How to Ski Snowbird for $12 a Day

Does it make sense for me to buy a Snowbird season pass?

By Skimum Richelle

Ski MathHave you ever thought about getting a Snowbird season pass but assumed it was too expensive, or that you would never use it enough?  I used to think the same thing.  Then I did some simple math…and it changed my life!

Long Ski Season
First, in order to get the most out of a season pass, you need as many opportunities to ski as possible. Snowbird boasts one of the longest ski seasons in the country, averaging 180 days each year. While most other resorts here in Utah shut down their lifts by the middle of April, Snowbird keeps the party going as long as there is enough snow to ski on.  It is not uncommon to ski the Bird on Memorial day.  A couple years ago I even skied on the 4th of July!  There are, roughly, 28 weeks between Thanksgiving and Memorial Day.  Ski just one day a week, on average, and you can fit in 28 days on the mountain (I told you it was simple math).

When I bought my first season pass I decided I would shoot for one ski day a week (every Friday morning).  I also tried to take advantage of the occasional powder day as well.  That first year I ended up skiing nearly 40 days!

Divide the number of days you think you will ski
in a season by the cost of your pass
to get your cost per day.

Picking the Right Season Pass
Snowbird offers a number of season pass options to match your schedule and lifestyle. Want to go big? You can get an Unlimited Tram and Chair Pass which lets you ride any lift, 7-days a week.  It’s a great option if you plan to ski a lot and love the access that only the tram can provide.

Graph - Unlimited Tram & Chair

Don’t need a tram pass?  You can save some money and buy an Unlimited Chair Only Pass.  Thanks to the Peruvian Tunnel and the new Littlecloud Chairlift, it is now much easier to get around the mountain. (Frankly, I prefer to sit on a chair between runs anyway.)

Graph - Unlimited Chair Only

Prefer not to fight the crowds on the weekends?  The Midweek Chair Only Pass lets you ski Monday through Friday.  For me, the Midweek Chair Only Pass works great…and my cost per ski day is ridiculous!

Graph - Midwee Chair Only

In my opinion, If you are planning on skiing 10 or more days with the Snowbird Skimums this season, then buying a Midweek Chair Only Pass makes the most sense.  If you plan on skiing on the weekends as well with friends or family, then an unlimited pass may be the right choice for you.

Block of Passes
Snowbird also offers several options to buy a block of passes at reduced prices. Some are for a single user and others are transferable. These can be a great deal and, depending on the package, you can even roll over any unused days into the next year. For example, they offer a Ten-2-Share for $390 (or $39 per day).  I have several friends that buy a 10-day pass each year.  Frankly, the problem that I see with these “punch passes” is that they just don’t get used.  My friends tend to save them for those “really good days,”  and when they do go, they feel like they have to ski hard all day long, trying to squeeze the most out of their day pass – beating themselves up and risking injury.

Buy Early and Save!
Snowbird offers significant price discounts on your season pass if you buy them before the middle of September (check the Snowbird website for exact dates).  In fact, the above graphs assume you bought your pass at the discounted price.  I actually buy my pass as soon as I can in July, and I use it for the rest of the summer to ride the tram for hiking and mountain biking. It’s a great way to enjoy the Bird all year round!

I LOVE my season pass!  I ski 10 times more than I normally would without one. I stay in much better shape and I actually enjoy the cold, Utah winters!  Even better, I can ski a half day (or less) guilt free. Running up the canyon for a few runs in the morning is perfect with my busy schedule – no need to dedicate a whole day each time.  

Change Your Life!
Do the math for yourself.  Find out which pass makes the most sense for you, and then DO IT!  You may just find that you enjoy winter so much that you are sad to see summer coming.

Click here to browse the various season pass options on the Snowbird website

2 thoughts on “How to Ski Snowbird for $12 a Day

  1. Don’t forget the incredible deals offered to your kids when a pass is purchased (any season or package). Kids K-12 can get a full season tram pass for $179 or chairs only for $139. Pass holders can get up to two K-12 matching passes. My teenage son last season figured he skied for just $4/day!!

  2. Pingback: Lift Tix for Less | Snowbird Skimums

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