The skiers in the 50+ age bracket, have grown up with the sport, have helped to build it to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today and are ready to enjoy the slopes as they retire and enjoy their golden years.
Ski resorts across the US are realising the demand for senior friendly skiing and are exploring ways to ensure older snow enthusiasts can continue enjoying the mountain. So, if you’re a senior who’s not ready to give up the sport you love, where do you go? What are the best ski areas for 50+ snow enthusiasts and what do they offer?
Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Colorado
Arapahoe Basin has one of the longest snow seasons in the US. It’s high altitude means it gets quality snow and lots of it. Those who visit Arapahoe regularly, enjoy the relaxed, local, laissez faire atmosphere of the mountain. There’s a distinct lack of commercial buildings and hotels here, instead the resort has strived to hold on to its vintage roots and laid back atmosphere.
Seniors coming to Arapahoe will want to be confident with their skiing abilities as there isn’t a huge amount of beginner runs, but for the advanced skiers, the mountain will surely delight. One of the reasons Arapahoe appeals to older skiers is the close-to-lodge parking which makes it easy to get on and off the mountain. The will also find a range of clubs and activities that accommodate seniors. Single senior (70+) day tickets are $25 while a season pass is $75.
For skiers who miss the days when they didn’t have to contest with huge crowds and those pesky snowboarders, Alta is the place for you. It’s one of three places in the US that has successfully remained a strictly ‘skier-only’ resort.Alta, similar to Arapahoe, has a small-town local vibe which has resisted the huge base villages that come with commercial resorts.
The huge snow dumps this mountain gets means there’s enough terrain for all skill levels.
For skiers 80+, they can get a free day pass with photo I.D or can get a $50 season pass.
Attitash Mountain Resort, Bartlett, New Hampshire
Attitash Mountain exists across two mountains and has a range of trails including long green runs which will be perfect for those who want to ski without being challenged. The resortoffers a range of great discounts, from special ski school clinics and ski clubs, to social opportunities crafted with older skiers in mind. Lift passes are $50 for a season pass for skiers 80 and up, and a 30% discount for skiers 65 to 70.
Mt Hood Skibowl, Government Camp, Oregon
Mt Hood Skibowl has the largest night ski area in the United States which can add a whole other level of excitement to your skiing. The resort has quite the roster of opportunities for senior skiers, including lesson clinics, mid-week get-togethers, ski clubs and activities, as well as mid-week motor coach transportation which makes it very simple to get around. Skiers 75 and up can enjoy free skiing, and those who are between 65 and 69 are entitled to a 30% discount.
Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah
Home of the famous Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Mountain Resort has ski terrain which is accessible for every ability. It’s also worth noting this resort has a fantastic restaurant positioned at 8,250 feet which provides great 360° views of the landscape.
The resort has a Sundance Senior Ski Group which is free for skiers 65 and up. A senior lift ticket is just $15, and a season pass is $125; both include all skiing, snowshoe and cross country trail access, and use of lists in the summer.
Tahoe Donner, in Truckee, California
Tahoe Donner is a relatively small resort with only 15 runs which are all either perfect for beginner or intermediate skiers. While there’s not a lot of runs, skiers over 50 will enjoy what’s on offer. The resort is very accommodating, offering discounts on lessons, mid-week parties, parking that's near the lodge, ski clubs, awards banquets and discounts on equipment rentals. Skiers who are 70 and above enjoy free skiing, while skiers between 65 and 69 get a 45% discount which makes this mountain great value!