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  • Take The Plunge....
    Commit to a Season Pass

    By Tammie Thompson

    Photo courtesy Mad River Glen My parents were hooked on skiing. Only problem was that we lived in New Jersey and they loved Vermont. All it took was a season pass to turn that problem into an opportunity. We lined up for pass photos at Mad River Glen and never looked back. Sure we put lots of miles on the station wagon, but hey, we never got so many days in as that first season with passes.

    Now I live in snow country. But I'm amazed at how many friends and neighbors don't take the season pass plunge. There are lots of excuses: too expensive, we won't use it; kids have other things to do. Get over it! There's no better time to take the season pass plunge than right now. Here's why:

  • Season passes give you flexibility. Snowing too hard? Take a run and go home to bake cookies.

  • Wake up to a gorgeous bluebird day? Take a few runs and hit the office in the afternoon. (There's always home schooling.)

  • Flexibility to test the snow, your legs, your little one's temperament and more. There's always another day when it comes to season passes.

  • Value. How many days does it take to ski off your pass? Used to be a good pass rate was 21 days. Do the math. These days it can take as little as three days to earn back your dough. On average it's about 10. Anything after that is gravy.

  • Treat your family. Suck it up and commit to a season of family adventure. What do I remember about growing up? Our season passes at Mad River - family time.

  • Pass Wars. Combat has begun across the country. Resorts are trying to get your dollars earlier. Translates into better value for you.

  • Resort camaraderie. Get to know the resort. Experience how the snow changes from one day to the next. How subtle changes in terrain give you a new taste of exhilaration.

  • Bonding: Have the kids join the ski team or ski club. They'll make new friends, have a reason to go out in foul weather, and you'll have some time to yourself. Join the Master's program and get the adrenaline going. Meet other families who share the love of snow.

  • Get better. Ask anyone who has skied or boarded for a while. It's all about mileage. On snow that is. The more you put in the more you get out.

  • Bragging Rights. Season pass veterans flaunt their time on snow. I know a family who has put 25 years of season passes on a loop in their powder room. Years of photos of Dad with side burns, long hair, short hair, gray hair, no hair. Boy they must be good skiers!

    For every season pass that goes out, there's probably another reason for commitment. And that's what it comes down to, commitment. Sure it's tough to get the clan rolling, pack lunches, and collect mittens, boots, and even the elusive pass. But it's tough to find a family that says it's not worth it. All it takes are a few turns, and the next thing you know you're on the chairlift with a smile, saying, "yeah, we have passes."

    Check our KidzResort section for a list of family friendly resorts.

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