Opening Salvos of 2012-13 Ticket Price Wars

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Well that's probably too dramatic a headline, most ski areas don't dirty themselves with issues like discounting... But some of the big names have some new initiatives announced for 2012-13 that may be worth considering if you can meet the criteria.

They're doing almost everything except reduce the prices, but you can at least pay the same as last year.

In France the world's biggest ski region is seeing quite a big 6% price hike to 260 Euros for a six day adult 3 Valley pass next winter – meaning it's likely to be one of the two most expensive outside of Switzerland (the Chamonix widest regional pass has already reached about that and Paradiski is usually up there).

However a new initiative, the 'Tribu' pass, allows you to buy the ticket for only 1 Euro more than it cost last year (245 Euros). The catch? ...you just need to buy it as one of three friends buying their passes together. Apparently you don't need to be related, and it's not yet clear how strong your friendship has to be – could you have just met in the queue for example - but you do have to pay 735 Euros between you.

Over in Switzerland the newly formed 'Free Republic of Saas Fee' has announced it will issue free-of-charge 'Passports' to guests staying there overnight. These will then offer a 10% discount on lift ticket prices for holders, reducing a six day ticket cost from 344 to 310 Swiss francs apparently.

In Austria families with children are set to benefit in the country's largest ski area, the SkiWelt, if they're prepared to travel 'off season' – which translates to pre-Christmas or from mid-March. The deal here is free lift passes for all kids aged under 16 if an adult with them buys at least a three day pass.
No doubt more deals to appear soon...

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