Are you planning a 2017 family ski trip to Sugarloaf Mountain (Maine) and looking for cheap or discounted lift tickets? I don’t blame you, paying full price for lift tickets at any ski resort in New England is expensive, especially at the more popular mountains like Killington, Sugarbush, Stowe, Sunday River and Sugarloaf.
Sugarloaf’s current weekend/holiday lift ticket prices are $95 per adult. Throw in ski rentals and lunch and a family of 4 is looking at over $500 per day. That’s INSANE!
Don’t get suckered in to paying full price for your ski lift tickets at the ticket window. With a little planning, you could save 50% or more. Here 8 of the best ways to save money on your Sugarloaf Lift Tickets.
Community Wellness Programs:
Check with your local school board member or parks and recreation department to see if your community has any discounted wellness programs for residents. Sugarloaf, Sunday River and other large ski resorts will sometimes offer steep discounts to community organizations who guarantee to purchase a minimum number of lift tickets each season. There are a few community groups I know of that offer lift ticket vouchers for around $50 each when paid for in advance. If your community has such a program it shouldn’t be too hard to find the contact details of the person(s) who are running it.
Another popular way to save money and buy discounted Sugarloaf lift tickets is to purchase your tickets online in advance. The earlier in advance you purchase your tickets, the more money you’ll save. ETicket discounts are not as great over popular time periods like MLK Weekend and February Break (Maine Schools) but typically average between 15-30% off. For a family of 4, that could be a savings of over $150 a day! The catch is that you can never be too sure what the conditions will be for the days you’ve bought your ETicket. Sugarloaf has a generous snow guarantee offering vouchers if you’re not 100% satisfied with snow conditions, but if it’s unlikely you’ll be back in the Sugarloaf Area in the near future, you’ll probably lose out on redeeming your free voucher. It’s the risk you take when using the ETicket service.
Maine Resident Discounts:
If you’re a Maine resident, Sugarloaf offers a variety of discounts and promotions during certain days of the week. For example, Maine residents can enjoy $49 lift tickets on most Wednesdays during 2017. For a complete list of Maine Resident discounts at Sugarloaf Mountain click HERE.
Whether you’re active duty military, a reservist or retired, Sugarloaf offers several different discounts on lift tickets for current and former members of the armed services. In addition to $10 off lift tickets anytime, Sugarloaf has a variety of other dates that offer even deeper lift ticket discounts. For a complete list of military discounts, click HERE.
Local Sales Promotions:
From time to time, local merchants and retailers (car dealerships, appliance stores, timeshare companies, etc.) offer free or discounted lift tickets to area ski resorts (Sugarloaf among them) for nothing more than taking a test drive or sitting through a sales pitch. In many cases, these ticket vouchers are good for any day of the season. These promotions are rare but you’ll typically see one or two of these promotions each year.
Online Auction/Classified Sites:
Another popular way to purchase discounted lift tickets is through online bidding sites like eBay or through local classified ads (Craigslist and Uncle Henry’s). Be very careful when purchasing lift ticket vouchers from a third party; it’s easy to get burned by someone especially if they ask for payment upfront through payment sites like PayPal. In fact, I would never buy lift tickets without being able to inspect the tickets in person unless it was through a highly rated seller on eBay (who has a track record of selling lift tickets).
Last Minute Sugarloaf Deals:
Another great way to save on lift tickets and lodging at Sugarloaf is signing up for Sugarloaf’s email newsletter. You’ll be the first to know about any last minute deals or specials going on. My wife and I were able to get an amazing deal on a last minute condo reservation over New Year’s Weekend for our family.
Boyne Rewards is actually a pretty decent loyalty program for members who ski at any Boyne Resort (Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Loon Mountain, etc.). For every $500 you spend, you earn a $25 voucher that can be used towards lift tickets, equipment rentals, accommodations, etc. It’s basically another 5% discount when used correctly. While ETickets don’t qualify towards Boyne Reward accumulations, most everything else you purchase at the mountain does.
Sugarloaf Discount Codes, Promo Codes and Group Codes:
Another great way to save on lift tickets and lodging at Sugarloaf is to keep an eye out for special discount codes and promo codes. These codes can offer huge savings and discounts on your ski vacation package. If you find that one of the promotion codes you have has expired, don’t be afraid to call the reservation line and ask if they’ll still honor it or if there is a similar discount program available.
How Not Save Money on Lift Tickets at Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Loon Mountain (or any other Ski Resort for that matter):
Borrowing Someone Else’s Season Pass:
One of the most common things people do to cheap out on lift passes is to borrow their friends ski season pass for the day. While this practice is relatively common, it is incredibly risky to both you and the season pass holder. For starters, if you’re caught, your buddy will likely have to forfeit his or her ski pass. You could also face charges of theft of services (stealing) by not paying for your day on the mountain.
Buying Tickets online:
As I’ve mentioned earlier, NEVER pre-pay for lift tickets over the internet unless the person runs a legitimate business or has a high feedback rating on Facebook. You might get lucky and score a good deal, but you’re setting yourself up to be scammed.
Pretending Like You Lost Your Ticket:
Another practice people often use is that their lift ticket “fell off” while they were skiing and asking customer service for another one. Without a legitimate receipt, it’s hard enough to get a new ticket from customer service. You’re only hurting yourself and your fellow skiers when you practice this form of lift ticket fraud.
Should You Buy a Season Pass?
Another question you may be asking yourself is whether or not you should purchase a Sugarloaf season pass. Remember, its not just about whether or not you’ll save money at the end of the Season. A season pass provides many other benefits that may enhance you and or your family’s skiing experience.
For one, a season pass removes the stress many people have in trying to find discounted lift tickets. Skiing is a cost prohibitive sport to begin with (especially if you have children). With a Season pass, you’re pre-committed to the skiing season and no longer need to wait in line to buy a lift ticket or worry that your ticket vouchers and/or promo codes have expired.
Another perk of a season pass is removing the pressure to ski all day to “get your money’s worth”. With a season pass you can ski a few runs here and there and if you want to take a break in the lodge (or back at your condo) to take nap, read a book, or watch a football game, you don’t have to worry about it.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what works best for you and your family. Everyone’s situation is unique.
Do you have any tips, strategies or suggestions on getting discounted lift tickets and Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Killington or any other New England ski resort? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment form below!