The Steep Slope of Inequality at Wintegreen Resort


Upper Dobie Slope at Wintegreen Resort

Kiran Matthews, Entertainment Editor

Located about 45 minutes from the heart of Cville, Wintergreen Resort is a ski and snowboard destination for many and a getaway that also offers multiple events and activities during hours of operation. Wintergreen resort has it all, from spa getaways to mountain views and tubing expeditions. With all the location has to offer, a question is raised as to why it is noy a local hangout spot for students in the surrounding area. The answer to that question lies in the ski resorts’ economic inequality revealed through the rental, lodge, and pass costs. These costs are inevitably too high for usual weekend getaways, blocking off-slope opportunities for many students here at CHS. 


For those who do not own the vast equipment needed for winter sports adventures, rental equipment costs can add up quickly. From helmets to goggles and more, the prices of these items skyrocket, with an 8-hour equipment rental costing around 54 dollars at Wintergreen. Aside from equipment, one must also purchase a lift ticket which can reach up to $109 for the single 8-hour session. For just a single day at the resort, many people wonder if the $163 they would be throwing down is worth it. For many it is not even an option. While these prices lay pretty mainstream for surrounding ski resorts and equipment, they are much too high for a single day outing. Many students at CHS expressed an interest in visiting the resort. Jadie Bastiaan-Beatley adds, “Wintergreen always sounds like such a fun place to go because a lot of my friends go there to ski and snowboard, but if the cost was cheaper, I would definitely be more interested”, We here in the KTR agree.


However,  a snow day can be filled with easy access snow fun for those looking to ski or snowboard but hope to avoid the costs, and the following content will lay out some tricks to do just that. Combined with in-depth research and interviews with those who have found ways around certain expenses, the Wintergreen experience may be made available to a larger population of students here at CHS. 


For students looking for a cheaper alternative for daily equipment rentals, or are just starting and do not want to make a season commitment to gear, Charlottesville Powder Shack offers a deal of $19.99 for either Ski or Snowboard rentals and all the needed equipment along with it. For more committed winter-sporters, Freestyle on Westfield Rd has a $229 deal for season rentals, which can be picked up for personal use until the end of the season. Compared to a $54-day rental or $600 for a simple ski set that Wintergreen requires, these offers make a dent in the added costs of attending. With equipment to the side, another problem exists for those trying to get onto the powder: lift tickets. Wintergreen does offer an “affordable” XTRA season pass, which acts as a one-cost ticket for the entire season, but comes out to around a $700 charge. Yeah, “affordable.” While this counteracts the costs of using a day ticket every time you go up, $700 is no throwaway cash. One way to get around this charge is through a unique opportunity offered by Charlottesville’s Renaissance School.  Senior class members revealed that  a “ski team”  the school provides can get half-season tickets through a group package, considerably knocking down the charge. While this opportunity may have passed this year, it is an excellent option to keep in mind for those looking for a cheaper offer next year. Ava Kuttner, a sophomore and avid skier here at CHS, adds, “Honestly, living in a place where skiing and snowboarding are more common and popular makes it much easier. People you know have extra/old gear”, which is also something to consider. Some families may have extra gear for you to borrow for day trips or all season round, so asking around is always a good idea. Regardless of tips and tricks, there is no doubt the financial strain makes Wintergreen unavailable to most. Yet, for those looking to get up on the slopes during the rest of this season and in the next few years, these tips will hopefully aid in the financial costs of winter sports and the Wintergreen experience overall.