Colorado Ski Country USA offers a neat program for 5th graders in Colorado. Basically, you can get a free ski pass for 5th graders in Colorado to several different ski resorts. It’s a bit different since my last kiddo was in 5th grade, so I suppose it’s time to dig back into the details. It should be easy. I just got the 2019-2020 5th Grade Passport Kids Ski Free brochure from the school. (Actually, I dug it out of his backpack while looking for something else.)
5th Graders Ski Free Pass
If I remember correctly, the older versions of the free 5th grade ski pass allowed actual free skiing as much as you wanted at the participating ski resorts. It doesn’t quite worth that way anymore, but it’s still a really great deal for skiing in Colorado.
Where Does the 5th Grade Fee Ski Pass Work?
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The 2019-2020 5th Grade Ski Pass lets you ski for 3 days each at 22 different ski areas throughout Colorado. As a Colorado parent, that has locals knowledge of the ski resorts, you are basically looking at the NOT VAIL owned ski resorts. In other words, the free 5th grader ski pass does is not accepted at:
- Beaver Creek
The free ski pass for 5th graders also is not accepted at Crested Butte, although, I can’t blame that on Vail.
It does work at plenty of other popular and quality ski resorts including
- Winter Park
If you’re the type that hits some of the lesser known / farther flung ski areas in Colorado, the 5th grade pass also is accepted at:
- Howelsen Hill
- Grandby Ranch
- Echo Mountain
- Kendall Mountain
- Wolf Creek
Other 5th Grade Passport Benefits
Obviously, the main reason you should get the 5th Grade Ski Passport if for the free skiing, but it does come with a couple of other benefits that you might be able to take advantage of depending upon your family ski situation
You can get ONE free junior rental from Christy Sports. Obviously, if you are going up enough to claim a few of these resorts, you should get a season ski rental, or have your own gear. Otherwise, free is still free, even if it’s only once.
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You can also get a Level One Beginner lesson, “for those who qualify.” That won’t be us, so I’ll let you go hit up the website to dig into details for that.
Colorado Gems 5th Grade Free Ski Passport
Potentially useful for some families is a parent benefit that you can buy along with getting the free 5th grade ski pass.
It costs $30 to add on a 2019-2020 Colorado Gems Card. The Colorado Gems card gets you EITHER 2-1 adult lift tickets (full-price adult lift tickets that is), or 30% off of adult tickets. You’ll need to do some math to determine which is the better deal.
This benefit is only good at some of the 22 ski resorts your 5th graders free ski pass works at. Also, you can only use your benefit TWICE per resort, unlike the 5th grade pass that works three times per resort. The Colorado Gems resorts are:
- Arapahoe Basin
- Cooper (not Copper)
- Echo Mountain
- Grandby Ranch
- Kendall Mountain
How To Get a 5th Grade Ski Free Pass
The easiest way to get your free 2019-2020 5th Grade Passport is to get the brochure from your kids’ school. On the back of that brochure is a unique registration code that lets you skip all the different verification hoops to sign up for the free 5th graders ski pass. (If you have non-skiing friends and you get the brochures, and you have a kid that’s in 4th or 6th grade, I’m not saying you should cheat, I’m just saying you could cheat.)
To sign up for the 5th Grade Ski Free pass, you need to go online at ColoradoSki.com/Passport. You need a “digital image of your child” (a picture) and the unique registration code. This isn’t a passport, any relatively decent face picture will do.
Be sure to ask your kiddo to keep an eye out for the ski pass brochure, because if your child’s elementary school is anything like my child’s they bring home more than a few things that seem irrelevant to them that they forget all about while they get shoved further and further down into their backpack.
Also, remember they don’t mail you a fifth grade ski pass or anything. You get it picked up at the first resort you go to, so either plan ahead and arrive a bit early on your first ski day of the season, or drop by a lift ticket window ahead of time if you’re the type that is in the area.
When To Get the Free 5th Grade Colorado Ski Pass
According to the brochure it takes 5-7 business days for a child to get approved to get their pass, so you’ll need to plan ahead a bit. My kiddo’s brochure came home today, and right after I finish writing this up, I’m headed over to the website to sign up. While some people plan out their whole ski season, we don’t roll that way so I have no idea when our first ski day will be. Might as well have this whole 5th graders ski free thing sorted before it becomes any sort of issue.