Families visiting Crested Butte can take advantage of the free skiing for kids six and under, free Mountain Express shuttle from Mt. Crested Butte to Crested Butte and free fourth night of lodging (photo courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain Resort).
Skiers and riders have a lot of options to get more out of their ski season this year as Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts build in value to ski vacations with an assortment of free activities. From concerts, to races, to lift tickets, savvy deal seekers will find plenty of choices for fun and enjoyment offered completely free of charge.
Here are some highlights:
Arapahoe Basin’s May Concert Series is not only free but entertaining. Free concerts will be held in the base area every Saturday in May from 1pm-4pm. Guests are invited to follow spring skiing with libations and live music.
Aspen/Snowmass plays host to a number of events throughout the season, including the X-Games, World Cup Races and concerts. All events at the four mountains are free.
Families visiting Crested Butte can take advantage of the free skiing for kids six and under, free Mountain Express shuttle from Mt. Crested Butte to Crested Butte and free fourth night of lodging.
Sitting at the edge of Grand Mesa, Powderhorn Resort provides breathtaking views of the valley. Guests can take in the scenery on a free, one-hour guided mountain tour. Tours are offered every Saturday and sign-up is located at Guest Services.
Guests at Purgatory now have the chance to experience the latest craze in winter sports—snowbiking. Purgatory Ski and Ride School offers free snowbike licensing, which guests will need to have before speeding down the slopes. Rentals are available at Purgatory Rentals.
Kids at SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch can go straight from the slopes to the sledding hill for more fun on the snow. The Sledding Area is fenced off from ski traffic and provides kids and adults alike with a perfect place to play when the lifts are closed.
For those who want to stay out of the cold, Telluride offers free gondola transportation between the resort, the Intercept Lot, and the core of the Mountain Village. The gondola runs seven days a week from 7:00am-midnight.
Wolf Creek’s “Fun Series” offers races of all kinds during the 2010-2011 season. Entry is free and open to skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. The fastest racers in each age and gender category will receive gold, silver, and bronze medals and eternal glory.
Steamboat has free skiing with Olympians Billy Kidd and Nelson Carmichael. Guests can get pointers from the best while skiing on Heavenly Daze or Nelsons’ Run. Grooming reports will let people know what days Billy is skiing at 1pm, as well as which Sundays Nelson is conducting his free clinic.
Copper Mountain offers free snowcat rides to the legendary Tucker Mountain, where skiers and riders can access more than 273 acres and 1,200 vertical feet of terrain. Cats run on select days from 10:00am-1:30pm and depart from the base of the Mountain Chief Lift.
Echo Mountain wants to help parents pass on their love of skiing and riding to the next generation. Lift tickets for children age five and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Season Pass holders at Eldora can enjoy free access to the Nordic Center as well as more than 40 kilometers of trails for cross-country skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing. Just steps from the ski lift, Eldora’s Nordic trails meander through forests, snow-covered alpine meadows, and mountain peaks. The Nordic Center offers complete rental packages, lessons, and clinics.
For those who have never tried skiing or riding before, Loveland has a great deal. Guests who purchase a 3-Class Pass from Loveland Ski and Ride school will receive a free season pass to help them work on their turns all season long.
Monarch Mountain has free deals for skiers and riders of all ages. Children ages six and under, as well as seniors ages 69 and over, can ski for free all season long.
Guests at Silverton Mountain can earn free unguided ski days by volunteering for Boot-Packing Days. Those who want to participate should show up—with pants duct-taped to boots—at the base area at 8:45am on any of the scheduled boot-packing days and be ready to pack down snow with their boots. No experience is required but participants must have a beacon and probe. Each day of boot-packing earns a free day of unguided skiing.
One of Colorado Ski Country’s Gems Resorts, Ski Cooper offers Gems Cardholders one free season pass after completion of three lessons.
Guests at Sunlight Mountain who print a coupon from www.sunlightmtn.com can get a free child lift ticket with the purchase of two adult lift tickets.
When guests book a minimum of two nights of lodging at Winter Park between Opening Day and Christmas Day 2010, they will receive one free lift ticket per night booked. The “Ski Free at Winter Park” lodging package is available online at www.playwinterpark.com.
For Colorado Ski Country destination resorts trip planning information and tools, visit http://www.coloradoski.com.
For features on ski destinations, visit www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate