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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: November 17, 2014

Ski deal: Get a ride to the mountain and a lift ticket for a bargain with the Mainely Ski & Ride meetup

Written by: Shannon Bryan
Skiers load on to the Skyline lift at Sugarloaf. Michael G. Seamans/file photo

Skiers load on to the Skyline lift at Sugarloaf. Michael G. Seamans/file photo

Skiing is one of Maine’s winter pleasures.

The long drive to the mountain and the cost of a one-day lift ticket, on the other hand, aren’t all that pleasurable. Especially not weekend after weekend.

But there’s a new meetup in Maine that wants to relieve some of the skiing hassle for you. Introducing Mainely Ski & Ride. You can get a bus ride to the mountain, a full-day lift ticket, coffee and a light breakfast during the drive up and snacks for the ride back – all for less than a lift ticket alone if you’d gone on your own.

“I always loved creating ski trips for friends and family,” said Mary-Theresa Tringale, founder of Mainely Ski & Ride (full disclosure: Tringale also works in the marketing dept. at MaineToday Media, the parent company of MaineToday.com). “I liked to get everybody really excited about it. And I liked meeting new people through ski weekends.”

Tringale said similar services abound in New York, so she was surprised when she moved to Maine that no one was really doing it here. So she decided to start doing it herself.

Here’s how it works: People sign up (about 35 people per trip) for a planned day-trip through the website or meetup.com. A bus picks everyone up at the Portland park and ride (other pickup locations might be added in the future) around 6 a.m. Coffee/light food is provided for the ride up. The bus arrives at the mountain just as it’s opening (in time for lessons, too). People ski all day. The bus departs the mountain at 4:30 p.m. to return to Portland around 6:30 p.m.

For the inaugural season, the trips will go to either Sunday River or Sugarloaf, and the first ski and ride is headed to Sunday River on Sunday, December 7. The complete package (ride, lift ticket, snacks) costs $75. (For comparison, a one-day lift ticket to Sunday River costs $89). For folks who have season passes, there are some spots on the bus available for just the ride and the snacks. That costs $45.

But the deals don’t work unless the bus is full, so interested skiers and riders need to start signing up now. Deadline is Nov. 26.

Note: these prices are just for the December 7 trip to Sunday River. Trips to Sugarloaf might cost different (Tringale is still waiting to hear the group prices rates from Sugarloaf).

Over the course of the 2014-2015 season, Tringale hopes to run seven or eight trips to the mountains. Maybe more if there’s demand. And there will certainly be demand.

FMI: www.mainelyskiandride.com
On facebook.com: www.facebook.com/MainelySkiAndRide
On meetup.com: www.meetup.com/Ski-Ride-Maine-Meetup

2015 Season Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 10 – Sunday River
$75 Early Bird Special ends Dec. 31, 2014 (Price increases to $85 on Jan. 1)
$45 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 6:30 a.m. for arrival at Sunday River approx. by 8 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 24 – Sugarloaf
$85 Early Bird Special ends Jan. 14 (Price increases to $95 on Jan. 15)
$55 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 5:30 a.m. for arrival at Sugarloaf approx. 8 – 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 8 – Sugarloaf
$85 Early Bird Special ends Jan. 29 (Price increases to $95 on Jan. 30)
$55 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 5:30 a.m. for arrival at Sugarloaf approx. 8 – 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 15 – Sunday River
$75 Early Bird Special ends Feb. 4 (Price increases to $85 on Feb. 5)
$45 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 6:30 a.m. for arrival at Sunday River approx. by 8 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28 – Sugarloaf (Prices at Sugarloaf increase on Saturdays in Feb/March)
$95 Early Bird Special ends Feb. 18 (Price increases to $105 on Feb. 19)
$55 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 5:30 a.m. for arrival at Sugarloaf approx. 8 – 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, March 14 – Sugarloaf
$95 Early Bird Special ends March 4 (Price increases to $105 on March 5)
$55 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 5:30 a.m. for arrival at Sugarloaf approx. 8 – 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, March 28 – Sunday River
$75 Early Bird Special ends March 18 (Price increases to $85 on March 19)
$45 Transportation Only Option (Limited Availability)
Departure from Portland: 6:30 a.m. for arrival at Sunday River approx. by 8 a.m.

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