A budget-conscious ski weekend? Winter Park ranked one of the most wallet-friendly ski resorts
WINTER PARK — Skiing and snowboarding aren’t known to be cheap sports to enjoy. However, Winter Park Resort prides itself on being family-friendly and tries to make sure its costs reflect that.
A recent study from HomeToGo, a vacation rental search engine, found Winter Park Resort to be the third most affordable resort in the state, closely following Purgatory Resort and Crested Butte Resort, which placed first and second respectively.
“The real focus for us is family friendliness and we take that real seriously,” said Steve Hurlbert, director of public relations and communications at the resort. “What that means for us is being able to stretch a family’s dollar as far as it goes.”
The HomeToGo study considered the costs for one person of a lift ticket, lunch, equipment rentals and lodging for one night and came to the conclusion that at Winter Park Resort that would cost $259.16.
In comparison, it would cost $448.20 for one person for a day at Aspen Snowmass, which ranked the most expensive by HomeToGo, and $295.58 at Breckenridge Ski Resort, which ranked fifth.
Hurlbert said the resort tries to walk the line of being affordable while still making a profit. In order to make the costs worthwhile for families and individuals, he said the resort tries to offer a lot of free benefits or ways to cut costs.
For example, the resort offers a variety of free activities to guests, such as campfire music series, broomball at the pond and indoor or outdoor yoga.
“Little benefits add up a lot and so that’s our goal: to throw in a lot of different amenities and events for people to enjoy that are free or discounted,” Hurlbert said. “We want kids and families to have the best experience possible and that means getting the most out of your vacation dollar.”
Families can also cut costs by using the resort’s free parking lots or parking in Winter Park and taking advantage of the free shuttle. There are also brown bag spots at the resort where families can bring their own food and, once the Gondola opens, guests and visitors can ride for free after 3 p.m.
Hurlbert also recommends booking lodging, lessons, rentals and lift tickets early to get discounted prices.
“Booking early is the key,” he said. “We want to encourage people to book early because that’s when you’re going to have the best discounts.”
Overall, Hurlbert said the resort tries to be mindful of the costs families undertake to travel and enjoy the resort, so they invest profits back into the mountain and guest experience.
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