By Daniel Monson
Utah ski resorts are due to open their powder playgrounds later this semester and ski bums are already buying college passes.
?Students need to be aware of the college discount deadlines,? said Jenny Zachry, public representative for The Canyons. ?Many of the resorts also require proof of school enrollment.?
Students can also get discounts through the campus SnowRiders club.
?Basically because we have so many club members here at BYU, we have deals beyond the normal college deals with the different resorts,? said Lorin Bird, president of BYU SnowRiders club. ?We have about 289 members on record.?
Counting the days down to the winter season, Alta and Brighton are set to be the first resorts to open this year. Expected openings will occur around Nov. 17.
Snowbird, The Canyons and Park City can be expected to open within the last week of November. Deer Valley is set for Dec. 6. Last but not least, Sundance will open mid-December.
College pass prices differ from resort to resort. The more expensive passes include Alta, Park City and Snowbird.
Alta offers a student pass for $579. There is a ?skiing emphasis? at Alta, which means snowboarding is not allowed.
Park City is selling their college pass for $450 before Sept. 30, but SnowRiders club members get better arrangements.
?Our deal with Park City allows us to buy for $350 rather than $450,? Bird said. ?Snowbird is selling their college pass for $489, and SnowRiders will help members buy for $390.?
The most expensive snow in Utah is at Deer Valley Resort, which recently ranked as the No. 1 ski area in North America by readers of SKI Magazine.
?We don?t offer a college pass,? said Erin Grady, communications coordinator at Deer Valley. ?A full season pass will cost $1345, but you can get a day pass for $74.?
The Canyons has become a popular resort for students buying passes. This pass goes for $399, or $365 thru SnowRiders. This resort also offers the largest ski area in Utah.
Sundance is a more economic option for students, as the closest resort to BYU campus. Sundance offers a student mid-week pass for $179 if purchased before Oct. 31.
?The college pass has been extremely popular, and has been a big seller for us,? said Lucy Ridolphi, marketing director at Sundance. ?It has been a positive move for us and this makes it very affordable for college students.?
Even though it is smaller, Bird said it is the top choice for SnowRiders members.
?I still feel that Sundance is the most popular because it?s the cheapest and the closest,? Bird said. ?Snowbird and Park City are quite popular among students.?
When it came to his pass, Bird couldn?t pick just one.
?I am personally going to buy at Snowbird and The Canyons,? he said.