By Joel Gratz, Founding Meteorologist Posted 11 years ago February 2, 2012

The Tricks of the Trade: How to Get the Best Bang for Your Buck on Mountain Lodging

This is a guest post by Jamie Goswick, VP of Marketing for Summit County Mountain Retreats. Thanks to her, we're giving away 2-nights of lodging (contest ends on Monday, February 6th). If you like what you read here, give her Facebook page a "Like" to find the best last-minute deals. 

Everyone likes a good deal, right? I know I do. There’s something that can be said about that feeling you get when you realize you’ve saved a few bucks. It just feels damn good to save some green! Mr. Joel Gratz thought it would be a good idea to share my ideas on what it takes to get a killer deal on mountain lodging. You have to admit, it’s pretty satisfying to wake up in the mountains, opposed to making that sometimes long and dreadful drive back down to Denver.

  • Last-Minute Specials. When it comes to lodging, last-minute specials are where it’s at. Property Management Companies do everything they can to get their properties booked in advance. We refer to this as “Heads in Beds”. However, sometimes some of those beds are empty. In that case, lodging companies will offer some sort of last-minute deal. And typically, they start offering last-minute deals within the same week they are trying to book. For instance, early in the week you can find some pretty good deals for the upcoming weekend.

  • Let’s Make a Deal! Want a good deal? Why not just ask? If you ask, then you just might get what you want. Not to mention, a little rejection doesn’t hurt anyone. Think about it….A simple “no” is your worst case scenario. And suppose you’ve done your research and have gotten a rate quote on three different properties you are interested in. It never hurts to approach the owners of the two higher-priced companies with the lower-priced company’s rate quote. They may be more than happy to match the price of the lower quote or even offer you an even better deal. They don’t want to lose your business.

  • Daily Deal Websites. Keep an eye out on Daily Deal websites, like Groupon or Living Social. These websites typically offer at least 50% off and they offer lodging deals on a weekly basis. Make sure you pay close attention to the fine print though. A lot of times, you’re still left having to pay required cleaning fees or taxes in addition to the Groupon price. Don’t forget to also keep an eye out for those blackout dates!

  • Mud Season. The off season is the absolute cheapest time frame for lodging. For instance, off season for Summit County, Colorado is typically mid-April thru mid-June and September thru early November. This is the perfect opportunity for those who love to take advantage of early season or spring skiing at Loveland Ski Area or Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. If you get a condo in Keystone, you’re only 6 miles from A-Basin and 14 miles from Loveland. Not bad at all.

  • Sundays are Weekdays! Some companies will offer better deals on weekday stays compared to weekends. If that’s the case, take advantage of Sunday night stays! This is great for those who want to avoid the I-70 Sunday evening traffic nightmare. Why not just spend Sunday night relaxing in the hot tub, as opposed to sitting on the highway!?

And now the plug:-) Want to find yourself a killer lodging deal? Visit Summit County Mountain Retreats’ website at or call 970.368.4800. Right now, you can save HUGE on weekday stays. 20% OFF 2-night midweek stays or 30% OFF 3-night or longer midweek stays through March 1st.
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About The Author

Joel Gratz

Founding Meteorologist

Joel Gratz is the Founding Meteorologist of OpenSnow and has lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2003. Before moving to Colorado, he spent his childhood as a (not very fast) ski racer in eastern Pennsylvania.

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