Ski resorts and credit cards are generally not good friends. And if you’ve ever walked into a ski resort cafeteria and sobbed over the price of the mediocre hot chips, you can relate. There’s been a few moments where I’ve cursed myself for choosing such an expensive hobby – knitting would’ve been much kinder to my bank account over the years.
But not every ski holiday has to leave you in the foetal position as you examine your credit card statement after the plane ride home. There are some spots which offer more value for money than others – it’s just a case of finding those resorts and identifying the factors that make them a good deal.
For us, Marmot Basin is one of those resorts. Here are four of the reasons why it offers up such good bang for your Canadian buck.
1. No lift lines = more ski time
Marmot Basin is still relatively undiscovered, meaning that there are no queues… for anything. Regardless of the day, or the time, expect to ski straight through onto the chairlift, ready for another lap of the 1675 acres of skiable terrain on offer. This is great news for anyone who’s ever been frustrated by a lengthy lift line stretching out from the base of the chairlift – with no lines, you’re seriously skiing as much as you can throughout the day, wasting no part of your lift pass.
With 900m of vertical and some of the lightest, fluffiest powder to find anywhere in Canada (after all, their base village is the highest in the country), your legs might be ready for a break by early afternoon. No worries – you’ve made the most of the day, and since there are no queues for the lift, there definitely aren’t any queues for the beers.
And don’t stress that there won’t be enough terrain to amuse the entire family. Marmot breaks their terrain down to 30% Beginner, 30% Intermediate, 20% Expert and 20% Advanced, ensuring that there’s a run to suit everyone. Beginners can even opt for a heavily discounted lift pass for access to just the lower chairlifts, should they prefer.
2. The deals
Marmot isn’t shy about offering up specials that allow you to stay in quality accommodation, such as the Ski & Stay deal up for grabs with Skimax, or the Jasper Family Package, which includes 50% off lift tickets.
You’ll find specials on more than just accommodation and lift tickets in Marmot, though – visiting towards the end of the season, in March or April, will ensure that you also find deals on discounted ski and snowboard gear. So if you’ve had your eye on a new snowboard, this may just be the place to find it.
Bonus hot tip for families – look out for the Marmot Family Card, which gives you discounted rates on everything from lessons to rentals.
3. The Canadian small-town pricing
Despite a variety of upgrades in recent years, including new chairlifts and improvements to other facilities, Marmot still has the kind of small-town feel that people love about Jasper. And that small-town feel means that you get to avoid the price tags associated with the big-name resorts. Expect reasonable pricing for food and drinks, rentals, ski school lessons and even souvenirs.
4. The million-dollar views
There’s no need to fork out a fortune to get a million-dollar view. Marmot has the benefit of being positioned in Jasper National Park, which is a UNESCO Canadian Rockies Heritage Site. That means epic views in every direction, from the drive to the resort to the very top of the mountain. Star-gazers will be especially happy with the area – thanks to a lack of light pollution (the national park boasts one of the world’s largest dark sky preserves), the evenings put on some seriously spectacular displays in the night sky.
Stay & Ski Jasper
7th night free + 50% off lift tickets
7 nights from $735*pp
Jasper Family Package
7th night free, 50% off adult lift tickets + kids ski FREE
7 nights from $1,499* per family
Have you been to Jasper?