How much money have you budgeted to spend on your ski trip this winter? Don’t worry, we won’t tell your spouse. Look, we know skiing is expensive. Anybody else nearly max out a credit card in their 20’s for an epic ski season? There’s money that is spent, and there’s money that is WELL spent. We want to help you avoid the former wherever possible.
You might have slept in your car in icy ski resort parking lots, or burned your hand trying to make a cup of ramen with scalding tea water in the lodge. Heck, you might have washed your hair in a bathroom sink to try to save a little coin on a ski trip. This is NOT that trip. You can still have a luxury feel on your ski trip, and cut out a few hundred dollars of cost in the process. Let’s get you set up to enjoy Steamboat’s champagne powder. Before you know it you’ll be lapping Christmas Tree Bowl, enjoying locally distilled whiskey, and soaking in those high elevation hot springs.
Start Researching Early
Nobody buys tickets at the window anymore, do they? Well you don’t- not anymore at least. Subscribe to Steamboat’s newsletter and stay tuned for when they roll out the cheapest ticket prices. If you are flexible with your travel, Steamboat often offers 3‑pack passes at a killer deal during “non-peak” times. A week or two before your trip, head to the resort website and purchase passes.
Are you going to be at Steamboat for a week? Or skiing other resorts this winter? It might be worthwhile looking into an IKON pass. If you are driving to Steamboat, why not stop at Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, or one of the other many resorts on the pass? This is a great way to save on costs if you are skiing more than 5 days this winter. Another perk of an IKON pass? Save money on meals at the resort.
Did you know that more than 55% of American’s don’t use all of their paid vacation time? We know that weekends are a great time to get out and ski… and so does the rest of the country. Lodging rates and ski pass rates peak on the weekends. Take advantage of your vacation time and book lodging and tickets when prices are at their lowest, mid week. Another perk of going midweek? The pace is a bit slower, and many restaurants offer midweek happy hour deals.
Finding Affordable Lodging
No, we aren’t talking about crashing your cousin’s camper in the resort parking lot. And we aren’t talking about the classic Rabbit Ears Motel either (it’s actually not bad!). You can find deals on higher end lodging if you start looking early. Steamboat resort occasionally offers package deals on with their partners lodging and lift tickets. If you start looking early, you can snag one of these packages before they sell out.
Our favorite option for affordable lodging? Find an airbnb to share with your crew. If you are staying for more than 3 nights and need more than 2 rooms for your party, this is often the best price. Another perk? Having access to a kitchen saves MAJOR coin when it comes to apres and dining (we’ll get into that later).
How often do you tally up everything you spend on a ski trip on dining? It can be shocking. Especially when you glance at itemized receipts and see that the Snickers bar you bought at the resort cost $6. If you love eating out (we do!), plan to eat a handful of meals out before your trip, and research where you might like to go (when we have a group of hungry people, it seems like we all make last minute decisions that aren’t necessarily the smartest). We love going to the happy hour at Aurum, getting the barbacoa tacos at Taco Cabo, or stopping by for the $1 small plates during happy hour at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill. While it’s certainly a smart idea to bring lunch to the resort once or twice, you don’t want to miss out on the Four Points Turkey Pot Pie. It’s also worth noting that the Thunderhead Lodge cafeteria offers amazing food (try the pesto grilled cheese sandwich or the curry!) at a rather affordable price (especially if you have an IKON pass).
Nobody likes apres as much as we like apres. Well, you might be a contender. But hear us out! While the experience of going out once or twice during your trip is great, assembling a simple bar in your airbnb and getting takeout appetizers (or grabbing some favorite snacks from the grocery store) is often just as enjoyable. Bonus? It costs a heck of a lot less.
When you get to town, stop at the liquor store and pick up a few items. If you’d like to sip like a local, stop at the Steamboat Whiskey Company and pick up a bottle of their Mountain Whiskey. Serve up some Colorado Bourbon Mules, open some chips and salsa, and make your own charcuterie board with items from the market (or bake some hot wings, we’re not fancy here).
Check out our Local’s Guide for more ideas of fun in Steamboat Springs. We are looking forward to seeing you at Steamboat, and helping you get set up. Make your reservations here to have your gear delivered right to your door.
Is Steamboat already checked off your list? Let Ski Butlers take care of you at one of our other locations around the world. See you on the slopes.