- Vail Resorts vacation planning expert, Scott Donovan, recommends traveling after March 29 for the best deals, activities, concerts and events
- With Daylight Savings time, Keystone plans to offer extended sunset skiing hours; Heavenly celebrates spring with pond skimming and Vail serves up deep snow and 50 percent off deals
Vail, Colo. – Dec. 17, 2008 – Need a break? This year you’ll find about twice as many price breaks and promotions on the ski slopes at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly for March and April with discounts of 50 percent or more on lodging and even at top-rated restaurants.
According to Scott Donovan, Vail Resorts vacation planning manager, spring is one of the best times to visit, especially this year. Why? Because spring snow is historically deep and the savings will be even deeper this year with a flurry of new offers and 50 percent off deals. Plus, there are the traditional 2-for-1 restaurant offerings and end-of-season ski gear sales. And, with events like Vail’s Spring Back to Vail concerts, Heavenly’s pond skimming championships and Breckenridge’s wacky costume party-on-skis called the Bump Buffet, spring time on the slopes serves up some of the best festivities of the year and there will be more options and deals with more properties than ever before, said Donovan.
Last ski season, Easter was in March and overlapped with the popular spring break vacation time period, resulting in little to no availability at hotels and lodging properties during this time period. “This year, it’s a completely different story,” Donovan said. “Easter falls on April 12, which is expected to result in more availability and, in the current market, there are more deals and deeper savings this spring. It’s the perfect storm for skiers, this spring.”
To help skiers and snowboarders carve out the best deals for the spring ski season, Donovan offers these five simple tips:
1. Dial for dollars. Pick up the phone and dial 800.404.3535 to speak directly to a highly trained (and FREE to you) Vail Resorts vacation coordinator for Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone (call 1.800.HEAVENLY for a Heavenly vacation planner). There are more deals in the marketplace this year, which is great news for you, but it also means more time and more clicks to research these deals by yourself. Vail Resorts offers a free hassle-free vacation planning option: a vacation coordinator who can search for the best airfare, find you the best deal on discounted lift tickets, lodging, rentals and even activities at the resorts for free.
2. Email alerts. Even though Donovan recommends that you call a Vail Resorts vacation coordinator to research and then book your vacation, he still suggests that you sign up for the Vail Resorts email alerts to keep tabs on snow reports, events and major promotions, including exclusive deals for email subscribers only. Visit www.snow.com to sign up.
3. High-flying last-minute deals. The early bird usually does get the worm and the best deal, especially in this economic climate. However … if you missed that one-day airfare sale back in November or the spectacular book-by December spring ski vacation package to Vail this March, don’t fret. You can still find a few last-minute deals. Both Vail and Keystone have created new web sites specifically for the last-minute traveler looking for the best deal. Check out the new www.VailAllTheLove.com for best bets to Vail or click your way to www.keystonetonight.com, for Keystone Resort deals offered that week or weekend. Or, as Donovan recommends, pick up the phone at the last minute and call 800.404.3535 to talk to a Vail Resorts vacation coordinator and ask them to locate the best airfare and vacation package to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone (Call 1.800.HEAVENLY for Heavenly).
4. Timing is everything. Look for mid-week stays to save off of weekend rates. Or, if you have a flexible schedule, travel when school is in session. So, instead of staying during the very popular school spring break times in March, book your trip for April when school is typically back in session and avoid holiday weekends or time periods like Easter.
5. Location. Location. Location. Sure, that slopeside chalet with the million-dollar view is convenient, but chances are it comes with a price tag that might be more than you’re looking to spend. Instead, choose a condo or hotel room that’s just a few steps away or a shuttle ride away from the slopes to save another 50 percent off rates in some cases.
Donovan also recommends scanning local newspapers for 2-for-1 coupons at top-rated restaurants in April and shopping around for the end-of-the-season sales at the resort and in town during the spring, as well as looking for added value deals like Keystone’s Adventure Passport program that comes free with any lodging package booked online at www.keystoneresort.com or by calling the vacation planning experts at Keystone – 800.404.3535. You and your family (or friends) will receive one-time coupons for more than $100 in savings with free activities like yoga classes, snowbiking sessions, guided naturalist tours and GPS treasure hunts, plus discounts for local restaurants and activities. The number of Adventure Passports equals the occupancy number for your reservation.
Here’s a sampling of spring savings and best bets for spring events:
Keystone’s Daylight Savings
You’ll save more at Keystone once Daylight Savings clocks in with expanded terrain and hours for sunset skiing starting the week of March 8. Another bright idea: book Keystone’s ski free, stay free package from $283 for three nights of lodging slopeside at the River Run Village and three days of sunset skiing or riding and get free activities like yoga classes, snowbiking sessions and a GPS treasure hunt plus coupons worth more than $100. Based on availability. Restrictions apply. www.keystoneresort.com or 800.404.3535.
Half off Vail for Spring
Save 50 percent on lodging at Sun Vail, located just a few steps away from the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Vail. Prices start at $235 per night anytime between March 28 – April 19 (closing day at Vail) for a two-bedroom condominium with a two-night minimum stay. Limited availability and other restrictions apply. www.vail.com or 800.404.3535.
A Heavenly Break for Spring Break at South Lake Tahoe
You don’t need to “go for broke” at Heavenly this spring. Spend two nights at the Lakeside Inn and Casino and two days on the world-class slopes of Heavenly for just $249 per person anytime between March 15 and April 19. The package is based on a midweek stay for two people and includes coupons for local restaurants and casino shows. www.skiheavenly.com or 1.800.HEAVENLY
Spring Back to $85 room rates at Breckenridge
Breckenridge is celebrating Spring in style with $85 room rates (per night) from March 29 through its closing day of April 19. www.breckenridge.com or 800.404.3535
April Savings at Beaver Creek. Buy Three, Get One Free
Buy three nights of lodging at Beaver Creek West and a three-day lift ticket and get an extra night of lodging and extra day of skiing free March 29- April 19. Package starts at $409 per person. www.beavercreek.com or 800.404.3535.
Spring “Can’t Miss” Events
March 21 – April 12 Heavenly Spring Loaded: with concerts, pond skimming championships and more.
March 28 Blues and BBQ at Keystone: Beat the “end-of-the-ski-season blues” with lip-smacking barbecue and smooth blues music at River Run's Blues and Barbecue Festival
April 1-19 Spring Massive, Breckenridge: Celebrate April with concerts, competitions, family fun, nightlife, comedy clubs, the Bite of Breckenridge, the Massive Brewfest and legendary spring snow conditions
April 11 Volcom Peanut Butter and Rail Jam at Keystone: Do some butters and slide some rails at Keystone for The Peanut Butter and Rail Jam, Volcom's free amateur snowboard contest series. Plus, there’ll be a ton of prizes and free PB&J sandwiches.
April 13 – 19 Spring Back to Vail: The biggest end-of-season bash in the Rocky Mountains, Spring Back to Vail is a week of fun in the sun, huge concerts, and the World Pond Skimming Championships.
For more information about deals, events or planning your spring vacation to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone or Heavenly, visit www.snow.com or call 800.404.3535 (or 800.HEAVENLY for Heavenly information).
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