At Nealry $150 A Day, Skiers & Snowboarders Getting Taken For A Ride
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
It’s those $140+ lift ticket prices.
That is correct, $140+ lift ticket prices. A day of skiing and snowboarding is now as expensive as a front-row seat to a major concert, a weekend at a big music festival, going to the movies to see every Oscar-nominated film.
Lift ticket prices at North American ski resort have jumped 5.6% this year and that’s on top of a 9% “base,” so to speak, increase from the previous season. So in just two years, lift ticket prices have gone up like a gondola to the Cornice of Mammoth Mountain – nearly 15%. That means already-expensive lift ticket of $125 a couple years ago is now in that $140 range. Mammoth alone has gone up 10% from last year.
Vail Resorts – which is now as a Western ski resorts empire of sorts with many of the Colorado properties plus Park City in Utah and Whistler-Blackcomb in Canada, has increased prices 16% since 2015.
Why? Well, skiers and snowboarders are paying it. For now.
That’s because this season snow that has been coming down not just in inches, but in feet. Ski Resort operators attribute large crowds to skiers and snowboarders who are making up for lost time on the slopes due to several recent dry years.
But this bounty is bound to dry up unless ski resorts wise up and make the experience more affordable. At $140 a day – or around $250 for two days – plus transportation, accommodations, meals and drinks that are at resort prices, a weekend jaunt to the slopes can cost $750-1,000.
Stay for five days or a week and you’re talking the equivalent of a two-week vacation in the Greek Islands in the middle of summer.
It’s easy to imagine the ski resort executives sitting in their offices doing what the oil companies do regarding gas prices – keep pushing it up and up until they reach the point of highest tolerance, then adjusting to accordingly.
Resorts do offer slight discounts – usually 10% – for getting lift tickets from their websites. And they are not in a total whiteout to the costs; they have “stay and ski” packages that can include a free night’s lodging for extended-day stays. Tho it must be stated those packages are usually at the high-priced resort hotels.
So how does one afford to go skiing or snowboarding on a limited budget these days? Well, get a condo and pile as many people into it as you can, limit your number of ski/snowboard days, eat your meals in the condo and invite others from the condo to a pre-nightlife party before going out on the town.
Or just don’t go, something that may become very popular in the near future unless the ski resorts get their heads out of the clouds and lower the cost of going to the mountains.