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College ski deals mean cheap winter thrills

Hitting the slopes is the perfect way to decompress during the winter holiday. And best of all, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Spend a little time snooping around the Internet, and it’s not impossible to find ski and snowboard deals. However, with final exams looming, who has the time to spend hours scouring the Web? That’s why I’ve made things easy and compiled a few of the best deals I could find, and also noted a few resources to help you look for others.

Season passes for college students

Several mountains offer special season passes for college students. For example, Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont has an unlimited access pass that also includes Okemo and Mount Sunapee for just $299 if you purchase it before December 21. After that, it goes up to $399. You must be a full-time student between the ages of 18 and 29 to be eligible. lists college passes for several Western resorts. Alta Ski Area, for instance, offers a college pass for $499, Brighton Resort has a night pass from $299, and Powder Mountain charges $550 for its version. Check each Utah resort’s website for specific requirements.

Also, be sure to check with your favorite resort across the country to see if it, too, offers a college pass.

Winter and spring break packages

Or maybe you’re looking for a great deal to party on one of several mountains nationwide.

This winter, Crested Butte is offering College Ski Week specials from $348. This price includes five nights’ lodging, a four-day lift ticket, exclusive concerts and entertainment, free shuttles, spa gatherings, and discounts on rentals. Two parties are scheduled, from January 2 through 7 and 7 through 12, respectively.

For those in the Mid-Atlantic, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia is hosting a party from January 3 through 5. Three nights’ lodging and lift tickets start at $139 per person, per night. For the mountain’s spring break event, from March 6 through 9, three nights’ lodging and lift tickets start at just $99 per person, per night.

Back up in the northeast, Sunday River in Maine will celebrate its annual College Spring Fling + Parrot Head Festival from March 30 to April 1. Weekend ski-and-stay packages start at $109 for two nights’ lodging and two days’ skiing.

Last but certainly not least, if you’re planning any type of winter or spring break on the slopes, be sure to consult Representing winter and spring break events across the country, this is the go-to site for the all the current information on the hottest upcoming events.

General resources

Liftopia is a great new resource for finding some of the best last-minute discounts on lift tickets. When I checked, there were lift tickets to Arapahoe Basin near Denver for just $19. The site also allows you to search for discount passes in advance, either by specific date or with a flexible search.

But if it’s free you’re after,, offers student reviewers the chance to win a free lift ticket when they submit an online review. It doesn’t get cheaper than that.

These deals are just the beginning. There’s no need to get snowplowed by high prices when you put your college smarts to good use and look for the bargains. Just wait for finals to be over before you do so.

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