Hut Discounts: It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask
Two friends and I just completed the Haute Route ski tour from Chamonix to Zermatt, via Verbier, and we had good luck using our AAC memberships to get discounts on hut lodging. All three of us carried our member cards, mostly in case we needed to call on Global Rescue for assistance, but we did not bother with the UIAA hut stamp because we didn’t think we’d see enough savings to justify the ca. $75 cost. Plus, we’d heard rumors that some huts wouldn’t honor the stamp.
Therefore, we were happily surprised to find that most of the huts we visited gave us a discount simply for stating we were AAC members. We spent five nights at four different huts, all in Switzerland, and three of the four gave us a discount; only one even asked to see our cards. Here’s a hint: Each hut has a book in which all teams were asked to register; there’s a specific column for club affiliation, and we always wrote AAC. Some hutkeepers specifically referenced this when giving us a discount as we settled up our bill after dinner. It only amounted to about $5 or $6 apiece per night, but we hadn’t expected any discount and this was enough to buy a round of beers each time. And it cost us nothing.
Moral of the story: Always mention your AAC membership at huts, retailers, and other outdoor establishments. You never know what it’ll get you! —Dougald MacDonald
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