Vail announces $99 for holiday lift ticket |

Vail announces $99 for holiday lift ticket

Scott Condon
the aspen times
Janet Urquhart/The Aspen TimesEager skiers and riders purchased specially priced $40 lift tickets Wednesday for an early day on Aspen Mountain, benefiting the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. Thursday is the official opening day.

Vail Resorts will knock on the door of a $100 adult lift ticket this season but won’t cross the threshold.

The single-day lift ticket price at Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek will be $99 on Dec. 26-31 and again over Presidents Day weekend in February 2011. The price will climb again to $99 during the heart of spring break, March 11-27, according to Vail Resorts’ website.

That’s the price for an adult ticket, for customers ages 13 through 64.

Vail will drop its price to $94 for six weeks between New Year’s Day and Presidents Day, then again in late February. The company will change its single-day lift ticket price 11 times over the course of the season.

Summit County resorts are also approaching the $100 mark, such as Copper Mountain’s $94 peak single-day price, which is up from $92 last year. Lift tickets purchased at the window for the same day of skiing will vary at Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort throughout the season, Breckenridge spokeswoman Kristen Petitt said.

However, even tickets purchased seven or more days in advance approach $90 at Keystone and $94 at Breckenridge for peak holiday times – but the advance purchase guarantees the lowest ticket price available.

The Aspen Skiing Co. is also keeping its peak price under wraps but has disclosed it will charge $192 for a two-day ticket window rate during Christmas week, or $96 per day. “You can expect the single-day price to be higher than the two-day,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said. Discounts are offered on all multiday purchases.

Aspen charged $96 for its peak price last season, the same as the prior season. The ticket price is the same at all four of its ski areas – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk.

There are a number of options to lower the price of skiing at. In Aspen, Skico gives discounts for multiday ticket buys as well as purchases at least seven days in advance. The more days skied, the bigger the discount.

Breckenridge spokeswoman Kristen Petitt said that “the vast majority of (Vail Resorts) guests either purchase season passes or multi-day lift tickets. We’ve been focused on rewarding our most loyal guests with the greatest value on the products they purchase most.”

To that end, Vail Resorts has discounts this year on advance one- and two-day tickets. In years past, discounts have been applied only to multi-day tickets. However, Petitt said, advance-purchase multi-day tickets still offer the most savings, up to 35 percent off the single-day window price.

Copper Mountain also encourages planning ahead with online ticket deals available for purchasing at least 24 hours in advance. Though the prices could change, they’re currently set at $74 per day after Thanksgiving. Two- and three-day prices are $148 and $222, respectively.

Nevertheless, the single-day price for same-day skiing gets the most scrutiny, to the chagrin of many industry officials. They don’t think the media should focus on the highest price for skiing since so many discounts are available.

Hanle said single-day lift tickets account for about 10 percent of sales revenue per season. Single-day tickets are typically purchased by people who are making a quick trip or weren’t able to plan ahead.

Hanle acknowledged it’s just a matter of time before the $100 threshold is crossed, possibly as soon as next season. The lift ticket prices reflect the cost of doing business, he said, and very few businesses are able to keep prices flat. He thinks the price still offers good value.

“When you’re talking Colorado, it’s the best skiing in the country,” Hanle said.

Single-day peak prices at Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin undercut those of the bigger Colorado names.

On December 18, A-Basin’s peak pricing goes into effect, with ticket prices at $69 for adults ages 20 to 69, $56 for youth ages 15 to 19 and $34 for children 6 to 14.

An adult single-day ticket is set at $59 at Loveland, valid from Dec. 18 to April 10. Child tickets for those ages 6 to 14 are priced at $25 in the peak season.

Officials at both ski areas also highlighted the importance of planning ahead when considering a ski vacation. Both resorts offered transferable four-packs in the fall at prices vastly below the cost of a single-day window ticket – the deals were available online or at various ski shows on the Front Range. Ticket prices under such deals amounted to $36 to $39 per day for four days.

But A-Basin still offers savings through their Legends Four-Pack, on sale until Dec. 12. It’s a non-transferable pass good for four days of skiing at A-Basin – for the price of two regularly priced tickets, or $139.

The Basin also offers a beginner’s lift discount and 20 percent off for carpooling or taking the bus to the mountain. Loveland, like other area resorts, has ski-and-stay discounts throughout the season. Various season pass products are still available at resorts in Summit County and across Colorado.

Other resorts in Colorado are sniffing the $100 price this season. Telluride’s single-day lift ticket price will climb to $98 for the holidays, from $95 last season, according to its website. Steamboat’s peak price will be $97.

Outside of Colorado, Deer Valley, Utah, will charge $94. Stowe, Vt., is sticking to $89 for a third season. The top price in Sun Valley, Idaho, is $85.

Aspen’s top price will likely be unveiled around Dec. 18. Ticket prices are starting at $79 for adults for the start of the season on Thanksgiving Day.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun contributed to this story.

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