The last several years, I’ve been on an educational mission: to teach our ski and ride community how they can save big when hitting the lifts each winter. I’ve been encouraged with the results. Year over year it’s felt as though the word has spread a little farther, skiers and riders are a little more enlightened, and there’s less and less sticker shock when it comes to buying lift tickets at the window. In fact 99.25% of Sugarbush skiers and riders DON’T buy a ticket at the window. So although one of the top pieces of feedback we hear about throughout the season is our window rate ticket prices, the reality is that this affects an increasingly smaller and smaller group of skiers. If you think you might fall into that group, please read on to learn about all of our cost-saving alternatives. Some day I hope this blog post serves no further use to the community, but until then I’ll keep helping you find ways to save.
Let’s begin with a little background before delving into savings. Sugarbush is coming off of a record season in visitation. Pretty impressive considering we saw 180″ of snow, well below our annual average of 250″. But what that record visitation tells us is that we need to continue to find ways to protect the guest experience, be able to plan ahead for peak days like weekends and holidays, and mitigate overall crowding. That means looking at price as a means of deterring last minute planning from our guests. Yes, you can still buy a lift ticket the day you visit, but we’re going to reward those that take the time to plan ahead, whether it be through having a season pass, buying a ticket in advance, or taking advantage of one of our awesome deals. It helps us forecast visitation and plan accordingly, ensuring we are prepared and can provide an optimal experience.
The truth is, whether you like it or not, gone are the days of spontaneous ticket purchasing in much of the ski world. But that doesn’t mean you still don’t have opportunity to act spontaneously, it just needs to come with a little preseason planning. As you’ll see below, things like Season Passes, Quad Packs, and TBD Tickets all allow for varying degrees of last minute commitment, but you need to purchase these products now to enjoy them this winter.
The Three Best Ticket Deals
But look, before we even get to talking about your standard lift ticket, there are three deals you should absolutely consider beforehand. If you KNOW that you’re going to come ski at Sugarbush a couple times this winter, or perhaps even once, you should strongly consider these.
Planning to ski more than a handful of days? A season pass is for you. Take a look at our breakdown on season pass offerings, ranging from access to 50+ destinations and unlimited access to Sugarbush on the Ikon Pass to our Sugarbush Local Pass, which nets you unlimited Mt. Ellen skiing and midweek, early, and late season skiing at Lincoln Peak.
A special shoutout goes to our newest pass product: The Last Chair Pass. This gets you afternoon access (1:00 PM to end of day) seven days a week at both mountains for just $399.
Both Ikon and Local season passes go up in price on October 13th!
OK, so you don’t plan to ski a ton of days, but let’s say you still know you’re coming a handful of times. The Quad Pack remains one of the best deals around. Four unrestricted any-time tickets are $119 each and the midweek version is just $94 per ticket. The benefit here? You can transfer these to friends and family. It’s a great safe-guard for when your in-season realism falls short of your preseason aspirations.
Quad Pack prices increase on October 13th and the deadline for this deal is November 14th!
TBD stands for Third Best Deal (the first being season passes and the second being Quad Packs) and is our newest offering on the block. For just $99 you get one lift ticket good anytime (with a caveat) and a bonus free ticket valid on Fat Tuesday (2/13/23) or any day from April 1st to the end of the season.
The aforementioned caveat is that you need to activate your ticket ahead of time before showing up to the mountain, and there may be limited availability on selected peak days. But if you’re able to plan ahead or be a little flexible based on demand, it’s a great option for those only looking to ski a day or two this winter.
The deadline for this deal is November 14th!
Now of course, we know our three best deals aren’t for everyone, so traditional lift tickets always remain an option. Actually, there is nothing traditional about our lift tickets. All ages, one price, exception children ages 4 and under. Here they are ranked in terms of price, low to high:
Children’s group ski lessons
Online purchase. If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 12, lift access for the rest of the day are available as an optional add-on to your child’s lesson for $25/day, any day, including weekends and holidays. Lift access is for the full day, even if your child is taking a half day lesson. Must be purchased online in advance at time of ski lesson purchase. Not available early or late season.
Mt. Ellen Thursday Lift Ticket
$49.Not starting at $49, just $49. Non-Holidays only, during the Mt. Ellen operating season (12/23 – 3/31). And it comes with the bonus of live music every Thursday at the Green Mountain Lounge for après.
Beginner/Terrain Park Lift Ticket
$69 any day. Access to beginner lifts at Lincoln Peak (Welcome Mat and Village Quad) and Sunny Quad at Mt. Ellen, home to Sugarbush’s terrain park as well as Mt. Ellen’s beginner ski terrain.
Lodging Lift Ticket – All Mountain Access. Starting at $89/day. Available to guests staying in Clay Brook, Lodge at Lincoln Peak or any Sugarbush managed condos in the area. Must be purchased in advance.
Mt. Ellen Only Lift Ticket
Online purchase. Starting at $89. Purchase online and in advance for the best savings. The earlier you buy, the more you save. Available mid-week, non-holiday and daily starting March 18th.
Ikon/Sugarbush Local Pass Friends and Family Ticket
If you know a Sugarbush Local or Ikon pass holder, they can get you a discount on an All Mountain lift ticket any day you want starting at $99 for early/late season with prices increasing mid-winter and on peak days. Required to be purchased online and in advance of your visit.
Online Advance Sale Lift Ticket – All Mountain Access – 2 to 5 days
Also known as the “eTicket”. The earlier you buy, the cheaper your ticket will be. Higher prices are charged on peak demand days. These are typically holidays, Saturdays and Sundays. But if you know you’re going to ski several consecutive days, you’ll save vs. buying one day at a time. Take a Friday or Monday off work and make it a long weekend. Multiday tickets starting on a Friday, valid through the weekend or starting on a Sunday valid into Monday offer value. For example, 3 day tickets starting the Friday before President’s day weekend (2/16) start at $389 or $130/day and provide lift access all weekend. Ticket quantities at this rate are limited, so be sure to buy early to save. Can’t make it the day you bought in advance? No problem, credits can be held in resort credit without a cancellation fee. Cancellations made prior to 72 hours of your ski date will receive a refund, minus a $10 cancellation fee per ticket/per day.(ie 3 day ticket would be charged a $30 cancellation fee).
Online Advance Sale Lift Ticket – All Mountain Access – 1 day
Also known as the “eTicket”. The earlier you buy, the cheaper your ticket will be. Higher prices are charged on peak demand days. These are holidays, Saturdays and Sundays. Peak 1 day pricing starts at $189/day. Early/Late season (before 12/9 or after 4/1) prices start at $119/day. Midweek, regular season pricing starts at $129. Same cancellation policy as the 2 to 5 day ticket.
Day of Online Lift Ticket
It is the day of your ski day and you need a lift ticket, save $10 off window rate by purchasing online vs standing at the ticket window. Pickup your ticket at one of our kiosk boxes.
Walk Up Window Lift Ticket
Walk up to the ticket window, like it is still the year 1995. Be careful with this tactic at other resorts. Some resorts have eliminated their ticket windows and do not sell lift tickets day of. We know, very innovative, maybe we will follow suite for winter 24/25…This option allows a guest to walk up and buy whenever they want, no planning required. Our ticket office staff are lovely, please be friendly.
And there you have it. Again, if you know you’re going to ski this winter, please consider jumping on one of those deals based on how often you plan to ski. If you don’t get the chance to plan ahead or find yourself at this blog mid-winter, hopefully you can take advantage of one of our lift ticket deals. Remember, the more you can plan the more you can save.