Snow Deals in Central California will get you on those slopes
By Kathy Chin Leong
Looking for a new place to ski this winter? Drive or fly a little further to someplace you’ve never been before. Here are a few ideas with bargains galore, but beware of blackout dates. Best times to go are weekdays during non-holiday times.
Bear Valley: Popular for teaching people of all ages how to ski, this resort is touting a $399 "Guarantee Learn to Ski" season pass. After three snowboard or ski lessons that include lift ticket and rental gear, an instructor approves of your skillset, and you receive a season pass.
Totally Awesome: Stay two nights at the Bear Valley Lodge and then you get the third night free. See www.bearvalley.com for details.
Sierra Summit: At the Sierra Summit Inn, the $69 stay-and-play package, per person double occupancy, is good Sunday through Thursday. It includes lodging and one lift ticket per adult. And the miniboarder/skier package for $40 provides kids ages 3-5 a one-hour lesson accompanied by mom and dad, equipment rental, and a lift ticket for the child. See www.sierrasummit.com
Totally Awesome: Ski for free on your birthday.
Badger Pass: This family favorite in Yosemite National Park is a small resort yielding big memories. Purchase an adult or youth (ages 13-17) season pass before Dec. 20 for $299, instead of $492 afterwards. Kids, ages 7-12, run $159 instead of $192. Kids under seven can get on the lifts for free.
Totally Awesome: Go on a free guided snowshoe walk starting at the Badger Pass ranger station. A $5 donation is recommended. See www.yosemitepark.com/badgerpass .
Dodge Ridge: Get a day pass for $49 at Save Mart and Lucky stores. See www.dodgeridge.com for details.
Totally Awesome: Ski free on cross country trails..
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area: Tucked in Central California, the drive to Mammoth is at least five hours away by car. If you want to fly, Horizon Airlines will be offering a new flight from San Jose to Mammoth for as low as $69 each way this season.
Snow Creek Resort offers a $119 per night for a room up until December 17. A mid-week deal that runs from Jan. 2-28 goes for $143 per night for a one-bedroom lodge and includes complimentary taxi service from the airport. See www.snowcreekresort.com.
Totally Awesome: Fireworks on Decemer 18 and 19.