How to do Summit on the cheap |

How to do Summit on the cheap

You don’t have to wave your life savings goodbye to have a great time in Summit County. Sure, there are luxury homes available for thousands of dollars per night.

There are limos to shuttle you around to the county’s four ski resorts. And there are five-star restaurants to tantalize even the most picky of palates.

But a good time can be had for a whole lot less money.

Before you head tot he ski area be sure to purchase lift tickets, as there are numerous multi-day packages available on the web or in participating local and Front Range businesses that are cheaper than buying tickets at the window.

Take a day off from the slopes and head to one of the county’s numerous Nordic centers. For about a quarter of the cost of a lift ticket, you can take off into the woods on skinny skis. For an even less expensive day, rent a pair of skis and head to the trailheads for your own ski getaway.

Meal deals are also available throughout the county, but happy hour is when some of the best ones ” two-for-ones, early bird specials and the like ” take place. Apres-ski happy hours, which generally run from 4-7 p.m., often feature half-price hors d’oevres and drinks.

Consider making your lunch and bringing it to the slopes instead of buying an $8 burger and a $4 beer in the cafeteria.

It’s easy to get around the county due to the free bus system. The Summit Stage takes skiers, riders and shoppers to Keystone, Copper Mountain and Breckenridge ski resorts.

The town bus system in Breckenridge, Free Ride, can then take you around town, be it to the grocery store or safely back to your condo after a night of partying. (Keep in mind, law enforcement has a zero-tolerance policy against drunk driving, and getting busted while driving will definitely blow your budget.)

Other inexpensive outings including ice skating in Breckenridge or Keystone, local theatrical performances by the Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge and the Lake Dillon Theatre in Dillon, a visit to either the Silverthorne or Breckenridge recreation centers ” complete with pools, slides, climbing walls and weight rooms ” or attend a comedy show at the Silverthorne Pavilion.

Coupons are in abundance in the county’s daily paper, the Summit Daily News.

There’s just no excuse for budget overruns this winter.

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