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Lift ticket $ Insanity


Getting off the lift
Oct 16, 2019
Silverthorne, CO
I bet a lot of the families getting days in are sacrificing any notion of retirement or a financial safety cushion to make it happen for themselves and their children.
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Out on the slopes
SkiTalk Supporter
Nov 19, 2015
New York
Your from new york area.....where are these cheap ski mountains? And how close does everyone live from one? And how much cheaper are they on weekends and or holidays? Families new to skiing are not privy of this and just how much differences in money are we talking about?

Living in/around or near enough NYC there isnt much choices at all for a reasonable/practical day trip. And anything within a practical drive (say Poconos or Catskills) is around the same expense weekends and holidays when most people will be able to go. Its also for the most part an overcrowded zoo.

Most first time families in this area will find a huge expense regardless which hill they go to. Its got to be close enough to drive to in a reasonable time frame. probably 2 hrs about at most may be 2and half.
The lift tickets are outrageous. Forget golf...its not relevant.

Lift tickets, rentals, gas tolls, food, proper clothing, perhaps lessons, etc etc,,,its an expensive daunting task. And at first it comes with little to no reward vs the expense and task involved. Very many one timer families never go back. It takes experienced dedicated parents (like I did) to get the kids hooked. It also takes a lot of time and money. This idea that skiing is cheap is just wrong. It never really was. It was never the poor mans sport so to speak. Yes maybe the ski bum with no family but not for the average family.

And the price of tickets that gone up since covid seems to never have come back down. Its a bad scenario. The resorts dont care because they are getting the fees. Prhaps much has to do with all the money so many collected during covid but eventually that will dissipate and only the more financially sound families will be able to afford it. When the demand drops the prices will again too imo.
A lot of the issues you cited are NYC specific affordability issues and NYC specific geographical issues with proximity to and demand for skiing, and aren’t really germane to the point I was making. But sure, I’ll play.

Belleayre, to which I day tripped often when I lived in the city, maxes out at $99 for an adult ticket at the window. Kids are $60 or $10 depending on their age. Those prices are the most you can pay - you’ll pay less if you plan and book in advance.

Thunder Ridge is a bit over an hour from the city. Tickets there max out at $75 for an adult for a full weekend day.

Mount Southington is well under 2 hours from the city and maxes out at $68 for a full day adult weekend ticket.

Just to be crystal clear, my argument was never that skiing is affordable for all people. It is absolutely an expensive sport and is not affordable, even at mom and pop hills, for a large percentage of the population.

My argument was that using the walk up window ticket prices at destination resorts as a proxy for skiing’s affordability for families and new skiers is a red herring. There are smaller ski areas out there that represent better value and a more affordable experience for a family that wants to try skiing. I’m not minimizing the expense of getting gear together, traveling to the hill, or implying skiing is affordable for the entirety of the population. I’m simply saying that a $300 holiday week ticket at Big Sky is irrelevant when discussing the affordability of new skiers entering the sport.


Out on the slopes
Dec 20, 2016
near RDU
I didn't start skiing from any influence of my family, I got hooked on a trip to VT with my then GF, 1975. I remember lift tickets at Jack Frost being $14. Even in the late 70's, that was affordable, even at not much above minimum wage. When I was older and my kids were young, I could still afford ski vacations to Colorado with them. That was on a 5 figure salary and paying 1/3 of it to child support. Nope, skiing has gotten WAY more expensive in just the last few years unless you can commit the money well before the season even starts to buy the mega passes. Lift tickets at Jack Frost have nearly doubled in the last 5 or 6 years. And some areas have pretty much done away with "Junior" and "Senior" lift ticket discounts. It's pretty obvious they don't feel the need to draw families in or retain older, life-long skiers.

This is one of the reason why the Big Snow indoor ski area in the Meadowlands is so busy. Compared to even the cheapest ski areas, it's a much smaller commitment in time and money. I can guarantee the large percentage of people on the slopes nearer to large cities consider skiing "entertainment".


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