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How to Ski Through a Recession

The economy is in the dumps, but that shouldn’t stop you from praying for the next big dump. You may be unemployed and eating cardboard for all we know. But at least resorts across America have woken up to the reality and dug deep to keep us skiing. Here are the best deals we could find.
posted: 12/19/2008

The Canyons, Utah

Ski Free with Bonus Cash: For every night you book slopeside lodging, get two free lift tickets per unit and $25 to spend on drinks and grub in the resort’s lodges.

Magic Mountain, Vermont

Magic’s Earn Your Turns program officially endorses uphill traffic, as long as you don’t litter, don’t use the lift, keep your dog on a leash, and steer clear of mountain operations. Basically, they ain’t charging for what should be free anyway.

Fernie Alpine Resort/Kimberly Alpine Resort, British Columbia

Book a seat on one of the inaugural flights from the continental U.S. to the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook, BC, and get a lift ticket for $1. (Fine print: You must book your flight for December 17, 20, or 21.)

Northstar-at-Tahoe, California

The Green Package: No, this has nothing to do with aftermath from nearby Nevada’s legal prostitution. Starting at $108 a person, the Green Package gets you a studio condo, lift tickets, carbon offsets, and a $50 gas card. Not sure how the last two go together, but hey, we’ll take it.

Crested Butte, Colorado

Friends and Family Fly Free: sort of. If you buy two plane tickets through Crested Butte Vacations, the third ticket is free. The only catch is renting lodging through the resort for at least four nights.

Silverton, Colorado

Silverton kindly rewinds to 2005, when we were making omelets from Fabergé eggs, by selling lift tickets and other wares at 2005 prices. And they offer $2 beers and a free Red Bull every day to season-pass holders.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

The California Seat Sale: United Airlines and Air Canada offer plane tickets for $99 per person one-way from LAX or SFO to Vancouver.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, California

Save gas and carpool with K-Pool, Kirkwood’s ride-share program. Be subjected to the musical tastes of whoever’s driving.

Powder Mountain, Utah

Night lift passes are now at 2002 rates—$15. And Powder Mountain starts night skiing at 3 p.m., effectively throwing in some daylight for free.

Le Massif, Quebec

Within 45 minutes of your purchase, if you don’t like the conditions, you can get your money back, no questions asked. The program could also be called Ski as Much as You Can in 45 Minutes, All Season Long.

Mount Snow, Vermont

Buy the FANfare card for $99 and get 50 percent off midweek tickets, 25 percent off weekend tickets, and 10 percent off holiday tickets. That’s a lot of math. But it’s not like you were busy at work.

Check the site for lift-ticket deals across North America. The website claims to offer up to 70 percent off tickets for a plethora of mountains. The “inventory” is constantly updated so it’s not great for booking months ahead, but weeks. The site also offers deals on rental packages.

Type in your zip code and find the cheapest gas in the area.

Plasma Donation Centers

Yes, you can still make up to $200 a month selling plasma. Check the ZLB Plasma website for locations across the country.


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