Skiing for less • Salt Lake Magazine

Discover the “biggest snow in the world” without breaking the bank

There’s no better way to experience the Utah winter than on a pair of skis. But, let’s face it, it can be very expensive – a few hundred dollars for ski clothes, a few hundred more for skis and – oh yes – a few hundred more for a ski pass. As a college student with $30 allotted for groceries each week, the thought of spending that much money on a new hobby drove me crazy. So I talked to Alison Palmintere about Skiing in Utah for some tips and tricks for cutting costs without sacrificing comfort or safety.

Second-hand shop

Savings is a fantastic way to reduce your costs when you start skiing. Utah is full of thrift and discount stores where you can buy clothes and gear for less. Some second-hand ski shops and outlets:

Level Nine Sports, multiple locations, levelninesports.com

Ski Trucks, 1260 W. North Temple, SLC (not a real truck anymore), skitrucks.com

Replay the sport6910 Highland Drive #3, SLC, playitagainsports.com

Ski and see, multiple locations, skinsee.com

Recreation Center, multiple locations, leisureoutlet.com

Eagle Point (Photo courtesy of Ski Utah by Chris Pearson)

what to wear

When it comes to skiing, if you layer your clothes correctly, you can stay dry and warm even in sub-zero temperatures. You want to make sure you have a good base coat. Stay away from cotton, as it will absorb moisture like a sponge. You want something that will allow mobility, dry quickly and keep you warm. Opt for a synthetic wool base layer to wick away moisture. You can also add a fleece or sweater over your base layer before putting on your coat. When choosing your coat, it should be completely waterproof to keep your other layers dry. A longer coat that covers your waistline will keep snow from falling on your pants all day. Speaking of pants, usually a pair of synthetic leggings under waterproof snow pants will keep you warm all day.

To rent

If you are not yet ready to invest in your own ski equipment, rent it! Most ski resorts offer rentals of skis, boots, helmets and poles. Some ski resorts even offer jackets, pants and gloves. After choosing your ski resort, check their website to see available rentals. Where to rent:

Utah Skiing and Golf, multiple locations, utahskigolf.com

Wasatch Ski and Snowboard Rental, 6755 S. Wasatch Blvd., SLC, wasatchskiandsnowboardrental.com

Rental U of U, campusrec.utah.edu

BYU Outdoors Unlimited Rentals, exterior.byu.edu

Out N Back, 418 N. State Street, Orem, outnback.com

Breeze Ski Rental, 1284 Lowell Ave, Park City, skirentals.com

Alpine Sports, 1165 Patterson Street, Ogden, alpinesportsutah.com

Consider smaller ski resorts

If you just want to ski a day to see if you like the sport, consider buying a day pass at a smaller ski resort. The tracks are perfect for learning and the cost will be significantly cheaper. Many of these resorts offer great deals if you pre-purchase online:

Brian’s head
brianhead.com

cherry woodpecker
skicpr.com

Eagle’s Point
eaglepointresort.com

northern valley
nordicvalley.ski

Powder Mountain
powdermountain.com

pebble stream
pebblecreekskiarea.com

Try multi-station passes

“If you’re committing to skiing for a season, I recommend taking advantage of the multi-resort packages,” says Palmintere. Multi-resort passes allow you to explore different mountains and resorts without purchasing an individual pass for each one. Ski Utah may offer you one of these packages on its website, but beware, some have waiting lists:

EPIC: Access to Park City Mountain and seven days at Snowbasin

ICON: Unlimited access to Solitude Mountain Resort, limited access to Brighton, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird

INDIA: Access to Beaver Mountain, Powder Mountain and Eagle Point

POWERFUL: Unlimited access to Brian Head and Nordic Valley

SUPER SKI CITY PASS: Access to Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude

UTAH GOLD AND SILVER SKI PACKAGES: Unlimited access to 15 Utah ski resorts

YETI: Voucher for a lift ticket at all ski and snowboard resorts in Utah

Photo courtesy of Ski Utah.  The Sheen family in Alta.
The Sheen family in Alta. (Photo courtesy of Ski Utah)

Find yourself a teacher

Many resorts offer exceptional offers for ski schools. (Some even include rentals.) If the whole family is getting into skiing this year, there’s the Ski Utah Grade 5 and 6 Passport. For $45, fifth graders can get three days at each station and sixth graders can get one day at each station. They also offer deals for an adult companion pass. And some resorts, such as Snowbasin, have deals that give you three lift tickets, three lessons, gear for the season, and a pass for the rest of the season at the end of their ski school program. You can also search for offers on the Ski Utah website.

Once you have your outfit, your equipment, your ski pass and a learning plan, you are set. When asked for his final piece of advice, Palmintere says to “come prepared with a snack and a big meal in your stomach” and “try to get into skiing with an open mind.” Don’t let more experienced skiers and snowboarders intimidate you. Everyone learns at their own pace. And the point is just to get out and work, try something new, and have fun. See you soon on the slopes!


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