I worked at Monarch, Aspen, Crested Butte, Steamboat, and Snowbird for a couple years each as a "lifty" or lift operator. I can tell you the cheapest way to get a lift ticket is to get there really, really early and offer to dig out the counter weight for lift operators in exchange for a pass. Another route for multiple day passes is to find the bus driver for the shuttle. Offer to dig out his bus in the morning. That guy usually has more passes than you can shake a stick at. People who buy multiple day passes and are pooped early often give away their passes to the bus driver.
I worked on the Colorado Tramway Board as an inspector for a year too. Almost everyone who works at the resort has passes. If you offer to do their work for them, they will trade you tickets. The same goes for gear, they are always trading/selling/buying gear, if you have something worth trading they will trade you passes.
BTW, Monarch is the best value in Colorado skiing, the snowcat trips are awesome and rival heli-skiing for 1/4 the price. You can also ski the backside at Monarch if you pre-arrange a guide (usually off-duty ski patrol) and set up the horse ride out the highway. Those are the Best way to make fresh tracks in Colorado!
(Message edited by wakeboardsam on January 27, 2010)