Sun Valley Savings 

Finding a deal in the glamorous land of snow bunnies

OK, so you want to hit the slopes in Sun Valley this winter but ponying up $82 for a day pass seems a little, ahem, steep. There's some good news: Sun Valley Resort is still offering some early season specials on passes, as well as some ski/lodging combos.

The 2009-2010 winter pass, which includes six days of skiing at Snowbasin in Utah, will set you back $1,999, but you can save nearly a grand and still get some serious time on Baldy with the 20-day pass for $1,000.

Still too much? If you're a card-carrying, full-time college student, you can take advantage of a new-this-year $249 College Six-Pack, valid for any six days during the season. Trick is, this one is not for sale via phone or Internet, and cannot be bought until the season actually opens.

If you'd be happy with a discount, the resort is offering a season discount card for $160, or a weekend discount card for $60, both of which will get you on the lift for a reduced rate.

If you'd prefer to skip the crowds and ski the shoulders of the season, the Early/Late pass gets you access to the renowned runs from opening day through Dec. 14, and then from March 29 until the end of the season for $199. For those who consider themselves avid bunny-hillers, a season pass for Dollar Mountain runs $300 for adults or $150 for kids age 5-12.

But, since a jaunt to Sun Valley usually requires at least one night's lodging and food, the resort is also offering a few package deals, starting with a Thanksgiving Package good Wednesday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Nov. 29. Get four nights' lodging, three days of skiing and a full Thanksgiving dinner starting at $282 per person (plus tax).

The Pre-Holiday Package (Friday, Nov. 27-Sunday, Dec. 20) will set you back $67 per person double occupancy or $107 single for a night's stay and one day of skiing. Good news is that this deal can be booked for several days, making it quite the bargain.

The resort also expanded its Ski Free Special: Stay any number of nights in a standard or medium room at the Sun Valley Lodge or Inn between Saturday, Dec. 19, and March 25, 2010, and you pay $94.50 for the room (double occupancy) and get a free day lift ticket for each day you stay. Of course, most of January is blacked out, but it's still a deal.

For more info on deals at Sun Valley, visit sunvalley.com or call 800-786-8259.

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