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An Avalanche of Ski-Season Deals: More Colorado Coverage, Plus Canada

October 31, 2003 -- Looking forward to that splendid feeling of skiing under sunny skies in crisp, cold weather? And that even better feeling of getting warm when the day is done? There are hundreds of places where you can do both, but none, in my opinion, more satisfying that following up a day on the slopes with a good soak in a hot springs pool. We've found that (at a discount) and a few more packages that include your airfare, lodgings, lift tickets and more.

When you check into the Hot Springs Lodge & Pool at Glenwood Springs, Colorado this winter season, you can end your day with a soak in the world's largest hot springs pool. Together with the Sunlight Mountain Resort, the lodge is offering a Ski, Swim & Stay package, starting at just $80 per person in a double room from November 26 through December 18, 2003, and $84 after that date through March 28, 2004. The Lodge is located between Aspen and Vail, 165 miles west of Denver and 90 miles east of Grand Junction.

The packages include lift tickets at the family-friendly Sunlight Mountain Resort, a big room with two queen-size beds, unlimited swimming at the Hot Springs Pool, and an expanded continental breakfast. The Lodge's rooms have patios or balconies, coffee makers and hair dryers. (For an extra charge, get a room with mini-refrigerator.) The triple-in-a-room prices, by the way, go down to $61.67 per person, and quads to $56.50 each, both before December 19th, 2003, add $4 after that.

For reservations, phone the Lodge at 800/537-SWIM (same as 800/537-7946). For more info, go to

Mondo Pass, Mondo Packages

More traditional ski holidays are the purview of Vail resorts, in cooperation with Frontier Airlines, together offering a $999 "Triple Play" deal providing three roundtrip flights into Denver and unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. For $2,999, you can get an "Ultimate Season Pass," providing unlimited roundtrip flights into Denver and Reno and unlimited skiing and snowboarding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly this winter.

The passes are valid from any city served by Frontier or Frontier JetExpress, based on availability. Each has a service fee at time of purchase ($99 for Triple Play and $299 for UltimatePass), and a Friday and/or Saturday night stay is required for each Ultimate Pass trip.

Important note: you can purchase these passes only at between now and December 31, 2003. For information only, call the Colorado Sales Office in Denver at 303/504-5870.

We touched on United Vacations' "Kids Ski Free" packages last week in this article but there are even more worthy of note.

A Ski-Free offer is valid through December 19, 2003, in which you fly, stay and ski two days at Keystone Resort in Colorado and get the third day of skiing free. A typical vacation includes the roundtrip air on United to Denver, four nights at The Inn at Keystone, a three-day lift ticket for the price of two days, roundtrip airport/hotel transfers, an equipment rental discount and in-store credit, one free Adventure Passport per person, and more.

Sample prices:

  • $634 from Dallas
  • $544 from San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston
  • $659 from Chicago
  • $724 from Washington, D.C.
  • $734 from Atlanta
  • $764 from New York and Boston

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and reflect departures Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, for travel November 14 through December 15, 2003.

United Vacations have other packages by the bushel, include prices to Copper Mountain from $659 out of Dallas, $689 from Chicago, $699 out of San Francisco or Los Angeles, $769 from Washington, D.C. and $779 from Atlanta, with roundtrip air, four nights' lodging, airport/hotel transfers and taxes. Purchase United Vacations online at or by phoning 888/328-6877.

Just Over the Border

Up in Canada, those in the know head for Whistler and those who want to be pampered look to the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The Pan Pacific Lodge at Whistler has three neat packages, starting with a two-day (three-night) deal that is priced from $807 (US) per couple, including ski passes for the couple for two days on Whistler/Blackcomb Mountains, three nights in a studio suite, breakfast for two daily. Valid from November 27 through December 23, 2004, prices not including taxes. From January 4 through April 30, 2004, add another $440 (US) for the three-night stay. Whistler also has packages for five nights and seven nights, beginning at US $1331 per couple and US $1861 per couple, respectively. Contact them at 888/905-9995, through your travel agent or by visiting (click on Whistler property, then on ski specials).

At the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Fairmont Banff Springs resorts, you get lift tickets to three world-class ski areas -- Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay. Rates for the Lake Louise Ski Package start from about $274 per room from November 8, 2003 through April 15, 2004, including the room, a big breakfast, parking and a tri-area lift ticket. Over at the Banff Springs resort, rates start from about $280 per room, dates varying depending on ski hill conditions. Package includes the room, breakfast a la carte or buffet, tri-area ski lift tickets for two, shuttle service between the ski hill and the resort, valet parking and all gratuities.

At the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, rates start from $194 per room from November 29, 2003 through January 16, 2004 and again from February 2 through April 25, 2004. The package includes the room, and one-day skiing.

Back east, the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in Quebec's ski region offers a package beginning at $202 per room, from December 12, 2003 through April 17, 2004. It includes the room, buffet breakfast, gratuities and shuttle service to the ski areas. For all Fairmont packages, contact 800/441-1414 or visit

Are you a ski-buff or bunny? Have you found a great deal for the slopes worth sharing? Tell us what your winter plans are on our Winter Sport Message Boards.