Student skiers save money on the slopes

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Andrew Willmore with his new ski set up. Willmore travelled to the Park City Ski Swap and purchased his skis, boots and poles all for under $90.
Andrew Willmore with his new ski setup. Willmore went to the Park City Ski Swap and purchased his skis, boots and poles for under $90. (Frank Young)

Utah is home to the “greatest snow on earth,” and many BYU students can get to the slopes without breaking the bank.

Mountain ski resorts offer the option to rent equipment directly from them, but for someone who is pinching pennies, looking around the valley before heading to the resort can save a few dollars.

Andrew Willmore, a senior studying exercise science, purchased his entire winter setup for under $90 at the Park City Ski Swap in early November.

“I waited about an hour outside in the dark and cold before we finally got inside,” Willmore said. “It was like a Black Friday mad rush. People were everywhere grabbing skis and boots, which made it difficult to find the gear I wanted. I got my skis for $20, my boots for $40 and my poles for $25. All in all I paid under $90, including tax.”

Nyman’s Ski Shop near the mouth of Provo Canyon, is another shop that offers ski rentals for $20 a day for adults as compared to the rental price at Canyons Resort for $36.90 a day.

Another way to save money is to go online to find lift tickets. Two websites that have become more popular during the past winter seasons are Liftopia.com and GetSkiTickets.com. A midweek day pass at Snowbird sells for $95, but Liftopia’s website sells passes for $51.99, and GetSkiTickets’ website sells a day pass for $54.

The Freeride Academy organizes events on the BYU campus dedicated to skiing and snowboarding and offers a range of discounts for members and students, from ride boards to discounts at Outdoors Unlimited. When the club becomes aware of new deals and discounts it sends an email alerting members of potential deals.

Freeride Academy President Tyler Payne uses the ride board to carpool with others to and from resorts to save on gas money.

“Personally, I spend more money on gas than I do on my season pass each winter getting to and from resorts, so splitting gas saves me at least $10 each time I go up,” Payne said.

Many resorts offer promotions to entice more skiers and snowboarders to come to their resort. Brighton currently offers a Toys for Tots deal where skiers can get a day pass for only $20 on Wednesdays if they bring an unwrapped toy. In addition to Toys for Tots, Brighton is teaming up with the Road Home Homeless Shelter and the Utah Food Bank this month to provide additional discounts.

Hitting the local ads is another way to get ski gear for relatively cheap. When looking at second-hand items, skiers must be aware of the condition of the gear. The edges shouldn’t be gnarled or full of rust. The bases should still be smooth, with no gashes throughout the bottom, and the bindings should be in safe working condition.

“Skiing is an investment,” Payne said. “It pays off quickly to invest in gear and a season pass, but initially it is expensive if the individual is buying a lift ticket and renting gear.”

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