Family Skiing on a Budget

By Gillian Sheehan
 Kid friendly
 Budget friendly
 Loveland Ski Area on Google Maps (click to follow)
 Loveland Ski Area (click to follow)
 Sunlight Mountain Resort on Google Maps (click to follow)
 Sunlight Mountain Resort (click to follow)
Gillian’s full article on family skiing on a budget was published in our Winter 2017 edition. We’ve brought Loveland and Sunlight here as bonus content to our printed edition!
Check out what to expect for the family and the budget… and don’t forget Gill’s money-saving tips at the end!

Loveland Ski Area (IG: @lovelandskiarea) is divided into two areas. Loveland Basin, the main area, offers an abundance of intermediate and expert terrain. Loveland Valley, on the other hand, is a dedicated beginner area with gentle slopes. Bunny slope lift tickets can even be purchased separately for a low cost.
Why parents love it: The discounted early and late season prices, childcare services (for kids aged 12 months to 12 years), and the 3-Class Pass deal (entitles children to a free season pass after completing three lessons) help families maximize their days on the slopes.
Where to get gear: Blue Valley Ski & Board Rentals ( in Silverthorne has reasonably priced rentals for the whole family.
Where to sleep: For sensible room rates, check out the Alpine Inn ( in Frisco or head east to the JC Suites ( in Idaho Springs.

Great views of the Elk Mountains can be seen from the summit at Sunlight Mountain Resort (IG: @sunlightmountainresort), a smaller authentic ski area that boasts one of the steepest runs in Colorado. Given that all trails funnel to the ski lodge and that 75% of its terrain is rated beginner or intermediate, Sunlight is a great place for families to take their little ones and older kids alike.
Why parents love it: Parents can take advantage of the shuttle services from Glenwood Springs to the resort while bundling skiing with a soak in the Glenwood Hot Springs pool–a part of its award-winning Ski Swim Stay package (Ski-Swim-Stay),which includes free skiing or boarding for kids 12 and under.
Where to get gear: To save a few dollars, book rentals from the Sunlight Ski & Bike Shop (Ski & Bike Shop) at their downtown location in Glenwood Springs rather than at their store on the mountain.
Where to sleep: With plenty of affordable accommodations to choose from in Glenwood Springs, try the Red Mountain Inn (, the Hanging Lake Inn (, or the Cedar Lodge (

In summary, deal hunting goes a long way when it comes to an affordable family ski weekend. A few additional money-saving tips for family skiing on a budget include:
Book your trip in advance for deep discounts. This will save you many on lift tickets, accommodations, and rentals.
Shop online. Most resorts offer advance ticket purchases online. Additionally, visit discount websites like and for discounted lift tickets and 2-for-1 deals.
Shop in store. Some stores (Christy Sports, Costco, King Soopers) have been known to sell discounted tickets for certain ski areas.
Buy a Colorado Gems Card. Spend $25 to get two 2-for-1 lift tickets or two 30% discounts at each of the resorts listed above. Visit for more information.

Sign your fifth and sixth graders up for a passport. Head to before the end of January to register your kids for free or deeply discounted skiing and snowboarding! Fifth graders get three free days at each of the 21 included resorts, and sixth graders are entitled to four days of skiing at each of the 21 resorts for $125.
Bring your own stuff! As much as possible, pack your family’s lunches and snacks and bring your own equipment. If nothing else, try to bring along helmets for the kids (some rental establishments charge from $5 to $10 for a daily helmet rental).

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