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Finding ski and snowboard deals in the Edmonton area for an affordable season

By Abby Cunningham on September 26, 2023

It’s no lie that skiing and snowboarding are known as “rich people” sports. Between owning or renting gear, lift tickets, food and gas money to drive to the nearest mountain, a day trip can cost at least $200 if you’re not splitting the cost with someone else. As a student, that is quite a high cost to pay for just one day of fun, but there are many places around Edmonton to make your trip more affordable, so you can still hit the slopes this season. 

Equipment can be one of the most expensive parts for skiers and boarders, whether going locally or to the mountains. Rental costs at mountain resorts are often even more than lift ticket prices, and while purchasing gear can save money in the long run, it can make a hefty dent to your bank account in the short term. But there is no need to get scared; there are ways to cut down costs on gear, whether renting or purchasing. 

  • If you want to purchase your gear, used is the cheapest way to go. Totem Outfitters has lightly used skis, snowboards, boots, and more for affordable prices. You can even trade in old gear to get a credit.
  • Local ski shops such as Sundance, Pacesetter and Out of Bounds have equipment that you can rent right at the store. Renting locally can save you upwards of $100! 
  • Demo Days! Often, ski companies have Demo Days at mountain resorts, where you can demo their products for free, and a) try different high-performance brands and styles before spending the money and b) have free gear to use for a couple of hours. One drawback to this is that they usually have a time limit on how long you can demo them. Just keep an eye on when resorts and brands have Demo Days, and plan your trip for that day! 
  • Go to the Edmonton Ski and Snowboard Show when it’s in town! Usually, once a year, right before the season starts, the show comes to the Expo Centre. Outdoor apparel brands bring the previous year’s inventory to the event to clear out and make room for all of their new gear. This helps make it easy to find killer deals on equipment and apparel. 
  • Buy at the end of the previous season or during the off-season. Companies ALWAYS have sales at the end of the season and again in September/October. Shopping at those times often has less variety, but the most deals. 

Okay, now that we have our equipment sorted, we still need lift tickets and transportation. The closest mountain to Edmonton is Marmot Basin in Jasper. Depending on where in Edmonton you live, Jasper is at least a four-hour drive. You can drive in a day, but it makes for an early morning and a late night. Making it a multi-day trip only adds extra costs. Accommodations in Jasper and Banff usually start at $250 a night, depending on how deep into the season you are. 

  • MagicBus Tours provides transportation, lift tickets and accommodations to multiple Alberta mountains. You can make one-day or multi-day trips, and the cost includes a lift ticket at a discounted rate. The cost for a student to go to Jasper for the day is $185. This may seem like a lot, but it’s around the same price as it would be to drive yourself. This way, you can have a nice 4-hour nap and maybe even make some new shred friends
  • Costco also sells discounted multi-day lift tickets to Jasper, Banff and sometimes other resorts, depending on the time of year.
  • Mid-week skiing. Going to the mountains at the beginning to middle of the week is often cheaper than going on the weekends. Plus, fewer people means shorter lift lines and more room on the mountain!
  • Purchasing your tickets ahead of time online is always cheaper than buying them at the hill. It doesn’t save as much as getting tickets from an outside source, but it can save you a few dollars!
  • Try and go with a big group! More people help lessen the cost of gas and accommodations, as you can split it evenly. Not only can it help with prices, but going with friends is always more fun.

While these tips can help make your weekend (or weekday) getaway more affordable, it can still be costly. Make sure you have money set aside and be willing to pay a little extra. Especially if you choose to go to the mountains rather than locally. We still have a little over a month to go, but it’s never too soon to start planning so you can make your season as long and fun as possible!



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