Burlington is as close to skiing as any city. Sure, it’s not Jackson Hole or Aspen, which have ski areas in their downtowns, but you can get in your car in Burlington and be on snow in 30-45 minutes. And snow has started to fall—finally! Which means, it's time to strap on your skis or snowboard, and get out there.
First, you'll need a lift ticket. Ski town locals are always looking for deals—and this year we've done the work for you. Here are our favorite ways to shred the much-anticipated Vermont pow this winter, without emptying the piggy bank. Even if you're visiting from elsewhere, these tips offer just the intel you'll need to score ski deals like a local.
Mad River Glen
Mad River Glen’s best ski-a-lot-all-season deal is its Mad Card. For $159, you get three transferable day tickets good any time during the 2015-16 ski season, and $5 off any additional full day lift ticket purchased—limit: one per Mad Card day. If you buy a midweek Private Adult Clinic, you can even bring a friend free.
To celebrate its anniversary, on January 26 Mad River Glen rolls back the clock, and its lift ticket prices. Visitors can ski for the same price you would have paid when Mad River opened in 1948—$3.50!
And, before you dive too deeply into the green beer, make some St. Paddy’s Day turns. Dress like an elf—or just wear green—and you can ski Mad River on March 17 for $17.
Finally, act like a fool in the ticket booth on April Fool’s Day, April 1, and ski two-for-one.
Calling all college students... from December until March 30th, Wednesday night is College Night at Bolton Valley . And the “night” begins at noon. Skiers and riders with a current college ID carve for $19. Your current college ID also gets you $2 slices, hot dogs, and sodas in the Base Lodge cafeteria.
If your student ID is a distant memory, Bolton also hosts 50/50 Mondays. Every Monday, if you're 50 or older, you get 50 percent off an All-Access Lift Ticket, plus 50 percent off full day rentals from BV Sports, half off group lessons at Bolton’s Ski and Ride School, and 50 percent off a special menu at the James Moore Tavern from 11-4. Once the blue hair dinner special is over, your under-50 buddies get a food discount if they’re still hanging with you.
On Fridays Bolton keeps its lights on and lifts running until 10pm—an extra two hours to carve turns—at Bolton Late Night. Tickets are $19. Stick around for food and drink specials at James Moore Tavern and Fireside Flatbread, and to enjoy some live music. Saturdays , Bolton night skiing starts at 4pm for $19, followed food and drink specials at Fireside Flatbread, and Meathead Films ski movies.
Sugarbush’s $99 Sugar Direct Card gives you one free lift ticket, and 50 percent off any midweek and 20 percent off any weekend ticket, with a freebie on your 11th day of tearing up the slopes.
The resort’s For20s Pass ($459) gives 19- and 20-somthings a reason to skip class or get the white flu at work. The pass includes unlimited skiing and riding at Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen—2600' of vertical, 111 trails, and 28 wooded areas—for those between 19 and 29.
If you’re 65 or older, Sugarbush’s Boomer Pass ($199) is the best deal around with substantial savings on midweek, non-holiday skiing at Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen.
December through March, ski for $30 on Thursdays at Mt. Ellen, Sugarbush (excluding 2/18).
Stowe Mountain Resort
Mark the arrival of each new month this winter with Stowe’s Ver-Monday’s. The first Monday of every month, January through March, buy a lift ticket for $69.
In February, turn your Ver-Monday into a two-day getaway. Tuesday, February 2 is Woodchuck Day, which at Stowe means another $69 lift ticket.
Get the same pricing at Stowe on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day — $69 for your lift ticket for the day.
In the military? Any active Military members can buy a $79 lift ticket any day at Stowe. Present your Military ID at any Guest Services Desk for your discounted voucher. And, on January 31, February 28 and March 27, active US military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard), full time and Reserves, and their immediate family ski or ride Stowe for free.
Cochran's Ski Area
Ski for $5 every Friday, starting in January, at Cochran’s Friday Night Lights. The lights go on at 5pm, and the rope tow and T-bar run until 8pm. When you’re ready to rest your legs between runs, buy a home cooked dinner in the base lodge.
Learn to ski or ride
January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month nationwide. For January 2016 Ski Vermont dishes up a $49 package for beginners including a beginner area lift ticket, lesson and rental—available at most Vermont resorts excluding holiday periods. The beginner package includes equipment rental as well as a lesson with a professional instructor (lesson duration varies by resort) and access to the beginner terrain. There is a limit of one beginner package per person.
Get deals by doing good
Join your local trails organization, and you’ll get two-for-one ski deals at many Vermont resorts, both alpine and Nordic, as well as discounts at local shops, restaurants and more. Join Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) and/or Catamount Trail Association , and you not only support the maintenance of two statewide trail networks, but you save money.
If cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is more your speed than riding the lift, take advantage of Vermont’s Nordic Reciprocal Program . Purchase a season pass at a participating Nordic ski area, and you ski free for one day at each of the other participating ski areas.