For budget-conscious skiers, a small-town no-frills ski hill like Red Lodge Mountain is always the best way to lap up terrain on the cheap. But while you’re enjoying lift ticket prices that put other states’ destination resorts to shame, why not pull out all the stops without pulling out so many bills? We’ll show you how to ski Red Lodge like a luxury resort, without the bill.
Score Cheaper Lift Tickets
Red Lodge’s tickets are already pretty inexpensive, but you can get them even cheaper by ordering ahead on their website. The more advance notice you give, the cheaper the tickets are. You can also buy multi-day packages to shave off a few bucks, too. If you can ski a whole week, gun for the Six-Tix package and make one of those days a rest.
Find Free Pizza
If you can hold out for a late dinner after skiing, you might earn yourself some free gourmet pizza. Every night during ski season, Natali’s Front Bar serves up unsold pies from Red Lodge Pizza towards 10pm. Although there’s no guarantee there’ll be extra pizza, when there is, it’s a first come, first served, free-for-all of ski bum gluttony locally known as “Deadbeat Pizza.” If your elbow-throwing comes up short, you’re still perfectly situated for a nightcap.
Upgrade Your Beverage
Dyed-in-the-wool ski bums drink expired Pabst, but budget-conscious ones don’t mind throwing down the few bucks they just saved on tickets to upgrade to a primo microbrew. Head to Red Lodge Ales (and the adjacent Sam’s Tap Room) where a slew of sip-worthy beers quench après-ski thirst. Frugal bonus: frequent specials mean you can usually find a deal on grub.
Turn a Budget Motel into a Spa-cation
The Bavarian-themed Yodeler Motel is a Red Lodge institution—one that may look more basic than luxurious to the untrained eye. However, those in the know should kick off their après-ski by giving their skis a full treatment in the complimentary ski wax room, then huck themselves into the much-touted in-room steam showers. Pack a little eucalyptus essential oil, close your eyes and what’s the difference from a real spa?
Kick and Glide for $5
For a mere $5, you can cruise 15 kilometers of trails at Red Lodge Nordic Center, impeccably groomed by a team of volunteers. If you don’t have your own cross country skis, drop by Sylvan Peak Mountain Shoppe to pick up rentals.
Perfect the Art of the Lodge Mocha
Brew up a cheap fluffy coffee drink to rival those $5 frappalattes from fancy coffee chains, right in the ski hill lodge. Our lodge-friendly recipe: one part hot cocoa, one part coffee, one creamer cup and whatever leftover chocolate you can find in your coat. Stir, chug and head back to the hill. Extra cred if you bring your own thermos or mug.
The beauty of Red Lodge Mountain is that you don’t need a bunch of dough to enjoy great terrain on uncrowded slopes. And you won’t have to contend with chi-chi skiers or lodge bunnies, because people here come here to ski. But don’t let the Carhartt-friendly atmosphere stop you from living the high life—after all, good local splurges come pretty cheap here.