France's ski resorts are doing all they can to help you save money. Between the continuing effects of the financial crisis, the weakening pound, and the threat of global warming, resorts are trying harder and harder to keep the clients coming. Here are some tips to take advantage of their efforts:
Brides-les-Bains is the first resort to launch a Web site based on the private sales sites for designer brands. Only instead of clothes, log on to find the hottest discounts in French skiing. From accommodation alone to package deals, web buyers can save from 30 to 50 percent.
Les Menuires also created the site www.skijournee.com where clients can save up to 50 percent on weekend passes. N'PY resorts in the Pyrenees offer a 5-percent reduction for buying online rather than at the ticket counter.
Take a ski weekend
Saturday is usually either arrival or departure day for week-long guests, so the slopes get a little lonely. To attract short-term clients, many resorts offer discounts on Saturday passes. The six resorts of the Espace Diamant have a Samedi Tandem Pass where skiers can obtain a free child's pass (up to 12 years old) or a Half Off Under 18 Pass with the purchase of an adult pass. This offer is not valid, however, during French school holidays.
Get on the bus
Savoie Grand Revard is renewing its offer of free bus transportation with the purchase of a downhill ski pass (€20 for adults). This popular offer saw a 40-percent jump in sales last year.
Prices for regular bus lines to the resorts are also falling. Skiers can get from Albertville to Les Saisies or from Moûtiers to Val Thorens for €10. A single ticket between Grenoble and Les 2 Alpes will cost €5,40.
Bring the whole family
Family time is precious and France's ski resorts know it. That's why there's fierce competition in the family pass market. The Pass Famille of Les 3 Vallées, for example, offers a 20-percent discount for two adults skiing with two children. Children under 13 get 25 percent off and under fives ski for free.
Hitting the pistes with the entire family demands a certain budget, so many resorts offer some kind of family special. Just look for the words "Pass Famille" and you'll certainly find a way to save a little on your holiday budget.