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Travel Tip: Snow Guarantees at Ski Resorts

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Ski Season 2013 is almost here, but it’s hard to gauge what the conditions will be. But some resorts are actually hedging their bets.

The Westin Riverfront Beaver Creek has issued a “snow guarantee.” They’re promising that between November 21 and December 13, they’ll have a 19-inch base, or you can cancel with no penalties. Of course, the fine print there is you have to base it on the conditions the day before your arrival. Not exactly helpful if you’ve already got plane tickets booked. But it can work if you’re able to be flexible.

At Mount Snow in Vermont, the snow guarantee applies even after you show up. If you buy a full or multi-day lift ticket and you’re not happy with the conditions in the first hour, you can get a rain check. The fine print? It only applies to the snow conditions—if you’re hit with bad weather, you’re out of luck.

California’s Mammoth Mountain is doing it a little differently. If you book your trip early—as in before opening day in early November—and the base depth doesn’t meet certain standards, you can change your dates or get a $100 gift card.

Bottom line: No one can tell Mother Nature what to do, but if history is any guide, you can make some educated guesses to get the most out of your ski vacation.

For more ski travel visit the Winter Sports archives.

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