• Vacation planning expert, Scott Donovan, recommends traveling after March 29 to discover the locals’ secret to free concerts, steep lodging deals and zany events
• Get a free night this spring at RockResorts, rooms for just $100 at Breckenridge and half-off rates at Vail
Vail, Colo. – Feb. 20, 2009 – Need a break? Want your own stimulus plan? This year you’ll find about twice as many price breaks and promotions on the ski slopes this spring with discounts of 50 percent or more on lodging and even at top-rated restaurants at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly (www.snow.com).
According to Scott Donovan, Vail Resorts vacation planning manager, spring is one of the best times to visit, especially this year. Why? Because spring snow is historically deep and the savings will be even deeper this year with a flurry of new offers and 50 percent-off deals. Plus, there are the traditional 2-for-1 restaurant offerings and end-of-season ski gear sales. And, with events like Vail’s Spring Back to Vail concerts (www.vail.com), Heavenly’s pond skimming championships and Breckenridge’s wacky costume party-on-skis called the Bump Buffet, spring time on the slopes serves up some of the best festivities of the year (www.breckenridge.com).
Last ski season, Easter was in March and overlapped with the popular spring break vacation time period, resulting in little to no availability at hotels and lodging properties during this time period. “This year, it’s a completely different story,” Donovan said. “Easter falls on April 12, which is expected to result in more availability and, in the current market, there are more deals and deeper savings this spring. It’s the perfect storm for skiers and snowboarders this spring.”
To help skiers and snowboarders carve out the best deals for the spring ski season, Donovan offers these five simple tips:
1. Dial for dollars. Pick up the phone and dial 800.404.3535 to speak directly to a highly trained (and FREE to you) Vail Resorts vacation coordinator for Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone (call 1.800.HEAVENLY for a Heavenly vacation planner). There are more deals in the marketplace this year, which is great news for you, but it also means more time and more clicks to research these deals by yourself. Vail Resorts offers a free hassle-free vacation planning option: a vacation coordinator who can search for the best airfare, find you the best deal on discounted lift tickets, lodging, rentals and even activities at the resorts for free.
2. E-mail alerts. Even though Donovan recommends that you call a Vail Resorts vacation coordinator to research and then book your vacation, he still suggests that you sign up for the Vail Resorts email alerts to keep tabs on snow reports, events and major promotions, including exclusive deals for email subscribers only. Visit www.snow.com to sign up.
3. High-flying last-minute deals. The early bird usually does get the worm and the best deal, especially in this economic climate. However … if you missed that one-day airfare sale back in November or the spectacular book-by December spring ski vacation package to Vail this March, don’t fret. You can still find a few last-minute deals. Both Vail and Keystone have created new web sites specifically for the last-minute traveler looking for the best deal. Check out the new www.VailAllTheLove.com for best bets in Vail or click your way to www.keystonetonight.com, for Keystone Resort deals offered that week or weekend. Or, pick up the phone at the last minute.
4. Timing is everything. Look for mid-week stays to save off of weekend rates. Or, if you have a flexible schedule, travel when school is back in session. Instead of staying during the very popular school spring break times in March, book your trip for April and avoid holiday weekends or time periods like Easter.
5. Location. Location. Location. Sure, that slopeside chalet with the million-dollar view is convenient, but chances are it comes with a hefty price tag. Instead, choose a condo or hotel room located just a few steps away or a shuttle ride away from the slopes to save another 50 percent off rates in some cases.
Two-for-one: Donovan also recommends scanning local newspapers for 2-for-1 coupons at top-rated restaurants at ski resorts in April and shopping around for the end-of-the-season sales at the resort and in town during the spring.
Added value: Look for added value deals like Keystone’s Adventure Passport program that comes free with any lodging package booked online at www.keystoneresort.com or by calling the vacation planning experts at Keystone – 800.404.3535. You and your family (or friends) will receive one-time coupons for more than $100 in savings with free activities like yoga classes, snowbiking sessions, guided naturalist tours and GPS treasure hunts, plus discounts for local restaurants and activities. The number of Adventure Passports equals the occupancy number for your reservation.
Here’s a sampling of spring savings and best bets for spring events:
Spring Break on Us.
Get a Free night (or two) when you stay at a RockResorts hotel in Vail or Beaver Creek or lodging at Breckenridge or Keystone. Rates start at $480 per person for five nights of lodging at Breckenridge (includes a night for free). Some blackout dates and other restrictions apply. Pay five nights and get seven nights at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen; get one free night for a five-night stay at The Arrabelle at Vail Square or The Lodge at Vail. www.rockresorts.com
Keystone’s Daylight Savings
You’ll save more at Keystone once Daylight Savings clocks in with expanded terrain and hours for sunset skiing starting the week of March 8. Another bright idea: Book your vacation by March 5 and get a one-bedroom condo for $149 per night, plus get free sunset skiing or riding on the day of your arrival and more than $100 worth of activities for free like yoga classes, snowbiking sessions and a GPS treasure hunt. Based on availability. Restrictions apply. www.keystoneresort.com or 800.404.3535.
Kids Fly and Ski Free at Vail and Beaver Creek
This early-season offer has been extended to the spring season for the first time ever. Book your vacation by Feb. 28 and your kids will fly free on American Airlines into Vail/Eagle County airport, ski free (one-day kids lift ticket) at either Vail or Beaver Creek and get a free ride from the airport to your lodging on Colorado Mountain Express (all with qualifying adult purchase). Dates of travel are now through March 31 on certain days of the week with a minimum stay of two nights. 866-668-8245 (KFF code). *** NOTE: (as of Feb. 28, the book-by date has been extended to March 14)
Half off Vail for Spring
Save 50 percent on lodging at Sun Vail, located just a few steps away from the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Vail. Prices start at $235 per night anytime between March 28 – April 19 (closing day at Vail) for a two-bedroom condominium with a two-night minimum stay. Limited availability and other restrictions apply. www.vail.com or 800.404.3535.
A Heavenly Break for Spring Break at South Lake Tahoe
You don’t need to “go for broke” at Heavenly this spring. Spend two nights at the Lakeside Inn and Casino and two days on the world-class slopes of Heavenly for just $249 per person anytime between March 15 and April 19. The package is based on a midweek stay for two people and includes coupons for local restaurants and casino shows. www.skiheavenly.com or 1.800.HEAVENLY
A Massive Half-Off Deal for Breckenridge
Stay slope-side at Breckenridge for only $100, thanks to a new Spring Massive Sale at Breckenridge. The package is valid March 29 through Breckenridge’s closing day of April 19, but you must book by March 1. Quoted rate is valid at The Village Hotel and Great Divide Lodge.
Don’t forget about Sunday Sleepovers – Sunday night stays that start at just $79 at Breckenridge and Keystone. Call 800.404.3535 for more information.
Spring “Can’t Miss” Events
March 6-8 NEW culinary event: Keystone’s Winter Culinary Festival is a delicious way to get a taste of spring skiing, as well as Keystone’s award-winning cuisine with a mountaintop Grand Tasting event, chocolate specialty programs and cooking seminars.
March 13-15 Cookie Kids Fest: Cookie Magazine and Beaver Creek are offering the ultimate kids' extravaganza with a free movie screening of Monsters vs. Alien, concert by Princess Katie & Racer Steve, Cookie Corner activities in the village, plus a free Disney on Ice presentation of Disney Adventureland.
March 21 – April 12 Heavenly Spring Loaded: with concerts, pond skimming festivities and more.
April 1-19 Spring Massive, Breckenridge: Celebrate April with three weekends of concerts, competitions, family fun, nightlife, comedy clubs, the Bite of Breckenridge, the Massive Brewfest and legendary spring snow conditions
April 13 – 19 Spring Back to Vail: The biggest end-of-season bash in the Rocky Mountains, Spring Back to Vail is a week of fun in the sun, huge concerts, and the 7th Annual World Pond Skimming Championships.
For more information about deals, events or planning your spring vacation to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone or Heavenly, visit www.snow.com or call 800.404.3535 (or 800.HEAVENLY for Heavenly information).
# # #
About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading of mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties at the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, the Heavenly Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.