Monday, November 18, 2019

7 Days of Big Mountain Skiing for less than $400

Save BIG this winter with a Lake Louise Plus Card where you'll receive three free days of skiing along with discounts on every other ski day at five major mountain resorts across Alberta, British Columbia, and Northern Idaho.

Save big with a Lake Louise Plus Card this winter 

Note this story has been updated for the 2021-22 ski season. Follow the link to read it here

The Details! What you get with a Lake Louise Plus Card

The Lake Louise Plus Card costs $99.00 + GST. Purchase a card for each adult or teenager in your family and you'll get the following benefits:

  • Free skiing on your first, fourth, and seventh day

  • 20% off full-day, full-priced lift tickets on paid visits to the five participating resorts

  • You can use your card at Lake Louise, Castle Mountain in Southern Alberta, Panorama Mountain Resort outside Invermere in BC, Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Northern Idaho, and RED Mountain in Rossland, BC.

  • You'll receive 20% off full-day, full-priced lift tickets for accompanying children ages 6-12 (up to 2 daily.) Youth 13+ should get their own Lake Louise Plus Card

  • Bonus Days (April 12th - May 2md, 2021): Receive 20% Off full-day lift tickets for up to two friends daily

  • Free direct-to-lift upgrades! (And the upgrade also includes two free Child Direct-To-Lift Cards which saves you 20% off your child’s full-price, full-day lift tickets.

  • Lake Louise Plus cardholders are also entitled to benefits and savings on ski or snowboard lessons, rentals, dining, hotel accommodations, discounts on lift tickets at partner hills, tours, and retail purchases. Read more about additional benefits here.

Follow this link for complete information on the benefits associated with the Lake Louise Plus Card

Very happy child skiing at Lake Louise 

Doing the Math to get you 7 days of Skiing for less than $400! 

First of all: Ask for a Lake Louise Plus Card for a Christmas present. This way you truly get a "free" first day. - and it's an easy gift for family members who don't like shopping or who have to mail gifts across Canada.

Next, do the math and you'll end up with something similar to what I've got below:

Day 1. Louise Ski Day - FREE

Days 2 and 3. Castle Mountain Ski Weekend - roughly $76 per day with your 20% discount

Day 4. Louise Ski Day - FREE

Days 5 and 6. Panorama Ski Weekend - roughly $96 per day with your 20% discount

Day 7. Louise Ski Day - FREE

Crunch the numbers and you'll see that you're spending well less than $400 per person for 7 days of skiing this winter at amazing resorts!!

Continue skiing through the winter and you'll still get the 20% discount on all subsequent days.

And while I focused on Louise, Panorama, and Castle, you'll find that it's a similar price for the other mountains as well.

Get 7 days of big mountain skiing this winter for less than $400 per adult! 

Affordable Ski Getaways at Lake Louise, Panorama, and Castle Mountain 

These are the three resorts we plan to focus on as a family for our ski getaways because all three can be reached in a 3 hour drive (or less) from Calgary.

For affordable accommodations, I have the following suggestions for you:

Affordable Getaways to Lake Louise

This is the easiest one because you can make it a day trip from Calgary if you are willing to leave the city by 6:30am. To make this happen, pack the car the night before and leave a list out for the "last minute items" you want to throw in the following morning. Skip breakfast and stop in Canmore to grab a fast breakfast and to break up the drive a bit. You could even have the kids change into their base layers for skiing while you stop for breakfast if you just want to start the drive out in pjs. 

If you'd like a more relaxed trip, I recommend spending a night or two at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre where you'll receive discounts as either a member of the Alpine Club of Canada or Hosteling International. 

For a one-night ski weekend at Louise, drive out Saturday, ski, stay overnight at the Alpine Centre, ski Sunday, and drive home. It's rushed, but it allows you to ski for two days with only one night accommodations.

LLP cardholders also get discounts off several hotels in the Banff/Lake Louise area. More information can be found here on discounted stays.

Read more about ski getaways at Lake Louise here:

Plan affordable ski weekends from Calgary at Lake Louise this winter

Affordable Getaways to Castle Mountain

This resort is far enough from Calgary that you'll probably want to spend two nights here (unless you live in deep south Calgary and can make it out for a day.) 

For the most affordable accommodations close to the resort, stay at the Castle Ski Lodge located across the parking lot from the resort. You can either stay in hostel style rooms or in the hotel style rooms. 

The Castle Ski Lodge hostel style rooms have 6 or 8 beds per room (bunk beds) with a shared kitchen on site. The hotel style rooms come with either 2 queen sized beds (for 4 people) or a queen bed and a double / single bunk (for 4-5 people.) 

We stayed at the Castle Ski Lodge a couple of winters ago in a hotel style room and were quite comfortable in our cozy little room. Our room was more expensive than the hostel style rooms but we enjoyed the privacy without having to share with strangers.

Alternately you can find affordable accommodations nearby in the Town of Pincher Creek. 

Read more about ski getaways at Castle Mountain here:

We love skiing Castle Mountain Resort for the gorgeous views and epic ski terrain!

Affordable Getaways to Panorama Mountain Resort

This is another resort that will require an actual 2-3 night getaway. Fortunately, you'll save money on lodging with your Lake Louise Plus Card.

For the best "value" on accommodations at Panorama, consider staying at the Pine Inn, a "no frills" motel style property. Luxury aside though, the Pine Inn is a great deal with ski in ski out accommodations right in the Upper Village, free outdoor parking, restaurants just a short stroll away, and access to the Panorama Springs Hot Pools.

Usually Louise Plus card holders get discounts at slopeside condos as well so check once this information is released. 

Read more about ski getaways at Panorama Mountain Resort here:

Escape to British Columbia's sunny valley for a ski weekend this winter at Panorama Mountain Resort 

Other Cost Saving Tips for Affordable Family Skiing 

Kids 5 and under ski for free!- Get them out when they're young! Just pick up a free lift ticket in the day lodge at your resort of choice.

Grade 2 Passes - Get a Lake Louise Grade 2 Pass for $20 (for an entire winter of skiing at Lake Louise!)

Snow Pass Cards - If you have a child in grade 4 or 5, you can purchase a Snow Pass card for $29.99  allowing the child to ski for two days at pretty much every resort across Alberta and BC. So that's two days at Louise, two days at Panorama, two days at Castle, etc. - Note, they only get two days per resort total spread over the two years, so if you use both days at Lake Louise in grade 4, you'll have to visit other resorts in grade 5. 

Save money on Discovery Zone Lift Tickets at Panorama - The Discovery Zone tickets give you access to the Discovery Quad, Silver Platter, Red Carpet, and Little Ripper Carpet for a discounted cost. 

Save money on beginner chairlifts at Castle Mountain Resort - Buy a lift ticket for the green beginner chair or for the beginner/intermediate Huckleberry Chair at a discounted cost. 

Mornings are glorious at Panorama Mountain Resort 

Disclaimer: This story was written in partnership with the Lake Louise Ski Resort. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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