It’s Memorial Day weekend so unless you are seriously addicted to powder you are probably too preoccupied with biking, kayaking and other warm weather activities to think much about skiing and snowboarding.
But if you are interested in saving money – as much as 50 percent – next winter this is the perfect time to be thinking about hitting the slopes.
“If you want the best deal you need to act now,” said Kathleen Goyette of White Pass Ski Area.
Many of the Northwest ski areas offer steep discounts on season passes over the summer. And those prices are only going to go up when the calendar flips toward fall, the time when most skiers and boarder start thinking about next season.
According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review Pacific Northwest resorts exceeded their 10-year average by 5.7 percent last season despite getting 20-30 percent less snow than average.
Many of the ski areas credit the sell of discounted passes in the off-season to their increased visitation.
Here’s a look at the deals local ski areas are offering to those who plan ahead:
- Crystal Mountain: Season passes will go up in price by as much as $100 on Tuesday. Buy before then and get an adult season pass for $549, a youth (11-17 years old) for $449 and pass for those 70 and older for $249. Ticket prices go up again on Sept. 16 ($699, $599 and $349) and will go up an undisclosed amount again Nov. 1.
- Summit at Snoqualmie: Monday is the last day to buy the new Peak to Summit Pass for $899. Pass holders get unlimited access to the Summit and Crystal Mountain. The prices for Summit season passes don’t go up until Sept. 15, resort spokeswoman Holly Lippert said, but Monday is the final day to sign up to pay for season passes in three installments. The Big S Unlimited Pass is $379 for adults, $289 for teenagers and $229 for youth 7-12 years old.
- White Pass: Monday isn’t just your last chance to get the best deal here, but it’s your last chance to buy a season ticket until September. Season passes are $379 through Monday. There will be no ticket sales over the summer as the ski area transitions to an electronic ticketing system. When ticket sales begin again Sept. 1 they will go for $499. The full-price rate of $759 goes into effect on Nov. 1.
Goyette says the new electronic ticket system will reduce fraud because skiers and snowboards will have to scan their tickets in order to get onto the lifts. Goyette says the delay is estimated to be .25 second per skier.
Stevens Pass has used a similar system the last two seasons.