Vail charges $99 for holiday ski passes

Aspen Skiing Co. has not announced single-day price

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

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

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

Aspen Skiing Co. is 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 of its ski areas — Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk.

There are a number of options to lower the price of skiing at Aspen-Snowmass and other ski resorts. SkiCo gives discounts for multiday ticket buys and purchases at least seven days in advance.

Nevertheless, the single-day price gets the most scrutiny to the chagrin of many industry officials. Some don’t think the focus should be on the highest price for skiing when discounts are available.

Hanle said single-day lift tickets account for about 10 percent of sale revenue per season. Single-day tickets typically are 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 value.

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

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 likely will be unveiled in mid-December. Ticket prices are starting at $79 for adults for the start of the season today.

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