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Ski Tips for Families Planning a Family Winter Ski Vacation in Keystone, Colorado   by Steve Falk

Tip 1: Get discounted lift tickets

There are many ways to save money on lift tickets. Here are a few:

Look for season passes before the real season begins (season passes are often sold months in advance as well as multi-visit passes and online tickets). These passes are typically only available in person over the summer, but after you get one, you can renew online. A summer trip to Colorado can pay for itself by buying season passes for your family! The best place to buy single day tickets is at a local grocery store like King Soupers or Safeway or Albertsons. There are kiosks in the stores with the latest prices. Skiing in off-peak times (any time other than over the holidays and from mid feb - march) can often save you money as well. Discounted lift tickets are often provided when you sign up for lessons Perhaps the best way to obtain discounted lift tickets is to purchase them when you also purchase lodging through one of the smaller, more personalized property management companies. These companies are motivated you to save money on lift tickets to make your trip more affordable.

Tip 2: Save on lodging and accommodations by sharing or by renting privately and through smaller property management companies The large ski resorts offer premium pricing on their lodging because of their monopoly in the resort area. There are many other options to paying premium dollars: Book through smaller property management companies in Keystone other than the resort itself. Smaller companies spend comparatively very little on advertising and are closer to the condo owners and are able to pass on the savings to you. Are your dates flexible? look for last minute deals for condos between other rentals. Look for websites where you rent directly from the owner like Craigslist, vrbo, zipvacations and keystone.ownersguest.com

Tip 3: Buy Used Gear Children outgrow their equipment so quickly that it rarely makes sense to buy new gear. There are many alternatives that can save you money: Buy in the off season when there are substantial savings and before you are desperate for gear Buy equipment at consignment stores and ski-swaps. Some Ski Retail stores even offer special lease and buyback programs for kids Borrow from friends whose kids have outgrown their skis or boards Small property management companies can often offer discounts on rental equipment because of their local business relationships. Plus they don't make money on the rentals, so they want you to get the best deal possible.

Tip 4: Educate your children on the Responsibility Code for the Mountain Regardless of the ability level of your children, they should always show courtesy to others. Familiarize them with the "Your Responsibility Code" which has been endorsed by the National Ski Areas Association. Many accidents can be avoided by adhering to the Code. Always stay in control. People ahead of you have the right of way. Stop in a safe place for you and others. Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment. Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails. Know how to use the lifts safely.

Tip 5: Have a plan in place in the event you become separated Having a plan in place in the event your family becomes separated can prevent so much worry: Establish a meeting place before you begin skiing. The information booth or a particular chair lift is a good idea Have your child carry a note in his or her pocket with your home, cell phone and lodging phone number Consider purchasing a family walkie-talkie set. The prices on these devices

A family ski vacation can be one of the most memorable and enjoyable vacations together. By planning in advance, you are ensured a more relaxed and peaceful time.

About the Author

Steve Falk is the co-owner and operator of Skyrun.com Property Management services which provides Keystone Resort Lodging in Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado. Being in the industry for many years, he can help find the best deals in lodging, lift tickets and ski rentals. Be sure to visit www.SkyRun.com for more information on discount lodging and ski rentals.

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