By Rachel Tringali Marston
I didn’t grow up a snow enthusiast. On the contrary, I grew up in warmer climates and enjoyed my time on the beach. I would have never guessed that I would be hitting the slopes during the winter months since moving to the East Coast and (gasp) enjoy it.
I might have my husband to thank for my new found love for snow-related fun. He grew up in New England where it gets cold and winter outdoor activities are common. Perhaps I wouldn’t be as keen to bundle up and glide down mountains if we weren’t married but, here we are, planning for our skiing trip this 2016-2017 season.
Although there isn’t snow on the ground (yet), it’s not too early to get started on winter plans. Several resorts offer military discounts each season that we take into account as we’re putting together our short list.
Washington, D.C. Area
Liberty Mountain Resort – Opening sometime early December, Liberty Mountain Resort is located in Carroll Valley, PA, which is only less than three hours away from my house. Their military discount is only valid to active duty folks and includes:
- $5 off any retail lift ticket, rental equipment, or Learn To Package
- $10 off the All Mtn Package
- $1 off any snow tubing session, valid anytime
Snowshoe Mountain – Snowshoe is a little bit more of a trek for us, but we enjoyed our visit last time we were there! About four and a half hours away from my location, the resort offers a percentage discount and it includes active duty, retired and dependents.
- 20% Off Lift Tickets on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
- 40% Off Lift Tickets on Monday-Thursday
- 10% Off Lodging Anytime
Wintergreen Resort – I have to admit that their snow tubing hills look amazing! Wintergreen is located in Virginia, less than 4 hours away (give or take traffic!) from Washington DC. They also offer a percentage discount for active duty, National Guard, Wounded Warriors, and retired active duty in addition to dependents.
From their website:
- 20% discount on all standard lift, rental, lessons, Treehouse, and lodging (see details and restrictions).
- Lifts – Standard Retail products excluding passes and packages (eg. “Discover Skiing & Snowboarding” and other promotions).
- Rentals – Equipment Rentals including ski/snowboard, helmets, poles. Does not apply to baskets, lockers, etc.
- Snowsports School – Group lessons (no double discounts if you are on rental equipment).
- Treehouse – Kids in Action, Ridgely’s Rippers, Mountain Explorers (discount only offered for full day programs).
- Lodging – 20% off Best Available Rate; not available in conjunction with any other discounts.
Sugarloaf – Looking for an adventure? Head to Maine to ski at Sugarloaf Mountain! They have pretty wicked deals for military personnel. Depending on your interest, they have discounts based on dates and include lodging specials as well. If you’re unable to visit on one of their special dates, they do have “no blackout dates” discounts ($10 off full priced lift tickets) that could be used for the military member and one immediate family member.
Their special dates this 2016-17 season are:
- Sunday, December 18
- Sunday, January 8
- Sunday, January 29
- Sunday, February 26
- Sunday, March 19
On the special dates, lift tickets are $65 for adult (18+), $55 for young adult (12-18), and $45 for Junior (6-12)/Senior (65+).
Killington – We’ve had friends really enjoy their winter vacation at Killington resort in Vermont and it’s wonderful to know that they offer free lift tickets on Veteran’s Day, if it’s open for skiing. Current and former military members are eligible for a free Killington Express Card which offers more discounts on its own.
Ski Butternut – Butternut is in my husband’s home state and offers a Hero Discount to members of the military, police, fire department, EMTs, and their families. Their website notes that you can save up to $25 on lift tickets, up to $10 on ski & snowboard packages, and $20 on group lessons.
Winter Park – I was lucky to get a taste of Winter Park when my school orchestra drove from Texas to Colorado for a competition. Witnessing a bunch of kids that grew up in Texas ski the slopes of Winter Park Resort was a sight I’ll never forget. Winter Park also offers a “Patriot Pass” for active or retired military. Their website breaks down the discounts for you.
Vail Resorts – There are a plethora of affiliated locations, including Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone, among others. I encourage you to dig into their website to look through all their properties. Their special rates are available at the ticket booth or you call the property for the 2016-17 rates.
Don’t forget your local ticket office!
In addition to the properties above, your local MWR ticket office can be a great place to start research for outside options. Smaller areas might have a designated amount of passes that they share with nearby installations, so take advantage of those passes.
For example, military installations in Colorado have special passes available to properties in the Colorado area that can’t go unnoticed. My husband and I have actually been able to grab passes at our local installation for skiing at Roundtop Resort in PA our first year in Washington, D.C. They do have a military discount–but only for the military member–so those passes helped out with my ticket fee.
With that said, if there is a resort you’re really ogling at, contact them separately to see if they have a military discount, especially if nothing online is visible. It’s always worth a shot.
Do you have another mountain or resort to add?
Rachel Tringali Marston is an Army spouse and daughter to an Air Force retiree. Rachel’s family settled in Texas and that’s where she calls home. Before getting married, she lived in New York City for almost 10 years and considers that her second home. Rachel enjoys learning and exploring the area around her husband’s duty station and is embracing life in the military. In her spare time, she shares her adventures on her personal blog called The Professional Army Wife.