Mahala Gaylord
CU-Boulder students adjust schedules, tighten budgets to hit the mountains

U niversity of Colorado freshman Adam Nawacki stared at the pastries showcased in Baby Doe’s Coffee and Bakery Friday morning before turning away empty handed.

A few weeks ago, Nawacki said he would have snatched up a morning snack from the bakery in the University Memorial Center prior to class, but he is pinching pennies now that ski season is underway.

“I’m cutting back on non-essentials — like snacks and online junk,” Nawacki said. “Lift tickets are expensive, so I definitely have to cut back and save up for those.”

CU students said hitting the slopes is a costly and time-consuming hobby that requires adjustments to spending, as well as tweaks to study habits.

Nawacki, who grew up in Colorado Springs, said he has been snowboarding for the majority of his life, so he plans to sacrifice even more money and time than many other students would in order to visit his favorite spots in southern Colorado.

“I like to spend the season at Monarch and Telluride — which are a lot further away, but it’s better boarding,” Nawacki said. “I have to sacrifice sleep to drive the six hours to get there and back.”

Sacrificing for snow is nothing new to CU junior Shannon Martin, who has been working around the demands of ski season since she was age 13.

Martin said when she enrolls for classes at CU, she tries to keep one weekday free for snowboarding so she doesn’t have to fight weekend crowds. But this fall she is searching for a way around her five-day course load.

“I just couldn’t make it work that way so I’m going to have to stay on top of my work so I can make sure I have a few free days for snowboarding,” Martin said. “If I keep up with my stuff and coordinate with friends, I should be able to skip a couple of classes without doing too much damage.”

Financial strain is also a concern for Martin, who said vehicle maintenance gets expensive when she’s packing her car full of friends every weekend and drivingto and from the ski resorts.

CU junior Nathan Liukko said he’s not tightening his budget too much since he scored one of Eldora’s $150 student season passes.

Liukko said he plans to start studying more during the week in order to keep his weekends free for snowboarding.

“No use losing sleep for it when I have a pass and can go whenever I want for free,” Liukko said.

CU sophomore Dylan Goodman said he also plans to do his homework on weeknights in an attempt to free up the weekends for the slopes.

Goodman said he can’t afford to go every weekend, but he’s hoping about 50 percent of them will include some snow this season. He said the other half of his time will be spent at home since he assumes the majority of his money will be spent on lift tickets and gasoline.

“Non-necessities are gone,” Goodman said. “At this point I’m spending money on food and that kind of thing, but that’s about it.”

The students agreed that the sacrifices they’re making for their winter sports are worth every penny pinched.

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