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Old 11-21-2005   #1
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
heliodorus04's Avatar
The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,134
Ignorance costs money (need help with passes)

This is the first year I ever looked into starting snowsports, and I asked some pertinent questions here about it ahead of time.

I rented a snowboard for the season from Christy's today, which was a good tip from someone, but during the fitting, I found out something very disturbing.

Discounted passes aren't being sold anymore at the discounted rate?!?!

I am curious what you would do if you were me at this point, and what options for cots savings are out there for me.

I live in Colorado Springs, so Monarch is close and still offering discounted passes.

My local friends ski/ride at Copper Mountain and have 4-passes (whatever they are, but I'm told those aren't sold at discounted rates now either!).

My Denver friends do a wide variety of things, so I was thinking about the Colorado Pass, which is as I understand it, 4 or 5 resorts (but I'm told that too isn't being sold at the discounted price).

My plan is to get out onto the mountains and learn this sport at least 3 times a month between now and whenever the season ends, and I'd like to save as much money as possible.

Any advice?

Right now Monarch looks like my best, cheapest bet, but I don't know anyone who goes there...

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Old 11-21-2005   #2
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Summit, Colorado
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Sounds like Monarch is the way to go for you. It's a great ski area, especially for someone to learn on, probably the closest one to you (I don't have to remind you that gas costs even more than ignorance), and they probably have one of the better pass prices right now. Plus they have a smaller and more friendly atmosphere than a lot of places (often times better for learning). The four packs probably wouldn't be worth it if you're planning on going that often. Have fun!


"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 11-21-2005   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Search for new skiier deal. Someone I work with told me that they got a new skier deal. Basically your paid some amout for a colorado pass season pass and 3 lessons. The total price was less than the cost of the colorado pass by itself. This apparently could only be used once and was meant as an incentive to get new skiers into it. The friend called up last week after the expiration date and talked to a manager and got the deal anyway. It might help that she is a cute girl and sounds like it, not sure. So even if it is "too late", why not call up the season pass office, as to speak to the head honcho, give them the sob story of you didn't know it was too late and that you would really like to learn skiing. Might work...
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Old 11-21-2005   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 163
You can still get the A-Basin bonus pass for 259. Good at the Basin all year and you get 5 days at Keystone or Breck.
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Old 11-21-2005   #5
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
Join the army or airforce and then buy a Monarch pass for $99. Just kidding, don't join the military. Ever.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 11-22-2005   #6
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
heliodorus04's Avatar
The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,134
I didn't realize that you could reach in and grab my balls through my wallet (hmm, I must be starting to fit in at mountainbuzz, because that's vulgar, and I"m hardly ever vulgar!).

Monarch, too, is done selling discounted rate passes. Their pass is "only" $369, though, for the season. But I'm not saving anything. Thing is, everywhere I turn, I hear "Monarch is great to learn" and also "less crowded" and also "nice staff." Those are all major perks. It just seems like I'll be going there alone a lot, but then, that can be a plus too. Should I look pathetic and lonely to pick up chicas, or should I look like I'm too cool to care that I'm alone?

Okay, so the Arapahoe Basin pass is $269, and with that as advertised, you get 5 days you can use at Breck, and/or (unclear) one at someplace else (Vail?).

Do I buy both? I mean that's $600 roughly in season passes for a guy who has never been on the side of a snowy mountain...
Fool and his money?

The A-Basin pass looks like a deal to me even IF ONLY for the 5 days at breck and such, because I can pretty well guarantee to get out to those places with Denver friends 5 times. If I paid $60 for day passes to those places (unsure of a day-pass price), I'd still have saved money.

I don't mean to be a wishy-washy milquetoast who can't make a decision with my money, but my startup costs have already ripped into the Winter recreation budget as far as I expected (cold weather clothes being the big thing, as I had next to nothing for this activity).

My gut instinct tells me that if I buy both passes, I'm going to save money IF I go out there as often as I intend to. Spending that money might help incentivize me to get out and throw down and learn this thing.

Then of course I remember I'm accident prone and think: Day 5, break leg, forfeit $600 in season passes...

How is A-Basin for snow? Will I have fun there, all things considered?
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Old 11-22-2005   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
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A basin has very little beginner terrain. I don't think that it would be a good place to learn. You probably want a place with some more green runs to get things honed and then lots of variety on the blue to keep you progressing. A basin has two or three green runs, and thats it. As for the prices, its worth it to me. You could spend $60-75 on a lift ticket a day. Get one of the passes, go 5-6 times and you have paid it off. Everything else is gravy.
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Old 11-22-2005   #8
Dirt Bag USA, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16
Take a look at Loveland Ski Area. It is another little area that rocks. They have a bunch of beginner terrain and they stay open until 1 May usually. They also have a season pass for under $300, or you could take 3 lessons and pay $100 for a pass. Either way its a great deal.
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Old 11-22-2005   #9
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
It's just my opinion but A-basin is not a great area for beginners. It is 70% or something like that advanced terrain. They have maybe three beginner runs. As you get better, it maybe a viable option. I personally, would get bored as a newbie.

Breck, on the other hand, is a great place to learn. It's nice and flat at the bottom. It is just a little pricy for lessons. The Colorado Pass is still discounted at $389.00. That is just $40.00 more than what it sold for before the season started. You had better hurry because I think it goes up after Thanksgiving!

Monarch is a cool mountain with lots more snow than any summit county resort. I had fun there the last time I went. Work on your lost puppy dog look because a number of church groups go there. You can hook up with some nice girls. As far as your friends go you need to do what's best for you. You might be advised to hook up with them next season after you have had a chance to learn and get your turns down.
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Old 11-22-2005   #10
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 65
Monarch is a great little mountain with a very cool locals vibe scene. I go down there all the time to do the backcountry on the pass. Great frigg'in place.
With all that said, you might want to look north. Seems that this year is favoring northern areas, and the last time I saw this pattern, well southern areas didn't get half the snow as the North. Monarch sits sort of in the middle when this split happens so they will probably do alright (I really hope so) this year.
The Loveland idea is a great idea. I gather from your post you are a beginner. At Loveland if take three beginner lessons you season pass is free. Read about it here..
The take three classes and pay $100 is for intermediate skiers/riders.
It's your first year, so you would probably be riding alone quite a bit anyway. Just make sure you sign up for that deal before you buy lessons.

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