A Broncos coach once ignited a Mile High rebellion by playing for a tie at the end of a game instead of going for the win, justifying the decision by saying, “I’d rather have half a loaf than none.”
When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, though, there are good reasons to opt for half a loaf, with half-day lift tickets. Saving money. Avoiding peak ski traffic on Interstate 70. Leaving time for other mountain activities.
And, let’s not forget, sleeping in.
Half measures didn’t work out well for that coach in 1971. (Lou Saban wound up quitting in mid-season before fans could run him out of town). But ski resorts have all sorts of half-day deals for you to consider.
Most Front Range skiers might find Loveland’s deal the best. The half-day price is $62, as compared with a full-day window price of $79, but it’s not limited to afternoon skiing and riding. You can pay the full-day price at the ticket window in the morning, return the ticket within four hours and receive a $17 refund that knocks what you shelled out down to the half-day price. Given Loveland’s proximity to the metro area, this presents the option of running up there on a weekday, getting first tracks and still making it to work in the afternoon. (Find more details at skiloveland.com.)
Plus, keep in mind that you can save money at many resorts by buying single-day tickets online rather than at the ticket window.
Here are some of the other half-day deals out there:
Arapahoe Basin: The Afternoon Delight lift ticket (1-4 p.m.) at the ticket window will run you $85, compared with the full-day ticket window price of $105, and you can save a little more by buying online. Info: arapahoebasin.com.
Aspen Snowmass: At the four Aspen mountains, you can get a partial-day lift ticket beginning at noon. You can also buy a full-day lift ticket in the morning, return the ticket by 12:30 p.m. and get a refund for only skiing part of the day. Partial-day tickets vary in price from $93 to $120. The price now through Feb. 14 is $107, as compared with the full-day ticket window price of $159. Information: aspensnowmass.com.
Ski Cooper: Adult half-day lift tickets (noon to 4 p.m.) go for $45, as compared with full-day prices of $52-$54. Info: skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain: Currently the half-day ticket window price is $134; a full-day ticket is $178.
Echo Mountain: Night skiing (4:30 to 9 p.m.) lift tickets cost $34 Tuesday through Saturday, as compared with $55 for a day pass. Info: echomntn.com.
Eldora: Half-day lift tickets cost $89, as compared with $129 for full-day. Info: eldora.com.
Loveland: The half-day price is $62, as compared with a full-day window price of $79. You also can buy the full-day ticket in the morning, return it within four hours, and receive a $17 refund. Info: skiloveland.com.
Monarch: $69 for a half-day, and $89 for a full day. Info: skimonarch.com.
Steamboat: “Late Arrival” tickets are good starting at 12:15 p.m. (prices vary). Tickets for limited night skiing cost $39.
Telluride: Half-day lift tickets vary from $75 to $115 at different times during the season. The current price is $115. Info: tellurideskiresort.com.
Winter Park: Half-day tickets are available only at the ticket window and vary in price during the season. Currently the price is $129 as compared with $169 for a full-day pass. Info: winterparkresort.com.
Wolf Creek: Half-day tickets go for $57; full-day cost is $72. Info: wolfcreekski.com.