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Lift ticket $ Insanity

PinnacleJim

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Out of curiosity-what would be the price for a season pass for those places with 300$ lift ticket?
Something like a base Ikon or Epic local is around $700 if you buy in the spring. They will have some holiday blackouts at certain places but give you access to dozens of resorts. My senior Loveland pass was $139 and my veterans Keystone pass was $256. Each is unlimited with no blackouts. Loveland pass includes 3 days at partner resorts and Keystone pass gives me 50% off at other Epic resorts.
 

UGASkiDawg

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I don't agree that this pricing model is squeezing profit from loyal customers. If you're a regular, you have a season pass. The season pass prices honestly aren't that bad anywhere I've looked, assuming you buy in advance of the season. Especially for things like unlimited weekday passes. The Ikon/Epic passes are honestly just a great deal if you're able to go more than 7 or 8 times a year.

The day-of ticket pricing model is squeezing profit from rich travelers and very casual skiers/snowboarders. If you don't want to plan ahead, it will cost you.. or you can get an Ikon/Epic and you have tons of options.

The super high day-of prices are to discourage random people from coming. It's kind of a good thing for season pass holders.
I have what's likely to be a unpopular opinion. IKON and Epic passes need to triple in price. Convince me I'm wrong.
 

gratedwasabi

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I have what's likely to be a unpopular opinion. IKON and Epic passes need to triple in price. Convince me I'm wrong.

I'd probably keep the price and reduce the number of days from 7 to 2 or 3, no unlimited anywhere. Or 7 days but for an entire state or region, rather than per resort. I'd rather see people spend the extra money on supporting their local resort than hand it over to the big guys.
 

Yo Momma

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As a senior and a veteran I have access to some pretty great pass prices.
Here ya go @PinnacleJim
I never leave home w/o them! I have these three and have saved some serious $$$. The free national park pass covers you and I think, up to 4 pple in your vehicle. We use it for boating also along w/ our local VT free state park pass for Vets!



 

PinnacleJim

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I'd probably keep the price and reduce the number of days from 7 to 2 or 3, no unlimited anywhere. Or 7 days but for an entire state or region, rather than per resort. I'd rather see people spend the extra money on supporting their local resort than hand it over to the big guys.
Both Epic and Ikon have lots of other passes including some that are region specific, or limited to midweek, etc. And then there are others like the Mountain Collective and Indy passes that give you a couple of days at many resorts with discounts on additional days.
 

bitflogger

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The properties cannot really compare but I'm having a wonderful 2nd season in a row pursuing small ski areas and cheap trips from Indy and Mount Bohemia annual passes. It makes the occasional expensive and crowded day acceptable.

The downside of this is 500 - 1100 vertical runs but lots of fresh snow with no crowds.
 

Jilly

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When Alterra acquired Tremblant we had a Tremblant only pass of around $1300.00. The Ikon pass brought that down to $800 Cdn (not sure of exact amount). But they did away with some economic passes ie seniors and T-66. There are only 2 passes now. Ikon (base etc) or Tonik (no holiday periods). So it limited the locals who didn't want to pay the Ikon base $.

I think Blue Mountain (Collingwood not PA) still has their student and 5 x 7 season passes.

I heard at Christmas it was $175 at the wicket off the street for a lift ticket. There are no more Costco deals etc. Yet there were a lot of people with day passes.
 

AmyPJ

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They want your money up front, hence the mass passes like Ikon and Epic in contrast to exorbitant day ticket prices.
I've asked this but cannot get an answer--how much do the resorts make off of the mass passes? Just the passes. I think the real cash cow comes in the form of food and beverage purchases.
 

dbostedo

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I think the bigger issue with ski resorts is how insanely popular they've gotten

Despite this feeling seemingly coming from everywhere... the total skier visits has barely been trending up in the US over the last 20 years (per the NSAA). Here's the data since 2000. (And I fudged 2020 to look like 2019 and 2021. If you don't do that, it's a very slight downward trend line.) The numbers are in millions of visitors.

1674508370534.png


So if some places are getting much more crowded... then maybe there's just less resorts? NSAA has some data on that too...

1674508541235.png


OK - that's definitely been trending down. It's down about 5% over the last 20+ years - or about 25 resorts/areas.

Does that account for the crowding everyone is complaining about? I don't think so, since it's mostly smaller and/or less visited areas that have been closing. There are some other possibilities of course:
  • The NSAA numbers are innaccurate - this is almost certainly true, but I don't have a way to gauge how innaccurate they are
  • There are a bunch of small-to-medium resorts out there that are really hurting for visits, leading to increased visitation at the more popular resorts (and maybe we'll see a lot more closures over the next several years)
  • Skier visits have become more concentrated into smaller windows as the ski season has shortened or been more holiday/weekend focused, so resorts seem much busier even without total visits rising much
Or something else I'm not thinking of. I'd love to see the skier visits data match up by resort - so you could really see which resorts are most crowded. But I don't think they have data that specific, and I think there's a lot of estimating involved. They do break it down by region, but no region seems to have crazy increases or decreases. There's been some shifts, but nothing that really stands out.

You can see the full data here: https://nsaa.org/webdocs/Media_Public/IndustryStats/Historical_Skier_Days_1979_2022.pdf
 

GB_Ski

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NYS has ORDA run resorts (Belleayre, Gore and WhiteFace). The number of visits have gone up significantly.

 

crosscountry

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Skier visits have become more concentrated into smaller windows as the ski season has shortened or been more holiday/weekend focused, so resorts seem much busier even without total visits rising much
I suspect the shorter window part is true. Could also be significant too

I love spring skiing. It hasn't gotten any busier! Even at those marquee resorts. People are still only skiing from Christmas to March. But as the weather has changed enough that the season very often doesn't get going till mid-January. The Christmas/New Year crowd are stuck with limited runs. Now, even the MLK weekends are at risk. Yeah, crowds during part of season when there's insufficient terrain open.

People also complain about the remote working crowds invading the mountains on Monday and Friday. But my own experience hadn't bore that out. Sure, Monday is no longer dead as it used to be. But it's not "crowded" by any definition!

That left weekends. If the remote workers aren't skiing in droves on midweek days, they're skiing on weekends. Couple that with the concentration on mega pass resorts. Yeah, it'll feel crowded.
 
Last edited:

dbostedo

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The number of visits have gone up significantly.
No, they haven't. Revenue is up, but skier visits are not. Here's the summary data for those three resorts. (I fudged the data for a couple of unreported years to look like it was similar to the years on either side.)

1674512537271.png
 

dbostedo

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Couple that with the concentration on mega pass resorts.

That's what I'm really wondering about... everyone seems to be observing this, and I'd love to see the data that supports or refutes it, or explains the in-and-outs of why everything seems more crowded.
 

Tom K.

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I've asked this but cannot get an answer--how much do the resorts make off of the mass passes? Just the passes.

I don't think they are sharing this info with anybody.
 

crosscountry

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That's what I'm really wondering about... everyone seems to be observing this, and I'd love to see the data that supports or refutes it, or explains the in-and-outs of why everything seems more crowded.
Here in the northeast, the mega resorts typically have more snow making capacity. When the snow is slow to come, many of the indy mountains had little hope of opening. :(

That pushes the crowds to the only mountains that has SOME runs open... typically the bigger resorts under Alterra/Vail.

Let's face it, 20% of Killington is a whole lot more run than 50% of Magic. Never mind that the Magic would have even lower percentage due to lack of snow making fire power.
 

geepers

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They want your money up front, hence the mass passes like Ikon and Epic in contrast to exorbitant day ticket prices.
I've asked this but cannot get an answer--how much do the resorts make off of the mass passes? Just the passes. I think the real cash cow comes in the form of food and beverage purchases.

Vail Resorts have a stated goal of owning at least 50% of the accom and food places in their resorts. They have openly stated (read it on one of their PR pieces in 2012) they aim to lock in the customer pre-season with low cost passes and get the bizz value when the customer plus family plus friends buys accom/food/etc. And pre-season purchase means guaranteed revenue for operations even if the season turns out to below average.

Vail bought 3 Australian resorts not because they are money making machines - our season is too short and one of 'em was owned by a billionaire who wouldn't have sold it if it was a cash cow - but because it serves as a feeder to their northern resorts. Australia has a very high percentage of skiers who travel overseas to ski.
 

AmyPJ

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Vail Resorts have a stated goal of owning at least 50% of the accom and food places in their resorts. They have openly stated (read it on one of their PR pieces in 2012) they aim to lock in the customer pre-season with low cost passes and get the bizz value when the customer plus family plus friends buys accom/food/etc. And pre-season purchase means guaranteed revenue for operations even if the season turns out to below average.

Vail bought 3 Australian resorts not because they are money making machines - our season is too short and one of 'em was owned by a billionaire who wouldn't have sold it if it was a cash cow - but because it serves as a feeder to their northern resorts. Australia has a very high percentage of skiers who travel overseas to ski.
Yep. Although season passes for one resort are a different animal than a mass pass. Cram 'em on the hill and cha ching $$ once they arrive.
 

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