skiing, this resort is certainly a gem. Kids six and under ski/ride free with a paying adult. Coming this year: Terrain Based Learning which I have described above in the Brian Head section is the preferred way to teach kids the sport.
Snowbasin Resort: Beautiful scenery, great lodges, awesome bathrooms and long runs...what more could you want? The Riglet Park is one of our favorites which leads into the Terrain Based Learning. Learn and Earn is also a great learning program which includes three lessons, rentals and lift tickets for one price. Once your "graduate" you earn a season pass! This expires December 18th, so jump on this deal! With season passes, you will also get ski days at other resorts in the US and discounts on lodging.
Snowbird: We're calling this our home resort this year and we will be joining the race team. With tons of vertical and one of Utah's longest seasons, I will have lots to learn this year! Upgrades are plenty with a new lodge at the top of the Tram and Smartcard ticketing. Kids six and under ski/ride free. And if you plan quick, there are great deals for lodging and lift tickets.
Solitude: In its second year of ownership under Deer Valley, you can still find plenty of "solitude" at this quaint resort while Deer Valley had dramatically freshened up food offerings to this Big Cottonwood Resort. New this year for kids lessons, you can get rentals for $20. With season tickets, there are offers of FREE days of skiing at both Deer Valley and Brighton. Kids under six are FREE with a paying adult.
Sundance: With the beauty of Mt Timpanogos in the background, the view never gets old. Not only skiing, but making art, eating great food and relaxing is what Sundance is known for. Kids under six are FREE. For $149, you can take a family of four night skiing.
Here's another resource for pass/deal options for all beginners, not just kids.