As fall foliage fades and summer memories grow distant, I begin to dream of the next family vacation. Fortunately, the next trip is coming up soon as we celebrate an annual family tradition of Thanksgiving travel. This year we’re feeling especially grateful because resorts are bending over backwards to make up for last season’s lackluster performance with truly amazing ski deals.
Best Ski Deals Go To The Early Bird
One of the reasons we like to plan a ski vacation during the Thanksgiving break is that we can count on some of the best deals and discounts during this shoulder period before the ski season goes into full swing. To make the best of this, it helps to choose ski resorts that have a long history of having good snow cover long before the holiday. That’s why we chose Sunday River in Maine for our Thanksgiving travel last year, and that’s why we’re headed to Copper Mountain in Colorado this November. Here’s a roundup of ski deals at top top North American ski resorts for Thanksgiving, sorted chronologically by opening date.
Mount Hood – Portland, OR – Open Year-round
Mount Hood may well be the only ski resort in North America open year round for alpine skiing; and as good as it is in the summer, it’s that much better by the holidays. Hurry! Season passes are nearly 50% off until November 4th. Purchase online.
Banff Ski Resorts – Alberta, Canada – Opening Dates: Mount Norquay opened on October 25, 2012; while Lake Louise and Sunshine Village are expected to open on November 9, 2012.
Opening weekend special: stay at The Great Divide Lodge opening weekend for $79 per person, per night. Rates include accommodatons plus a Lake Louise lift ticket. (Offer for Thursday through Saturday nights).
Copper Mountain – Copper Mountain, CO – Opening Day: November 2, 2012
Right now Copper Mountain is running a 60% off lodging sale until November 19th. They also have a package called Powder to the Pillow, which allows you to purchase you lodging days ahead of time and use them whenever you want during the season.
Keystone Ski Resort – Keystone, CO – Opening Day: November 2, 2012
Families will appreciate the best ski deal around: stay two nights and kids 12 and under ski free. No blackout dates. No restrictions. And as part of the Vail Resorts umbrella, Keystone visitors are eligible for Vail’s Epic Pass program, which offers season passes to Colorado’s Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Arapahoe Basin, in addition to Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Valley and Northstar. Finally, those Epic Season Pass holders will get three free ski days at the Swiss Alps resort of Verbier.
Vail Resorts Opening Days include: Arapahoe Basin, October 17, 2012; Breckenridge, November 9, 2012; Vail, November 16, 2012; and Beaver Creek, November 21, 2012.
Killington – Killington, VT – Opening Day: November 5, 2012
Kids ages 6-12 ski and ride free when parents pre-purchase prior to arrival a 5-day or longer lift ticket – blackouts and restrictions do apply.
Mammoth Mountain – Mammoth Lakes, CA – Opening Day: November 8, 2012
California’s Mammoth Mountain will open its season with a snow “guarantee” of at least a 10-inch base. Should the snow come up short, visitors will either receive a $100 gift card or they’ll be able to change their reservations with no penalties. Mammoth, which will increase the depth of that snow-base guarantee as the season progresses, is offering a special slopeside lift & lodging package, starting at $86, if you book by November 7th.
Alta – Alta, Utah – Opening Day: November 16, 2012; Squaw Valley – Squaw Valley, CA – Opening Day: November 21, 2012
Utah’s Alta, Colorado’s Aspen/Snowmass, Wyoming’s Jackson Hole and Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows have collaborated to form the Mountain Collective, which lets skiers buy a $349 pass good for two days at each of the four destinations as well as 50% discounts on lift tickets via www.themountaincollective.com, and via Liftopia.com, the technology, distribution and marketing partner of the alliance. Included in the pass are: two free days at each ski area; unlimited 50% off lift tickets, after complimentary days are used, at each of the four destinations; and exclusive lodging deals at Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley/AlpineMeadows.
Sugarloaf – Carrabassett Valley, Maine – Opening Day: November 16, 2012 (Weather Permitting)
Book your ski and stay vacation by by Nov, 15, 2012 to enjoy instant savings, thanks to Sugarloaf’s More Snow Less Dough promotion. Reserve your stay in a 3-bedroom-or-larger unit and save as much as $200 instantly.
Mont-Sainte-Anne – Québec, Canada – Preview Weekend: November 17-18, 2012 (Weather Permitting)
Dual mountain lift ticket and night skiing included with any lift ticket for 2 days or more! Also, use your lift ticket at Stoneham and get a $10 gift card valid for different services of the mountain (same day only). Book your 3-night stay before December 1 and enjoy: 20% off on lodging and lift tickets and 3-day lift ticket valid at Stoneham and/or Mont-Sainte-Anne. Blackout dates and restrictions apply.
Sunday River – Bethel, Maine – Opening Day ?
Book a ski trip for any time this winter by December 1, 2012 and take $75 off two-night stays and take $100 off stays of three nights or longer. Ski and stay packages include slopeside lodging and lift tickets, plus you’ll get free adult ski or snowboard clinics, a free upgrade to 12-hour tickets when night skiing is offered, and for hotels stays a free breakfast as well.
Ski with Kids:
- Ski Camp Gives Kids an Extra Edge
- Ski New England: Plan a Road Trip to a Ski Resort!
- Thanksgiving Travel
- Après Ski Thanksgiving Feast
- Zipline Tour at Sunday River Is A Fun Family Adventure
- Slopeside Condo – From Bedroom Slippers to Ski Boots at Sunday River