Ski resorts creep closer to $100 lift ticket
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Single-day lift ticket prices jumped to $89 at the Aspen Skiing Co. and Vail Resorts ski areas last weekend, but neither company will tip its hand on the peak prices they will charge during the holidays.
Aspen charged $96 last season while Vail came in at $97. It was unknown Thursday whether either company will reach $100 this season.
“Tickets will not be over $100,” said Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle.
The peak season price will be announced Saturday, he said.
Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said peak season pricing is under consideration and will likely be announced early next week.
Other resorts have already set the bar. A customer service representative in Steamboat’s reservations office said the walk-up single-day lift ticket price during the holidays will be at least $97. That is up $6 from last season. The ski area’s website said three-day tickets will be sold for $97 per day during the holidays. Single-day prices are rarely lower than the multiday price.
Telluride has already announced it will charge $95 at Christmas, the same as last season.
The Utah luxury resort of Deer Valley will charge $90 during the holidays, up $4 from last season. Stowe, Vt., is holding the line at $89.
The ticket prices are for a full day of skiing for adults, ages 18 through 64.
The Aspen Skiing Co. raised its walk-up rate from $79 to $89 on Saturday, as more terrain opened on its four mountains. The price is the same at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.
Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek both raised their rates to $89 per day last week. Breckenridge and Keystone are currently charging $85.
Aspen and Vail urge their short-term customers to buy multiday tickets for the best rate. The Aspen Skiing Co.’s website promotes four-day adult tickets at $348, or $87 per day during the holidays. Hanle said multiday discounts will actually start with two-day tickets.
Vail’s website shows a three-day adult ticket during the holidays will be $267, or $89 per day.
Ski industry officials insist the single-day lift pass price is overscrutinzed. Sales of single-day tickets are a small part of the overall market, yet they always garner a lot of media attention. Hanle said single-day ticket sales consistently account for about 10 percent of the Skico’s ticket sale revenues.
Consultant Jerry Jones of Avon, a former ski industry executive, said the media tends to cover the ski industry differently than it does, say, the airline industry. Media stories typically quote the lowest fares available rather than first-class fares for commercial airline flights, but the media is fixed on the single-day lift ticket price.
He said it’s just a matter of time until the $100 barrier is broke for a lift ticket, if it doesn’t happen this season. He doesn’t believe it will cause a problem for the resort or the industry to top that level.
“I think it’s a non-event,” Jones said. “The press will go after it for a little while. It will just be an item of interest.”
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