Lift Ticket Madness: $100+ at Vail, Beaver Creek

If you are visiting Vail resorts in Colorado over the holidays and didn’t buy a season pass back in October, you’re a moron. “Why?” you ask:

Ski lift tickets have crossed the $100 mark at Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek.

The websites for both resorts say a single-day lift ticket at the ticket window is $102 through Dec. 25. That rises to $108 from Dec. 26-Dec. 31 before falling back to $102 for the first two weeks of January.

So if you’re taking the family out for the week over Christmas (or anytime, really) you’ll easily spend more on lift tickets than you would’ve spent on an Epic 7-Pack.  If you’re late to the game I guess you could always try Liftopia.com for discount lift tickets.

$100 for a lift ticket is absurd.  $108 or more for a lift ticket is beyond insane. Eventually these resorts are going to price themselves out of the market and kill the industry.  If your business model relies on continually raising your prices eventually you’re going to get burned.

I have to wonder if some of some of these resorts are just trying to make up for staggering losses that they’re surely taking on their real estate holdings (they don’t call it “Condorado” for no reason). They’re just trying to subsidize their own bad business decisions (i.e., massive expansion and failed vertical integration) by passing their losses on to you and me in the form of higher prices.

When we were out in CO last week I paid $182 for a 2-day lift ticket, which is way more than I ever thought I’d pay.  But in the end as much as people are going to bitch about it (just like we all swore off SUVs the first time gas topped $4/gallon and just like every smoker who swears he’ll quit when squares are $3 no $5 no $7 no $12 per pack…) for the most part most snow-seeking vacationers are just going to bite this bullet and shell out the cash because they’re on vacation and it’s the one time each year that they really get to shralp.

They’ll be back next year when tickets are $115 and they’ll be back the year after that…

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3 thoughts on “Lift Ticket Madness: $100+ at Vail, Beaver Creek

  1. If it makes you feel any better I’m riding 300 glorious feet of Mt. Holly tonight and their holiday lift rates are $38 for the PM session.

    Sure, I’m not paying $100 for a lift pass, but on the other hand, paying $40 for these “mountains” almost makes $100 look like a good deal.

  2. Man that is steep!

    I think when I was in Fernie, the tickets were around 75 CAD per day, which I thought was expensive – compared to Europe. Also, there didn’t seem to be any discount for buying a multi-day pass, which is something to look forward to in Europe, also.

    But check this – in the UK, to ride with a 4 hour lift ticket on an indoor slope that is pushing 150m in length, it’s £35. What’s that, about $55? ;)

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