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Skiing Costs

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Cardiff
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Skiing Costs

On a friend's recomendation, we've booked independently to visit Loon over New Year 08/09 and shall be staying at The Village of Loon Mountain. When we booked there was 2 Dollars to the Pound but now there's only 1.55 it's looking a whole lot more expensive but that's life I suppose.

That aside, I've just been looking at the official loon mtn rates for ski lessons/ hire and passes and it works out at $760 a day for 2 adults, 2 teenagers and 1 child. Whilst we may not ski every day out of the 7 whole days that we are there, the overall cost looks frightening as there doesn't appear to be any package deals. We are all pretty much novices and I guess we won't need lessons everyday either but I just can't see a way of doing it less expensively. Perhaps we should rent the ski equipment in Boston or en route but that's not going to make much difference? Any advice would be gratly appreciated.

Also, does anyone have any tips for where to go for a nice family night out on New Years eve?

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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1. Re: Skiing Costs

I would not suggest renting equipment so far from the mountain in case you have a problem. I would suggest that you rent from a local ski shop off of the mountain which is frequently less expensive than on mountain. There are a few shops right on the main road in Lincoln. Once you throw in lessons, it is more expensive and New Year's is a very expensive week anyway. Most resorts have a multi day discount for lift tickets. Try calling the resort directly and see if they can put together a package for you.

Good luck!!

Peterborough, NH
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2. Re: Skiing Costs

Is the $760 for ski lessons for the five of you each day?

I cannot imagine you will want to take more than one day of lessons..in fact most take two hours or less of lessons and then it is really just practice on your own. Let them show you the basics and then go baby go.

Looking at Loon's rates...that should drop your prices!

Lincoln, NH
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3. Re: Skiing Costs

Hazards (I hope this is not indicative of your skiing!),

I'll agree with others -- don't take lessons every day -- you won't need them. Loon has lots of intermediate and novice terrain, and you'll get the hang if it after a couple lessons.

Also, while there are multiple day passes with discounts, please know that even most experienced skiers get pretty pooped out and need a day off the slopes. So, I'd but no more than a three-day pass. (Passes are for consecutive days.) Loon had a policy last year that they should still have that if you go out in the morning ant it's bad weather or conditions, you can stop by a ticket windo and get a pass for another day... good to remember.) You may also want to take a day at Cannon Mountain for a change of pace. It's just up the highway about 15 minutes. I am assuming that you will have a car (if not -- go get one! Front wheel drive should do in all but the worst conditions... no real need for an SUV.)

For skis, prices in Boston are no better than in Lincoln -- and if you have a problem with your gear, it's easy to fix with a local vendor. I would suggest renting from Lahouts, Rogers or Sport Thoma. All are good retailers. Resist the urge to rent beginner gear -- or if you do, ask about bringing it back for higher-performance stuff as you get better during the week (you will improve!). Good gear makes a world of difference. And you must -- yes must -- get helmets. Even if you expect to go slow and easy, the kid who might lose control behind you could make you wish you'd had one. Oh, and they're toasty warm.

Dinner -- best family place is the Common Man. There are several locations -- the one at Loon is only about a mile away from the Village. There are fireworks at midnight. Go. Fireworks over the white snow is very nice! They may also do a torchlight parade on New Years Eve. Also worth seeing. And get up early on New Year's Day and ski "first tracks" on the first day. I'll be the guy in line next to you!

Winchester...
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4. Re: Skiing Costs

For some reason the "Learn to Ski" package rates at Loon are unusually high. On their website it says $155/day which is outrageous. It's actually listed as a little lower on this list of "learn to ski" packages at different mountains:

http://skinh.com/learntoski.cfm

I am a lifelong (now 56-year-old) novice skier and even though Loon is closest to our house in Thornton I don't particularly like skiing there. I much prefer Bretton Woods, where the "learn to ski" package is $75/day including rental, a group lesson, and all-day access to the bunny hill.

In any case at Loon you can probably economize with multi-day passes and by renting your equipment at some place like this (just found googling around):

http://www.villageskiandsport.com/

Lincoln, NH
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5. Re: Skiing Costs

I've not purchased a lesson for many years -- and I'm shocked at the prices for a half-day lesson. Ugh! Here's the one possible saving grace that Hazzards should investigate. Loon, in past years, has offered a free season's pass after a certain minimum number of days of lessons. I don't know if they're going to do this under their new ownership -- but I think it used to be a free pass after three lessons -- good only for beginners. That would make skiing more economical.

Lincoln, NH
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6. Re: Skiing Costs

Further to Thomas' note on the slightly lower price of the learn to ski price on the "skinh" site -- that mentions a novice lift ticket, which I believe is good only for a handful of lower mountain lifts that are indeed just for beginners.

Cardiff
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7. Re: Skiing Costs

Thanks for the great advice and comments so far everyone: I think we may rent from the Ski Village Shop (100usd for 6 days) and do 2 x 1/2 day lessons 30/31 Dec (110usd each with passes)then take a frequent skier card for 89usd, which saves 15-25usd a day and allows skiing at Sunday River and Sugarloaf. The "take 3 ski free" deal alluded to above is no longer available despite being on the loonmtn website. We'll have an suv so can venture elsewhere if we want a change or a day off but I'll certainly look at the bretton woods prices for lessons. Cheers !

Lincoln, NH
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8. Re: Skiing Costs

Hazards -- read the terms of the frequesnt skier card carefully. The $15 is off the full price ticket, and during holiday periods you do not get $25 off... just 15. It can't be used with multi-day passes -- and the card is good only for one discount per day. Bottom line, it may be hard to recoup your $89 investment.

Sunday River is a great ski area. Plan though on just under 2 hours driving to get there. Sugarloaf -- way too far for a day trip.

Finally, I've never heard for the ski shop you mentioned. Is it in Lincoln? I'd be inclined to stick to my earlier suggestions of Lahouts, Rodgers, Sport Thoma....

LMM

Cardiff
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9. Re: Skiing Costs

Just a quick ps after returning from Loon Mountain about what we did. We rented the equipment from Village Ski (see link above), which is 1 door up from Elvios pizza place and used the discount vouchers from their website. I think it worked out as $15 a day for shaped skis. Tip: take some tape and a marker pen to label your skis & poles as my daughter lost half a day skiing because someone took hers from the chaotic rack outside the ski lodge. We took a five day pass and whilst this has to be used on consecutive days, you can trade any days for a voucher for any other day if you go to the ticket hall by 11am prompt on the day that you dont want to ski: we did this on new years day as it was minus 20 degrees c, windy and nobody was skiing. free shuttle buses run from most places. The 5 of us took a 3 hour private lesson on the first day and that was all that was needed for even the first timers: the sarsapirilla nursery slope near the governors lodge is very gentle and we soon progressed onto the snubber. There's another good beginner's slope called little sister near the octagon lodge if you take the steam train: by the second day we were all skiing from the peak apart from my wife who remained on little sister until the last day when she managed to ski from the peak. We went to Bretton Woods for one day, which was abs beautiful and took about 1 hour. We'll definately be back but will try to avoid holiday time as it was much nicer when it was quiet. On busy days there was a 20 min wait for the chairlifts to half way up and 40 mins for the gondola to the top.

10. Re: Skiing Costs

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