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2018-2019 Ski Pass Calculator

Keith Huster Blog Posts 1 Comment

Budgeting for the 2018-2019 Ski Season

Skiing is… well… EXPENSIVE!!! Yet skiing is totally worth it. However, even the most diehard skiers still want to be wise with the cash that they drop on their favorite sport. Anyone that knows me (Keith) knows that I love skiing and budgeting. Thus, it was only natural for me to create this Ski Pass Calculator which I am happy to share with you today!

In order to use the calculator you will need to:

  1. Click the download link: 2018-2019 Ski Pass Calculator
  2. Sign into your Google account (if not already signed in).
  3. Open the Google Sheets “File” menu.
  4. Select the “Make a copy” menu option.
  5. Enter a name for your spreadsheet then click OK.

The Ski Pass Calculator is designed to provide you with guidance as to which of the various pass options may be the most budget friendly for your specific skiing situation. Please note that this calculator was designed specifically for our upcoming 2018-2019 Utah ski season plans and may not cover all available pass options or special case scenarios (i.e. your budget, family size, location, etc…). You should always consider your own personal situation and verify the results of this calculator prior to making any financial decisions.

Our Calculator Results

The calculator shown below provides you with an example view (non-editable) as to how the calculator works and the associated recommendations for our specific plans.

Why Budget Now?

Isn’t it too early to start budgeting for the next ski season? Isn’t this ski season just now coming to a close? Well… we have found that the best time to plan for the next ski season is at the end of the current ski season. Why, you ask? THE DEALS!!!

The individual resorts and multi-mountain pass providers offer their best deals if you purchase early. These deals can include lower pass prices, additional free days and / or other added perks. If you are really trying to be smart with your money it is well within your interest to jump on these deals as early as possible.  

Options, Options and More Options!

It seems like every year there are new season pass, multi-mountain pass and other various lift ticket deals being created by the individual resorts / holdings companies. The number of available options has grown so large that I was forced to create a spreadsheet just to be able to understand how each of these pass options could potentially impact our expected skiing budget. While creating the calculator, I decided to focus on the pass options most relevant to our specific skiing situation; i.e. spending most of our weekends skiing at the various resorts in northern Utah. This focus allowed me to eliminate several of the most expensive ski pass options such as the Gold, Silver, and Yeti Ski Utah Passes simply because we would not physically be able to ski enough to justify the cost of the passes.

The lift ticket deals / pass options that I did consider for the calculator are listed below. These options seemed to fit the sweet spot of saving money over the regular window rate and requiring just the right amount of days on the mountain to pay for themselves.

Lift Ticket Deals / Pass Options

We Chose Snowbird!!!

Lindsey and I love spending time at Alta and Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) as well as Brighton and Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) due to the incredible varied terrain and deep powder days. However, if we had to choose just one we would probably choose Alta as our overall favorite (we may get into why in a future post).

But wait… I thought you said you chose Snowbird??? Well, we did… and for good reason. The output of the ski pass calculator actually recommended that we each purchase a Mountain Collective pass and fill in the gaps with daily lift tickets purchased via Liftopia. However, the Snowbird Summit Pass, at only a few hundred dollars more, offered too many other benefits above and beyond unlimited skiing at Snowbird that we just couldn’t pass up (including free and discounted days at Alta!). So, the decision was sort of made for us.

Snowbird Summit Pass Additional Perks
  • Free skiing through the remainder of the 2017-2018 ski season!
  • Unlimited summer tram access (for mountain biking, hiking, and dining).
  • Wasatch Benefits (free days at 3 other ski resorts)
  • One free night at the Cliff Lodge.
  • Two free all day summer activity passes.
  • Free UTA ski bus access.
  • Other various on-mountain discounts.

Wrapping Up

We would love to hear your thoughts on our 2018-2019 Ski Pass Calculator. Please leave a comment if the calculator has helped you in any way or if you have any suggestions for improvements.

Do you have any other ski budgeting methods that have worked well for you in the past? We would love to hear about them so leave us a comment below.

Good luck and happy skiing!

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