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With the ski season coming to an abrupt end, you may be feeling in shock or disappointment, or even wondering how you can help out the businesses affected by the industry we love so deeply.

If you’re thinking about how you can support your favorite or local ski areas and the small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have some ideas. Read on.

Buy gift cards, services, and passes.

Buying a gift card to a beloved ski area or restaurant is something you can apply to most small businesses you want to support. You can also consider pre-paying for services you know you’ll need next season. For instance, try calling a local ski shop to see if you can pay in advance for a ski tune. Pricing will depend across shops, but this can run anywhere from $40 to $60. Or if you’re able to, take advantage of some spring sales and buy a pass for next season. 

Ask your favorite ski resort what gear you can buy.

Oftentimes, resorts will have demo skis or snowboards that they may not want to use next season. More often than not, the skis are still usable. And if you’re in the market for a gear upgrade, this is a great way to buy gently used equipment at a decent price.

Buy their swag.

You can always use a new beanie, right? Ski resorts like Alta, Mt Baker, Mammoth Mountain, and Sundance Mountain Resort have online shops in addition to the ones at or near the mountain. There are lots more resorts that sell their merchandise online. Here’s a full list!

Leave a positive review.

It’s not all about money. If there’s a ski area you love or had an especially memorable experience at, write them a positive review on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Facebook. Small businesses depend on these positive reviews, and reviews can make or break a great season. Plus, if you write something especially specific or descriptive—like offering advice on where to park, or what dishes to order off the menu⁠—you’re helping your fellow skiers and riders plan their trips.

Check out ski resorts’ auctions.

Think outside the pow! For hardcore ski and snow sport aficionados, keep an eye out for interesting auctions or lotteries. For instance, A-Basin will be auctioning off Pali lift chairs this year. Stay tuned for info about that sale.

Simply ask if you can help.

With ski season ending so abruptly, it’s likely that many resorts had to close up shop while leaving some things disorganized. Call a local resort and see if you can set up time in the coming weeks or months to help sort out any tasks they weren’t able to do at the end of the season. Or see if you can volunteer next season to help with anything from being a trail guide to helping organize the lift line, handing out brochures, and more.

Did we miss anything? If you have other ideas to share, leave a comment below!

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