- Kyle Hughes
- 24 September 2014
It’s that time of year and the Korean Ski resorts are starting to put out their season pass specials for the 2014/15 snow season. And we know you’re all getting amped, dreaming of the winter ahead and trying to find the deal of the century to keep you in skiing/boarding heaven all season long. Far be it from us to dampen your spirits but getting a season pass can be a little bit of a messy process. And that’s where we here Korea Snow can help you to see the ski slopes through the trees so you can busting rooster tails when the white stuff starts falling.
The first thing is to establish where you and your mates want to spend most of your season days and how far you want to travel. Once you have that sorted, you need to consider your budget as deals can vary from as little as KRW 240,000 (approx USD $240.00) for Elysian Ski Resort to KRW 565,000(approx USD $565.00) Muju Ski Resort. To value add a few resorts will even include a transport from selected pick up points throughout Korea. And lots of resorts means the season pass discounts come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: if you are a girl, prices will often be further discounted; if you have a regular group of friends that like to ski or snowboard together you can also get a group or crew pass; and some ski resorts will release a limited number of “Early Bird” season passes and you could find yourself in a lottery to secure your pass. And the closer to the opening of the resorts, the prices for season passes start climbing. How are you doing so far? Still following?
But wait, there’s more. Season passes can also give you access to discounts on accommodation, ski equipment, hire fees, water park admissions and food outlets at the resorts. And this is where the value in securing a season pass really starts to kick in. Regular visits to your favorite ski resort are rewarded with a few extra perks, which means you also have more money in your back pocket to spent on the slopes.
Right, so now you know where you want to spend the season, but how do you get your season pass? This can also be a little bit of a difficult process, depending on the resort. A good majority of the resorts offer their season passes through their websites, the problem being that those special offers are often mostly in Korean and you will have to lean on your Korean speaking/reading mates to help out. Also factor in that a few resorts will only allow you to pay with certain credit cards. The other way is to buy your season pass is through virtual shopping malls such as GSSHOP, Lotte, Coupang, Interpark and GMarket. With the exception of GMarket, all the virtual stores have to be navigated in Korean and you’ll need your Korea speaking/reading friends once more. GMarket is the only online Korean shopping mall that supports other languages and happens to be a great place to check out specials on snow equipment for the upcoming season. Helps that they are owned by EBay and ship internationally as well!
Once you have paid the money for your chosen winter retreat, you will receive a text message informing you to register with the resort. You will need to make sure you have your ARC (Foreigner registration number) or passport handy, as well as a recent photograph. Speed is of the essence as the message is only valid for around a week. Again it can be daunting when registering online but once it is all done you will be ready to hit the slopes as soon as the season begins.
At this point you might be thinking that your snow season pass buying exercise is a mammoth task and that it might be easier just to cop rack rates. Don’t be deterred. Once you work it out you will reap a nice little return for your efforts. A couple of years ago we asked for help to secure season passes for the family at Alpensia Ski Resort. The savings were substantial, (we ended up on the mountain for about USD $15.00 per day each), we were given 2 family passes to the resort’s indoor waterpark and they threw in a book of tickets containing discounts for the resort’s facilities.
So hopefully by the time you get to December you’ll be busting moves on your favorite ski slopes with your friends, grabbing a cheap meal and drinks, and lying back in your comfortable coach seat on our way home from a day on the mountain with a satisfied grin on your face knowing that it was worth getting that Korean ski resort season pass after all.
Need any more information or some help to get you on your favourite mountain, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org we will be happy to help where we can.
Korea Snow would like to thank John Shaw for his valuable research and contribution to this article.