Steamboat single-day lift tickets stay below $100 mark
December 24, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Prices of lift tickets during the holiday season at several major Colorado ski resorts have breezed past the $100-a-day mark, with Steamboat Ski Area coming in just lower at $99 per day.
Vail and Beaver Creek are offering the most expensive lift tickets in the state. While an $11 discount was available if purchased a week in advance, a person walking up to the ticket office this week would pay $116 for a single-day ticket at both Eagle County resorts.
At Vail's sister resorts, tickets purchased Sunday would cost $111 for access to Breckenridge and Keystone. The price to ski just Keystone or Arapahoe Basin is $103.
Aspen Skiing Co. operates Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. A last-minute skier walking up to the window Sunday to purchase a single-day ticket at those resorts will pay $109.
Telluride Ski Resort is the other Colorado resort crossing the $100 threshold with a ticket price of $106.
Steamboat's $99 ticket represents a $2 increase from last year's peak-season rates.
Hitting the slopes today will cost $95 at Winter Park Resort, which also is operated by Steamboat's parent company, Intrawest. Copper Mountain ties Steamboat at the $99 level.
Steamboat Ski Area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said ticket prices are decided based on factors such as the economy and what other vacation destinations are offering in the United States.
"We do a competitive analysis in our destination marketplace every year," she said.
For destination ski resorts in Colorado, single-day lift ticket sales represent a relatively small portion of their ticket revenues. The Aspen Times reported that single-day ticket purchases represent about 10 percent of sales each season at SkiCo's Aspen resorts.
Discounts are offered for multi-day passes and for those who buy tickets in advance. For example, a five-day pass at Vail during the holiday season purchased online at least seven days in advance would cost $500, or $100 per day.
At Steamboat Ski Area, incentives are offered to make lift tickets more affordable for the family. The Kids Ski Free program started in 1982 and allows children 12 and younger to ski free the same number of days as their parents and grandparents when the adults purchase a five-or-more-day adult lift ticket at regular prices.
"Over the past couple of years, in response to the economy, resorts have been being more creative in the packages they are offering, especially destination resorts," said Jennifer Rudolph, communications director for Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade group that represents most Colorado ski resorts.
She said Colorado Ski Country USA doesn't track the price of single-day lift ticket sales purchased at the window and that seasonal price differences and packaged discounts make it difficult to draw comparisons.
"It's hard to tell which way the needle is moving," Rudolph said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com
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