What Ski-In/Ski-Out Access in Ski Resorts Actually Means

Wesley Hutchings on skiingAutomotive executive Wesley Hutchings serves as the vice president of purchasing at Hutchings Automotive Products, SA LLP, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In his free time, Wesley Hutchings is an avid skier. Wes Hutchings particularly enjoys skiing in Beaver Creek, Colorado, where he has a ski-in/ski-out 4 bedroom 4 1/2 bathroom condo at the base of Centennial lift and views of Strawberry Parkway.

Ski-in/ski-out status theoretically means that a guest can click into his skis on site and hit the slopes immediately without needing to carry heavy gear and walk over to a ski lift. However, in practice, this situation is quite rare. Most ski resorts lease their land from the local forest service and often, the closest that ski lodges can be is at the base of the slopes. As a result, ski-in/ski-out access is frequently used to describe easy chairlift access rather than unfettered slope access from the ski resort. However, this is not invariably the case. Some ski resorts, particularly those that are built largely on private land, do offer backyard access to the slopes.

However, many ski resorts that deceptively use the term ski-in/ski-out are really “a short walk” or “steps away” from the lift, which means that guests will have to walk from individual condos to a ski lift. If a visitor is trying to book truly ski-in/ski-out lodging, he or she should pay close attention to these phrases and to subtle differences in various ski resorts’ self-descriptions. It is always a good idea to call a sales agent and ask pointed questions about the exact distance to ski access and whether not getting to the slopes is going to involve walking long distances or across difficult terrain.