Vail sells priciest ski tickets in nation |

Vail sells priciest ski tickets in nation

Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsLift ticket prices at the window this season cost $49 at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, $67 at Keystone and Breckenridge (pictured) ski resorts and will increase to $64 at Copper Mountain Resort.

VAIL – Vail Resorts Inc. appears to have the highest-priced lift tickets in the country this year, with adult, single-day tickets at Vail and Beaver Creek reaching $73 at the ticket window.

All four ski resorts in Summit County charge less than Vail for a single-day adult lift ticket.

Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts, which are owned by Vail Resorts Inc. and are located in Summit County, charge $67 for a single-day adult ticket.

Copper Mountain in Summit County will increase its early season price from $49 to $64 beginning Friday for a single-day adult lift ticket.

Arapahoe Basin charges $49 for adult, single-day tickets.

The Aspen Skiing Co. and Stratton Mountain in Vermont are charging $72 for their most expensive tickets.

Last year Vail charged $71, Stratton $72 and Aspen $68 for adult, single-day tickets, although special multiday tickets and passes kept most customers from paying full price.

Discount tickets are available at area businesses. Tickets can also be purchased online. Seasonal and multiple-day passes offer additional discounts.

“Since Vail Mountain has been ranked the No. 1 resort in Ski magazine for the 12th time since the ratings began in 1988, and because Beaver Creek beat Aspen in the same survey for the second straight year last season, I think Vail should take the leadership in dictating what the premier price point is for skiing,” said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer for Vail Resorts.

“And besides, for $1 extra you get 4,616 more acres at Vail Mountain than you do at Aspen Mountain,” Jensen said.

David Perry, senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co., said Aspen deliberately did not want to have the highest-priced ticket in the country.

“We’re happy to let Vail hold that honor,” Perry said. “But we do believe that the Aspen ticket price belongs in the top tier of ski resorts because of the quality of products and services that Aspen/Snowmass offers.

Michael Cobb, vice president of marketing and sales for Stratton Mountain, said the nation’s leading ski resorts are forced to charge premier rates to keep the experience top-notch.

“The biggest challenge we face is being overcrowded,” Cobb said. “We cater to an affluent market that cares more about the experience than the cost. It’s not all that exciting to pay $50 for a lift ticket then wait in line for everything.”

– Christine McManus

contributed to this story

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