School Programs to Combat The Cost

Programs across the country are combating skiing’s rising cost with free and discounted passes for grade schoolers.
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Programs across the country are combating skiing’s rising cost with free and discounted passes for grade schoolers.

Expensive but worth it: a sentiment that certainly applies to skiing.

Especially when you have a family in tow. Luckily, more and more states are rolling out programs for elementary-school kids, hoping to lure them—and their parents—to the sport. These passports all offer free or steeply discounted ski days for your budding shredders, plus bargains for you. The best part is, you don’t have to be a ski-country resident to take part. Here’s how to cash in.

Vermont

Fifth Grade Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $10

The Basics: Three days of each of Vermont's 20 alpine resorts.

The Perks: One pass to the nordic resorts.

New Hampshire

4th & 5th Grade Snow-sports Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $30-$35

The Basics: One ticket for each of New Hampshire's 34 alpine and nordic ski areas.

The Perks: Discounted rentals, adult tickets, and lessons.

Utah

5th & 6th Grade Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $35

The Basics: Fifth graders get three days at each of Utah's 14 ski resorts; sixth graders are entitled to one day at each hill.

The Perks: Discounted buddy passes, rentals, Olympic Oval deals, and more.

Michigan

4th and 5th Grade Ski and Ride Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $20

The Basics: Up to three lift tickets to 30 Michigan resorts.

The Perks: Free or discounted rentals and lessons.

Idaho

5th and 6th Grade Ski Free Passport Program

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $15

The Basics: Fifth graders get three days at each of Idaho's 18 resorts; sixth graders enjoy two free days at 16 of the resorts.

The Perks: n/a

Northwest Rockies

5th Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: FREE

The Basics: Three days at 49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Silver Mountain, and Mt. Spokane; three days at Bluewood, Brundage, and Loup Loup.

The Perks: Deals on rentals and lessons, plus discounted tickets for parents and siblings. 

Colorado

5th and 6th Grade Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: Free for fifth graders; $105 for sixth graders

The Basics: Fifth graders get three days at each of 20 resorts (not including Vail Resorts areas). Sixth graders get four days at the same 20 resorts.

The Perks: One beginner lesson for fifth graders. Companions also get lesson and lift deals.

New York

3rd & 4th Grade Learn to Ski or Ride Passport

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $26

The Basics: One ticket to each of the 25 resorts (includes nordic areas).

The Perks: One beginner lesson and rental at each resort.

Pennsylvania

4th & 5th Grade Snowpass

Residents Only?: No

Cost: $30

The Basics: Three passes to each of the 20 resorts.

The Perks: One free lesson and equipment rental.