Walk-up lift ticket prices increase at Steamboat Ski Area
February 16, 2012
Steamboat Springs — A midseason increase means the price of a single-day lift ticket at Steamboat Ski Area has surpassed the $100 plateau for the first time.
According to the new rates on the ski area's website, skiers and riders who walk up to the ticket window Friday can expect to pay $105 per day for one-, two- and three-day passes. The new prices take effect Friday and represent a $6 increase from the previous price of $99 per day.
"The rationale being is we have some of the best conditions in the state, and we realized there was some room for movement," ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said Thursday.
She said the ski area has raised prices during the season in previous years and that the resort has been considering a price increase for a while. Kasten said the most recent multiday storm that left 3 feet of snow at the summit of the ski area helped drive the decision to raise the price.
The new rate is effective through closing day April 15, which could make Steamboat the most expensive end-of-season lift ticket in the state.
"For right now, that's how we are displaying our lift ticket prices," Kasten said, referring to the cost of lift tickets not adjusting downward at the end of the season.
The ski area in recent years has offered deeply discounted lift tickets during the final weeks of the ski season.
"We will start looking at those options for this year, as well," Kasten said.
One-, two- and three-day lift tickets purchased at least five days in advance will remain $99 per day.
Vail and Beaver Creek remain the priciest ski resorts in the state. A person walking up to the ticket office Friday at Vail would pay $116. A ticket purchased at least seven days in advance would cost $105. From April 9 to 15, Vail is advertising a ticket price of $92.
Kasten said lift ticket prices at Steamboat constantly are evaluated, and the new price point would play into the resort's planning for next year. To get the best price, incentives are offered for purchasing lift tickets in advance and as part of bigger vacation packages.
"As with many purchases and many ski resort purchases, if you want to make last-minute decisions, there is a cost for that added flexibility," Kasten said.
Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett, whose organization promotes the downtown business district, initially was surprised by news of the price increase.
"If people are spending the money on the lift tickets, they may not be spending it in the store," Barnett said. "That's a concern."
However, Barnett acknowledged that the price increase is sensible given that the ski area is entering one of the busiest stretches of the winter season.
"I'm not surprised that they are trying to get a premium price during that period of time," Barnett said. "These are the six busiest weeks of the year."
Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Tom Kern said Steamboat's ticket prices remain competitive with resorts such as Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen.
"It's on the low end of that group as a whole," Kern said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com