Denver Deal: January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month

I grew up in Steamboat. And yes, we had skiing as our gym class in elementary school. After I had my kiddos I had not gone skiing in a long time mostly due to cost and I wasn’t sure if my kids would love it. Then when my son got his free pass in 5th Grade (back then there was not the Vail Epic School Kids offering it to Kindergartners) – he challenged me to learn snowboarding. The first time was not pretty (I could not figure out how to stop the stupid thing and was toted to the bottom of the ski area strapped to a sled provided by the lovely mountain staff). After that, I did get a lesson (on a cheap deal in January since it is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month) and the rest is sort of family history. I love snowboarding. I can’t wait to go every year! It is great fun with the family and yes, you can even get DEALS to do it. If you’ve never been….start now!

Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. We will continue to update you as we learn about great deals for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month but here are a few to get you started.

  • Arapahoe Basin – Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Super Sunday lessons are morning, half-day only (2.5 hours) and include a lift ticket. Adults (ages 15+) are $80 and children (ages 3-14) are $100. Equipment rentals are not included but guests can find alpine ski and snowboard rentals on-site at the Arapahoe Basin rental shop. Super Sunday lessons are available January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 as well as Friday, January 8 as Arapahoe Basin participates in the World’s Largest Lesson. For more information, visitwww.arapahoebasin.com.
  • Aspen/Snowmass + Limelight Hotel – New this year at the Limelight Hotel, the property introduces the Beginner Incentive Package that will make any newbie to the sport a skier for life. Offered in conjunction with the Aspen Snowmass Ski & Snowboard Schools, the package includes three full days of adult beginner lessons and four nights at the Limelight Hotel. Daily lunch is included in the experience, and the property’s local guides will escort skiers and riders to the slopes each day. Ski or Snowboard boot rentals, skis, snowboards and helmets are included. Guests also have the option to rent goggles, gloves, jackets and outerwear upon arrival from local retail partners.The package is valid during Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month from Jan. 2-17, 2016. Pricing for this all-inclusive package starts at $1,778 per person. Book now by visitingwww.limelighthotel.com or calling (844) 854-3387.
  • Copper Mountain – Copper announces Ski and Ride School University: No More Excuses for Winter Sport Never-Evers. Inspired by National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, Ski and Ride School U offers newbies aged 18 and older a hassle-free and affordable option to catch the winter bug. For $199 the package includes:Three ski or snowboard lessons, Lift tickets, Equipment rentals, Close-in parking, Lunch on the 2nd and 3rd day. Plus, upon graduation and completion of the third lesson, Copper will award participants a free season pass so guests can progress further on the slopes for the remainder of the winter. Quantities are limited and the package must be purchased in person at Copper Mountain. For more information, please visitwww.CopperColorado.com.
  • Eldora – Eldora Mountain Resort (EMR) is offering the Mountain Explorer Children’s Learn to Ski and Snowboard Package for $129. The day package includes an all mountain lift ticket, all day rental, and all day lesson, with snacks and lunch. Reservations are recommended; visit http://www.eldora.com/lessons.children.html for more information. For adults, EMR is offering the EASY 1-2-3 for $129. The day package includes one day of lower mountain lift access, all day equipment rental and 3.5 hour lesson (2 hours AM and 1.5 hours PM). Visit http://www.eldora.com/lessons.daily.html for more information.
  • Loveland – All children (ages 4-14) regardless of ability who pre-purchase or complete 3 full day lesson packages receive a free, unrestricted season pass to keep practicing their skiing or snowboarding skills for the rest of the season. Children’s full day lesson packages include lesson, lift access, rentals (ski or snowboard) and lunch.  Full day lessons are from 10am through 3:30pm daily. Phone reservations are available or guests can register at the Loveland Valley between 8am and 9am. Participants who pre-purchase can enjoy the season pass all winter long. Pre-purchase price is $336 for ages 6-14 skiers & snowboarders (Includes Season Pass); $360 for ages 4-5 skiers (Includes Season Pass & early drop off)
  • Monarch – Kids ages 7 and up who have never been skiing or riding before, get the package including an all-day lift ticket, a ski or snowboard rental, a helmet rental, and a 4-hour group lesson for just $139. Plus, take the lesson package between the dates specified you will receive a free lift ticket for your next visit this season! Book the lesson on their website, skimonarch.com. (http://www.skimonarch.com/learn-to-ski-month/
  • Crested Butte – During the month of January, first time skiers and riders, ages 15 and older can sign up for a first time beginner adventure lesson with the Crested Butte Ski + Ride School fro $79. This package includes full-day ski or snowboard lesson, full day adult lift ticket (valid for limited lift access on the day of the lesson) and 1/ off a single-day equipment rental package. (Expires 1/31/2016).
  • Steamboat – Guests at Steamboat can build confidence while they learn in a safe, controlled, terrain-based environment with instructors that guide them every step of the way. Steamboat’s Learn to Ski/Ride Package opens the slopes with two days of lessons, rentals and lift tickets for just $199 from Jan. 4-31. Learn to Ski/Ride is available for adults and children ages 1st Grade and older. For more information, visitwww.steamboat.com or call 800.299.5017.
  • Sunlight – Skier Appreciation Day at Sunlight (January 8) offers $20 lift tickets to all skiers and snowboarders with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the United Way of Garfield County. In addition, on January 10 Sunlight will host Student/Teacher Appreciation Day, with $20 lift tickets for students and free lift tickets for teachers.
  • If you got the Vail Epic School Kids, use your free lesson and equipment rental this month. Call to your favorite resort (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, or Keystone) to make your reservation.
  • Winter Park – Winter Park Ski + Ride School’s multi-week Fish Programs can accommodate children from age 3 to 14. With the 7 week Piranhas Program, 5 week Barracudas Program, or the 3 week Minnows Program, kids will have a blast while making new friends, and developing new skills on the slopes. Groups are broken down by age and ability level, from beginner to expert. Programs include instruction from the same coach each week, GPS tracking, and lunch. Programs for the month of January begin at $259 and may be reserved here:http://www.winterparkresort.com/plan-your-trip/lessons/kids-multiweek-lessons.aspx
  • Wolf Creek – Wolf Creek Ski Area offers a variety of ski and snowboard packages to help introduce never-evers to the sport. During the month of January, Wolf Creek is offering a four-week Camp Robbers clinic for kids. For $231 ($264 for non-Season Pass holders) lift ticket, ski rental, four hours of instruction, lunch, and snacks are all included each week. Children will be grouped with the same children and instructor each week for the clinic. Not only will the kids improve on their skills, but also this class design will encourage socialization and friendship over the four-week span. Mountain safety, fun races, and a terrain garden are all featured in this program. For more information, visithttp://www.wolfcreekski.com.
  • Estes Park, COJan 16, 2016 – Part of a two-day celebration of winter with many other events happening with clinics and igloo building.  This is a snowshoe only event. (It’s not just ski and snowboard month!)

Winter Ski Directory. We’re thrilled to launch the Colorado Family Ski/Ride Directory that focuses exclusively on families–from daily lift ticket prices to the cost of childcare to where to get the best deals….all in one convenient place so you can compare and contrast.

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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Ski Deals So Great They Will Make You Squeal

Nothing makes me squeal more like a teenager than the two words Snowboarding and Deals. And I will totally go ga-ga when they are in a sentence together! That is why I love Labor Day weekend! The unofficial weekend of ski sales in the Denver area.

Vail Epic Ski Kids. Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone) are offering a free pass for Colorado Residents in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. The pass allows kids to ski/snowboard four times at each of their resorts. You must go to a Colorado Ski & Golf, Ski and Sport or Boulder Sports in person with your kiddo to fill out paperwork. You also have to bring a recent photo (head shot) of your kids. The program includes a free first-timer lesson and equipment rental on that day.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport. Colorado Ski Country announced it will offer the 5th and 6th Grade Passport again this year. The program is a mail-in program. The fifth graders get three free days of skiing/snowboarding at each of  20 member resorts (Winter Park, Copper, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, Eldora, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen, Snowmass, Loveland etc.). Sixth Graders is super inexpensive at just $99 for four days at each of the 20 member resorts. The program includes a free lesson and rental equipment on the day of the lesson. Bonus, this program is also supported by Chipotle and as I recall, they sent out some coupons for buy one get one free at Chipotle too!

Junior Trade. Colorado Ski and Golf (Ski and Sport) locations offer the Junior Trade Program. Basically you purchase ski or snowboard equipment. The budget friendly packages start at just $99 (again this is not season rental – it is you buying used kids sized equipment). Then if you choose to return the equipment at the end of the season (or trade up for a larger size) you get 1/2 the money back. Just to put this into perspective about how inexpensive this is a day rental usually runs just over $25. So it totally pays for itself in four times (and if you return it – it pays for itself in just two times) on the mountain. As your kids grow you can bring the equipment back and get bigger sizes to fit their growth.

SniagrabSniagrab (“bargains” spelled backwards) is the world’s largest ski and snowboard sale, offering up to 90% off original prices on previous seasons’ ski and snowboard equipment, winter apparel and accessories starting Labor Day weekend. The sale features merchandise from top brands. They will also have some fun promotions, the first 250 customers in line on Saturday, September 5 will receive Bonus Bucks ranging in value from $10–$100 to use toward their Sniagrab purchase. One customer will receive $500 in Bonus Bucks. Customers must be in line prior to 7:30am. Spend $300 or more on September 5 or September 6 will receive a Sports Authority cash card (worth $25 when purchase is $300-$399.99; $50 when purchase is $500-$699.99; $75 when purchase is $700 or more). Ten customers will win an Epic Local Pass or Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus, valued up to $579 per pass. Customers can enter to win September 5–7 only at the Sports Authority Colorado locations listed below. One customer will win a Mountain Getaway Package for Two, that includes a Winter Park Lodge Pass, 2 single-day Winter Park lift tickets, and 2 ski or snowboard rentals at Sports Authority. Customers can enter to win September 5–7 only at the Sports Authority Colorado locations listed below.

Ski Rex. Friday, September 4 through Sept 20th you can snag great deals at the front-range Colorado Ski and Golf locations. (There are great ski deals but even if you are not a skiier there are great clothing/coats too). Gound Zero (the biggest location for the sale) is the Aurora location. Plus, there will be fun for kids (little wannabe snowboarders), Burton’s Riglet Park, a learn-to-ride obstacle course for little tykes, will be set up at the Aurora location on Sunday, Sept. 6 with instructors and representatives to guide kids through their first snowboard sliding experience along an artificial snow surface with mini bumps and ramps. On Saturday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, Strider will offer a kid’s bike course for tiny tykes to get their first cycling experience on the pedal-less bikes that allow small children a gentle introduction to riding a bike. Discounts can be as big at 70% off! For even better deals and coupons visit:  www.skirex.com.

PowderDaze. Christy Sports hosts PowderDaze saving you up to 70% off. The sale will be at the Christy Sports in Littleton at  8601 W Cross Dr next to the Southwest Plaza Mall.Open 10am – 8pm Daily, August 28 through September 8 with all Ski gear, Board Gear and Apparel! Plus, exclusive pass/lift ticket deals available at Denver Powder Daze Only!

Lift Ticket Deals. While I mentioned the great school aged kids pass deals above, there are some great deals to score this weekend only for adult tickets too! (These are special deals or rates for Labor Day weekend only).

  • Copper Mountain. 4-packs for $159 with a 5th Day FREE! (Non-transferrable, no blackouts)
  • Winter Park. 4-passes for $179 with a 5th Day FREE! (Non-transferrable, no blackouts)
  • Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin). Elevation 4-pass at $139 (ages 15–69) with a Bonus Friend Ticket FREE! (Non-transferrable, no blackouts). and they sell transferrable Four Packs are $159.
  • Steamboat. A 3 Day restricted pass at $149 valid 10/26/15 – 4/10/16. Black out dates are 12/26/15 – 1/10/16. Restrictions: Limit one pass per person. Non-transferable photo pass. Quantities are limited and price subject to change. Must be present to purchase. Pass not valid for Summer 15 or 2016 gondola rides. Passes and unused days are non-refundable. Credit or Debit Cards only.
  • Crested Butte. 6 Pack (for the price of a 4 Pack) 5 Winter 15/16 Lift Tickets, plus 1 summer 2016 lift ticket, just $129! Tickets are transferable.
  • Eldora. 4-Pass is just $149 (no blackouts or restrictions, non-transferable) and Mtn Explorer Full-Day Kids Package: $69
  • Loveland. Unrestricted 4-Pak:= just $129. Includes 4 lift tickets.No restrictions and no blackouts. ($10 off online price when you purchase at one of the sales).

Maybe when you get some great deals, you will squeal too. (And then we can jump up and down squealing together). Or I’ll see you in the mountains!

Crested Butte Summer Fun

My dad’s family is from Crested Butte. Yes, I said FROM Crested Butte. I know it is always a bit of a novelty when I tell people that I’m a 5th Generation Colorado native. But then I throw in something like my dad grew up in the iconic little town in the middle of the state. We (my parents, kids, sister and her family) go every year in the summer. I am always a bit amazed at the fact that even though there are some things that we seem to do EVERY summer – that somehow there is always a new story from my dad about growing up there, some new trail to explore or some other thing to see.

We stay at a family friend’s house just across from the golf course. It is a beautiful house – like one of those you see in a magazine and think that maybe they really only set it up to look like that in a photo. The house is just down the street from a small lake that is stocked with fish and has a great trail around it (it is a fairly short walk that my almost 70 year old dad can do with me).

crested butte

It was a short but fun weekend! Friday, upon arrival, we headed downtown to shop. Also, we made a bet on the Grammy Awards in February – my dad lost so his payment was to buy everyone ice cream. We went to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory right in the center of town. My kids were really excited because they could order whatever they wanted (double scoop and all) and I couldn’t say no. Then we shopped at my favorite boutique, Milky Way. We go there every year. Almost every year my dad ends up buying my sister a pair of jeans there. Since Heidi was not in town this year, I decided that maybe my dad should buy me the jeans. The first pair I tried on were a great fit. And I talked him into buying me them! Then we went down the street a bit to Pooh’s Corner (toy store) and Pfisters. We shopped but didn’t buy anything else. We did go down to the gallery at the end of the street – across from Kochevar’s (my Aunt’s family owns Kochevar’s). We talked to the lady there (they are always the artists – they take turns “manning the store”) about what we would have to do to get my mom’s photography in the store. It is apparently just a simple form. I think my mom should do it.

The next day was hiking/four-wheel day. We decided to go up toward Lost Lake. My mom loves to do what she calls trail breakfasts. This means she gets to feel like she’s camping a bit (cook on the camp stove) but then go home to the nice house/condo to sleep. Best of both worlds really. So she cooked us a hearty breakfast of Eggs Benedict (yes, she really had the holandaise sauce too). Then my daughter and I set off to hike to the Lake while my mom, dad and son decided to hang out at the picnic/camp site. The lake was beautiful and easy hike to get to. I am certain that if my dad had wanted to go he could easily get there. We saw people of all ages there – kids and elderly alike.

Hiking up to Lost Lake near Crested Butte, CO

Hiking up to Lost Lake near Crested Butte, CO

There are a few places we frequent each year, one of which is Slogar’s – which is a restaurant in town. They have the most amazing fried chicken with a bunch of starters/sides. Each year we usually go to the restaurant and eat there. This year however, we decided to order take-out. This was the best. The portions were so big! We only ordered three full meals and there was even left overs (from the five of us eating). They have the best cole-slaw, creamed corn, pickled pears, and pickles that come with the meal. I would assume that you could probably have fed 2 more people with these meals!

Sunday, we were going to leave after dinner. We decided to do a drive up toward Spring Creek. Once again we found a great campground to have a breakfast. My mom packed everything but the eggs – so my dad and I had to to to Harmel’s shop to get some. There isn’t much at Harmel’s but the basics and a six-pack of eggs was $2). Then we went fishing (we didn’t catch anything) and played target practice with my dad’s gun (fun to shoot holes in a soda can).

Dalton Fishing with Grampy. Spring Creek near Crested Butte, CO

Dalton Fishing with Grampy. Spring Creek near Crested Butte, CO

The awe and beauty of all that is around Crested Butte keeps us coming back year after year. My mom always has to stop to take photos of our state flower, the columbine, among other wild flowers. In fact, Crested Butte is well knows for the wildflowers in the area and has a wildflower festival. While Crested Butte is well known as a ski destination, I believe I like it better in the summer!