Once upon a time, I skied a lot. I had an All-East pass back in my single days so pretty much every weekend I’d be skiing at Sunday River, Killington, or Attitash in New England. Maybe it wasn’t the best snow on earth, but it was still awesome.
Then, as the story often goes, I had kids.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Around that time, my wife and I discovered that we liked traveling more than skiing. So we kind of hung up our skis for awhile in order to show our kids the world.
But our kids are now of the age where learning to ski is theoretically easy. I mean, I don’t know that it’s easy — I didn’t strap sticks to my feet until I was in my early 20s — but it sure seems like it’s easy for them. And it was definitely not easy for me. Nor does it sounds like it was easy for Ben.
The real problem I have with skiing nowadays is the cost. I’m probably showing my age, but I remember when the first resorts broke the $100 price barrier. My friends and I thought that was insane for a single day lift ticket considering that my first student pass cost right around $200. Now those same resorts are pushing $150 or more. For families, the costs can really add up.
So I’m keen to finding deals when it comes to skiing these days.
My son learning to ski at Keystone
The Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack
The Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack might be one of the best deals for kids out there. Kids in grades kindergarten through 5th grade can get four free days of skiing at each of:
That’s 16 days of skiing for free which is obviously an amazing deal. It doesn’t include Arapaho Basin, however. Here are the FAQs.
There are a few blackout dates to be aware of:
- Friday, November 24, 2017 – Saturday, November 25, 2017
- Tuesday, December 26, 2017 – Sunday, December 31, 2017
- Saturday, January 13, 2018
- Saturday, February 17, 2018 – Sunday, February 18, 2018.
The pack also comes with one free first-timer lesson, though it must be used during very specific dates:
- Monday, November 27, 2017 – Saturday, December 16, 2017
- Thursday, January 18, 2018 – Thursday, February 1, 2018
Finally it’s important to note that although it’s called the Colorado Pack, it’s actually available to anyone in grades K-5. With a catch.
And that catch is that you have to register for it in person, in the state of Colorado.
Registering for the Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack
Enrolling your kids in the Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack is actually pretty easy. Here’s the process:
- Visit a Colorado Ski and Golf or Boulder Ski Deals Store Location before October 8.
- Child must be present to register
- Parent brings a copy of child report card, student ID, birth certificate or passport
- Parents can pick up their child’s pass at the resort ticket window upon their first resort visit
Again, you don’t have to be a Colorado resident to enroll in the Colorado pack. (Unlike the Utah Pack where you need to be a resident of Utah.)
Epic booth at Colorado Ski and Golf
My experience with the Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack
My kids got the Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack for the first time last year. We visited a Colorado Ski and Golf store to sign up with their passports in tow.
Colorado Ski and Golf
The application form was pretty straightforward — the parent fills it out as though they are buying a pass for themself and then adds the kids on separate lines at the bottom. So one signature essentially covers the family.
I’m sure they hope that the parent will buy a season pass, but that’s not at all required. (I didn’t last year.) Then they take a photo and print the ID. It was all pretty cool.
My kids’ first ski passes
At the time, my son (age 5) was in kindergarten and my daughter (4) was still in preschool. Since she wasn’t even in school yet, she actually qualified for the unlimited ski pass. For our purposes, however, there’s not much difference between 16 days of skiing and unlimited skiing — I think we took them to Keystone for their free beginner lesson and that was about it.
So you could say we didn’t get very good value out of the pass, but then again, it was free.
My daugther’s first ski lesson at Keystone
This year registration was even easier since we were already in the computer. I still had to fill out the form — I think you do every year — but then they just reactivate your old pass.
We were in and out in five minutes.
The Epic Schoolkids Colorado Pack is probably one of the best deals out there for kids to ski on the cheap.
Getting four free days at each of Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Beavercreek is really awesome. While the kids have to be present to register, and you can only register at stores within Colorado, there is no requirement that the parent (or kids) actually be a Colorado resident.
So if your family will be passing through Colorado before October 8th, you might want to stop by and sign the kids up even if you aren’t sure whether you’ll actually ski Colorado this year. It’s free after all, and who knows, maybe you’ll find your way there during the winter.
Have you enrolled your kids in the Epic Schoolkids Colorado program?