January 21, 2011 in Awayfinder destinations

Good snow, deals add to appeal of Oregon resorts

Pete Dunlop Awayfinder Correspondent
 
Pete Dunlop photo

Mt. Bachelor’s Northwest Territory features some of the most picturesque, sweeping runs on the mountain. And often some of the best snow.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

It’s hardly a secret. La Nina is bringing record snowfall to many Northwest ski areas, including those in Oregon. The combination of great winter conditions and a variety of promotions make this an ideal time to visit resorts in this state.

Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, near Bend, Ore., has received heavy snowfall this season and opened before Thanksgiving. With more than 3,000 acres of terrain accessible via quad lifts and chairs, and the highest skiable elevation in all of Oregon and Washington, Mt. Bachelor is a terrific, family-friendly destination for skiers and boarders.

The resort has several promotions available visitors, including variable daily rates that fluctuate with weather and snow conditions. Adult rates are $50 on green days, $60 on blue days and $70 on red days. Multi-day passes are also available in 2 of 3, 3 of 5 and 5 of 7 consecutive days. Rates are updated daily on the Mt. Bachelor web site.

“I believe we have one of the most compelling family-friendly products in our industry,” said Andy Goggins, Director of Marketing at Mt. Bachelor. “Our Kids Ski Free program started last year and has been very well received, particularly by our regional and national destination guests.

“The way it works is any adult purchasing a 3 of 5 or 5 of 7 multi-day lift ticket is eligible to receive a complimentary multi-day ticket for one youth up to age 18. Essentially, a family of two adults and two kids can come here and ski multiple days for the price of the adult tickets.”

Many resorts offer similar programs, Goggins noted, but they typically have a cut-off of age 12 or blackouts or other restrictions. Not so at Mt. Bachelor. The only catch is the ticket must be purchased online at least four days in advance of a planned visit.

“These things have been selling like hotcakes,” Goggins said.

The Kids Ski Free promotion is also available in conjunction with lodging packages through Mt. Bachelor’s partners in Bend and Sunriver. For a list go to: www.mtbachelor.com/winter/planner/lodging_partners

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Mt. Hood Meadows, located on the east slope of Mt. Hood, has also been hit with heavy La Nina snowfall this season. The resort features more than 2,100 acres of skiable terrain, accessible via five quads and six double chair lifts. There’s something for skiers and boarders of all levels at Meadows.

The resort offers a number of promotions, according to Dave Tragethon, Director of Marketing and Sales at Meadows. Several of the programs have special appeal to visitors from outside the Portland area.

“We partner with a number of area lodging establishments, ranging from resort condominiums to hotels and cabins,” Tragethon said. “While each lodge has its own charm and appeal, they all offer discounted Meadows lift tickets. Adults pay just $50, a savings of up to $24 over the daily ticket price on the mountain. Kids ages 7-14 also get a discount.”

A list of Meadows’ lodging partners is available here: http://www.skihood.com/Plan-Your-Trip/Lodging

Another popular program at Meadows is the Family Day pass. For $179, visitors receive two adult and two 14 & under all day tickets. The Family Pass may be purchased at the mountain. The four people do not need to be related, but must all be present together when purchasing. Those bearing the Family Pass ticket may also rent equipment for $25 each.

Mt. Hood Meadows also offers a variety of discounts on combination ski and rental packages for adults and juniors. These typically must be purchased in advance on the resort website.

For Spokane-area residents looking for a fun adventure closer to home, Anthony Lakes Ski Area near Baker City might be just the ticket. Anthony Lakes is smaller than Mt. Hood Meadows and Mt. Bachelor, but the snow quality is excellent; there’s a lot of great terrain and the price is right.

Daily lift ticket prices for adults start at $35 at Anthony Lakes. Half day rates and lower rates for kids represent additional value and may be quite attractive to families. And that’s not all.

“We offer some nice discounts to people who stay in nearby lodging,” said Janet Dodson, Marketing Director at Anthony Lakes. “Our local business community has really gotten behind our Stay and Ski program this year. People who stay in one of many lodging facilities get free or discounted lift tickets.”

Another program that helps attract skiers and boarders is Half-price Thursdays. That promotion offers the appeal of being a great bargain on price, plus the fact that visitors often get to ski virgin powder since the ski area is closed Monday through Wednesday.

“These programs, among others, have helped us leverage our small advertising budget and bring people to the mountain,” Dodson said. “Our numbers so far this season are breaking records.”

For more information on Anthony Lakes, visit www.anthonylakes.com/pin.


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