Take some turns at eight of Colorado’s smaller resorts and you may be surprised. These so-called “Gems” of Colorado are an easy and cost effective way to have some fun on the slopes. You’ll find these ski areas scattered throughout Colorado.
"The Gems are Colorado's backyard, off the beaten path, locals' resorts. They're easily accessible and have timely and affordable deals," said Craig Bannister with Colorado Ski Country USA.
The Gems resorts are Arapahoe Basin, Eldora, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Ski Granby Ranch and Sunlight. They are typically smaller, less crowded, and more family friendly than the larger resorts. Parking is easy. There is one base lodge at the base area, where you can belly up to a table and eat your sack lunch if you want. They’re affordable and they’re fun.
“The Gems is a great way for Monarch to work with other smaller ski areas against the big guys,” said Greg Ralph with Monarch.
A Colorado Gems card is $10. It can be ordered through the Colorado Ski Country USA website. The first time you use it will more than likely save you $10. Almost every resort offers $10 to $15 off an adult full-day lift ticket. Variations include the same amount off a child, youth or senior lift ticket at some resort.
Other deals at the gems are Adult Two-for-One tickets Monday through Friday at Loveland, Ski Granby Ranch, and Arapahoe Basin. At Monarch, you can get a free lift ticket in April.
There are some blackouts and restrictions, which are mainly over the major holidays and spring break season. But if you can sneak up to the mountains sometime during the week, or on weekends, you’re sure to find a deal sometime during the season.