A season pass is the cheapest way to get a lift ticket, but what if you want to go snowboarding and don’t want to buy a pass? Take a look at the pricing policies of several ski areas, and take advantage of the one that makes the most sense for you. The ski areas in the Twin Cities of Minnesota price their tickets in a number of ways. Here are some guidelines, based on prices for a single adult ticket.
You can save by buying later in the day, though sometimes the difference is so little that it may not be worth the bother to wait. Afton Alps drops the price of a weekday ticket from $33 to $30, but only after 4:30 p.m.Hyland Hills gives a $2 discount if you start your weekday playtime at 3:00 p.m., rather than noon. (The prices drops from $31 to $29).
On the other hand, Wild Mountain offers a more substantial discount. The price goes from $43 to $31 when nighttime hours kick in at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and at 4:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Welch Village offers a similar price cut (from $49 to $37) at 4:00 p.m. Curiously, Buck Hill also has a discount that kicks in at 4:00 p.m., but only on weekends.
You won’t always pay more for buying a ticket on the weekends. Afton Alps and Buck Hill charge more for Saturday and Sunday tickets, but Hyland Hills, Welch Village, and Wild Mountain do not.
If you want to get out for just a few hours, consider a time-limited ticket. Buck Hill may offer the best deal. Its 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. ticket lets you ride for four hours on a weekday for $13, less than half the all-day price of $27. It has early-bird pricing on weekends, too. At Hyland Hills, $15 will buy you a ticket that’s good for riding from 9:30 a.m. until noon, though only on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
At Buck Hill or at Hyland Hills, you can also save by getting a late-night ticket that starts at 7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., or 8:00 p.m., depending on the day. You won’t get in much snowboarding time, but then again, you don’t need a lot of time to cover most of the ground at either area.
No matter where you go, however, expect to pay more on holidays.