The Ski Bum’s Best Friend: Craigslist

Chief Snow Junkie January 12, 2011 3

A $350/nt Salt Lake condo scored on Craigslist for $100/nt

I’m not sure how I live anymore without Craigslist when trying to plan a ski vacation — actually I’m not sure how I live period without Craigslist, but that’s another story. You can find everything from a cheap place to crash to a pickup from the airport. Like most things in life, keep an eye out for scams (although I’ve never run into one). But hey, doesn’t a little risk for a big reward sound familiar? It happens every time you trust a dangling chunk of frozen metal to transport you up the hill.

Here’s some of the things a snow junkie can find on Craigslist:

  • Outdoor Gear
  • Lodging
  • Carpool Rides
  • Lift Ticket Vouchers/Coupons
  • Lift Tickets
  • Awesome Barter Trades

About Lift Tickets
This is generally considered illegal as most ski areas explicitly state that you can’t buy or sell tickets so be especially careful purchasing passes. Same goes for vouchers, coupons, etc… I heard if you get caught an executive from the ski area chops off your hand, usually a guy from marketing.

About Lodging
Lodging is my favorite place to find a deal. You can usually find somebody who has extra room in their condo and will let you sleep for cheap. If you have a large group of people, check for last minute deals on houses and condos. The big bonus is not paying the heavy hotel taxes (state,county,town,resort) that ski towns levy on tourists. These can be as high as 16-18%! There’s probably something illegal about not paying resort tax, so I’d keep that on the down low as well.

About Carpooling
If you’ve got room in your car, grab a passenger. Split gas costs, save Mother Earth, you know the drill. Carpooling can you even save you gobs of cash off a lift ticket.

About Bartering
If you get really ambitious with Craigslist, try out the Barter section. We dabbled with this on 100 Days of Winter. I got a ride from the Sacramento airport to Lake Tahoe for a lift ticket. We traded a 2 for 1 voucher for a shower and a pot (the cooking implement, stoner). We even offered up our services as “Mystery Solvers” in exchange for dinner.

That last ad got swiftly yanked. I’m still not sure why.


  1. conwayeast January 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm -

    You have to be more careful than ever when buying lift tickets. I recently purchased some lift tickets from craiglist. They looked legit and checked out. When I went to the mtn and brought them to the ticket counter, they said, “Where did you get this.” The # on the voucher was from a batch of 180 tickets that the mtn gave to a person/organization raise/donate for charity purposes. The seller was selling all of them. The mountain was not happy to say the least, and are looking to press charges against the individual/party involved. They did honor the voucher, but not after some extensive questioning.
    Bottom Line, Buyer Beware.

    Craigslist is a great place to find lodging though!

  2. Chief Snow Junkie January 13, 2011 at 12:02 am -

    Yikes. You’re lucky they didn’t prosecute you as well!

  3. Cici March 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm -

    I am wanting to list a pair of ski lift vouchers on Craigslist as a barter opportunity, like for a gift card. I am not a skier, but got these as part of a tire-purchase promotion. They clearly say not to sell them, but is a barter OK? I am nervous after reading the post above about them checking the numbers, didn’t realize they did this. I am not trying to over-charge, in fact the barter will be much less than the “face value” of these tickets. Please advise. If I can’t barter them, perhaps I could give them away, is this also illegal? If nothing else, perhaps I could ride the ski lift like it is a ride at Disneyland!!

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