Day ticket rates vs Pass Prices - Page 4

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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by bdfreetuna View Post
    I don't know if that's the regular price or whatnot, but if Sugarbush was nearby I'd take that deal.
    I'm sure things could change next year with the Alterra purchase, but SB had a lot of different pricing depending on your age the past 8-9 years. I was in the 30s range, so that was the price for their "For 30s" pass during the earliest purchase time-frame.

  2. #32
    Much more informative than the cost of walk-up day tickets is the cost to an average skier to ski for a day. To calculate this, you could take all of the revenue that a resort receives from all pass products over a season, and divide it by the total number of skier visits. I would be very interested to see how this statistic has changed over time. This is way more reflective of the true cost of skiing than the walk-up price, which I think we can all agree gets less and less relevant each day.

    bdfreetuna, I would encourage you (if you haven't already) to listen to the episode of the Storm Skiing Journal podcast where Stuart Winchester interviews Evan Reece, the CEO and cofounder of Liftopia. Reece does an excellent job discussing why the pricing strategies that we are seeing of high walk-up rates paired with pass products and discounts from advance purchases make a lot of financial sense, both for the resorts and from consumers. Before founding Liftopia, Reece worked for Expedia or some other online travel website. The idea behind these websites is that you can get substantial discounts for booking airfare, hotels, car rentals, well in advance. This shifts risk away from producers in exchange for a better price for consumers. Reece took those ideas to the skiing world by starting Liftopia, which is not only a ticket marketplace but provides pricing strategy software to ski resorts.

    Reece does a better job explaining this than I can, but the gist is that by shifting the risk, ski resorts are able to maintain more steady cashflows year to year, enabling them to make more consistent capital expenditures and realize more revenue before the season starts. There are definitely downsides for consumers in this scenario, chiefly that as a consumer, you are required to make purchase decisions well in advance, but the big upside is that skiing is probably cheaper than it has been in decades for those willing to commit in advance to passes or day tickets.

    Just take a look at NELSAP if you're wondering what it looks like when a ski resort has a few bad seasons. The pricing strategies that we are discussing make resorts more resilient to bad weather, which for many (maybe most) resorts is the #1 reason why people decide whether or not to ski. If walk-up rates were cheap enough that passes or advance sales were less necessary, think about what could happen to a place like Magic or Tenney if they had a couple of bad seasons where very few people showed up to buy tickets. Contrast that with a system where Magic or Tenney is able to realize some percentage of their total ticket revenue days, weeks, or even months in advance of the specific days when people ski. Although I'm using indie resorts here to gain a little bit of sympathy in my argument, these same forces apply equally to larger resorts. At a more macro level, the brilliance of a Vail/Alterra is that they are able to spread risk across a geographically diverse portfolio of resorts: a bad season in one resort is hopefully offset to some extent by a good season at a resort elsewhere.

    If you're angry that the walk-up ticket at _____ resort (ex. Sugarbush) is specifically so high, well, that's the point. The resort doesn't want you to buy a walk-up ticket, they want you to pay less money in order to get you to commit to skiing in advance. Presumably, they have done a pricing analysis (perhaps using Liftopia's platform, or if it's a major org like Vail or Alterra they surely have people whose job this is) to determine what the optimal walk-up rate is to maximize business objectives like total revenue, the realization of pass or ticket revenue in advance, and more. If the walk-up rate is too high, or too low, the pricing analysis will be updated and adjusted accordingly. Keep in mind too that prices are determined by supply and demand. The fact that ____ resort (ex. Berkshire East) is $$ doesn't necessarily have a whole lot of bearing on resort _____ (ex. Sugarbush) charging $$$$.

    I don't want to see any more posts along the line of "nobody has given any reason/justification for walk-up prices being so high!" You may not like the reasons/justifications for the way that prices are working now, but these are the business reasons for resorts doing what they are doing. If anything, I think that skiing is going to shift even further towards an earlier-realization-of-revenue model. I don't see a return to the old system.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by crazy View Post
    Much more informative than the cost of walk-up day tickets is the cost to an average skier to ski for a day. To calculate this, you could take all of the revenue that a resort receives from all pass products over a season, and divide it by the total number of skier visits. I would be very interested to see how this statistic has changed over time. This is way more reflective of the true cost of skiing than the walk-up price, which I think we can all agree gets less and less relevant each day.

    bdfreetuna, I would encourage you (if you haven't already) to listen to the episode of the Storm Skiing Journal podcast where Stuart Winchester interviews Evan Reece, the CEO and cofounder of Liftopia. Reece does an excellent job discussing why the pricing strategies that we are seeing of high walk-up rates paired with pass products and discounts from advance purchases make a lot of financial sense, both for the resorts and from consumers. Before founding Liftopia, Reece worked for Expedia or some other online travel website. The idea behind these websites is that you can get substantial discounts for booking airfare, hotels, car rentals, well in advance. This shifts risk away from producers in exchange for a better price for consumers. Reece took those ideas to the skiing world by starting Liftopia, which is not only a ticket marketplace but provides pricing strategy software to ski resorts.

    Reece does a better job explaining this than I can, but the gist is that by shifting the risk, ski resorts are able to maintain more steady cashflows year to year, enabling them to make more consistent capital expenditures and realize more revenue before the season starts. There are definitely downsides for consumers in this scenario, chiefly that as a consumer, you are required to make purchase decisions well in advance, but the big upside is that skiing is probably cheaper than it has been in decades for those willing to commit in advance to passes or day tickets.

    Just take a look at NELSAP if you're wondering what it looks like when a ski resort has a few bad seasons. The pricing strategies that we are discussing make resorts more resilient to bad weather, which for many (maybe most) resorts is the #1 reason why people decide whether or not to ski. If walk-up rates were cheap enough that passes or advance sales were less necessary, think about what could happen to a place like Magic or Tenney if they had a couple of bad seasons where very few people showed up to buy tickets. Contrast that with a system where Magic or Tenney is able to realize some percentage of their total ticket revenue days, weeks, or even months in advance of the specific days when people ski. Although I'm using indie resorts here to gain a little bit of sympathy in my argument, these same forces apply equally to larger resorts. At a more macro level, the brilliance of a Vail/Alterra is that they are able to spread risk across a geographically diverse portfolio of resorts: a bad season in one resort is hopefully offset to some extent by a good season at a resort elsewhere.

    If you're angry that the walk-up ticket at _____ resort (ex. Sugarbush) is specifically so high, well, that's the point. The resort doesn't want you to buy a walk-up ticket, they want you to pay less money in order to get you to commit to skiing in advance. Presumably, they have done a pricing analysis (perhaps using Liftopia's platform, or if it's a major org like Vail or Alterra they surely have people whose job this is) to determine what the optimal walk-up rate is to maximize business objectives like total revenue, the realization of pass or ticket revenue in advance, and more. If the walk-up rate is too high, or too low, the pricing analysis will be updated and adjusted accordingly. Keep in mind too that prices are determined by supply and demand. The fact that ____ resort (ex. Berkshire East) is $$ doesn't necessarily have a whole lot of bearing on resort _____ (ex. Sugarbush) charging $$$$.

    I don't want to see any more posts along the line of "nobody has given any reason/justification for walk-up prices being so high!" You may not like the reasons/justifications for the way that prices are working now, but these are the business reasons for resorts doing what they are doing. If anything, I think that skiing is going to shift even further towards an earlier-realization-of-revenue model. I don't see a return to the old system.
    Great post crazy

    Ultimately the ski (and tourism industry in general) is about a yearly strategy for maximizing asses on chairlifts and beach chairs.

    Even though the average Joe might only ski or go to the beach ten days a year, the resorts are trying to sell you and get you to commit those ten days to them 365 days a year. Always selling and maintaining a consistent revenue stream.

    I bring up the beach because that's a comparatively similar industry as skiing in New England. Roughly ten week season to make the year financially. When the weather is good, people flock to the beach. Ain't no deals to be had. Are those beach business's ripping people off like apparently Sugarbush and Okemo are?

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using AlpineZone mobile app

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by crazy View Post
    I don't want to see any more posts along the line of "nobody has given any reason/justification for walk-up prices being so high!" You may not like the reasons/justifications for the way that prices are working now, but these are the business reasons for resorts doing what they are doing. If anything, I think that skiing is going to shift even further towards an earlier-realization-of-revenue model. I don't see a return to the old system.
    The reason has become pretty clear as to why the window rates have become so high: a forced shift of advanced purchase risk onto the consumer. Not sure if that is good for the consumer or not. It is because of reduced rate. It is not because some of the advance purchases will be forfeit for non-use. If you don't think the forfeiture is real, then you don't have the slightest understanding of why the ski areas are shifting the risk.

  5. #35
    It is worth noting that season passes of all types are marginally less expensive than they were 25 years ago in unadjusted dollars. In adjusted dollars, passes are like only like 50% or less of their cost 25 years ago. Quite a deal, really.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orca View Post
    The reason has become pretty clear as to why the window rates have become so high: a forced shift of advanced purchase risk onto the consumer. Not sure if that is good for the consumer or not. It is because of reduced rate. It is not because some of the advance purchases will be forfeit for non-use. If you don't think the forfeiture is real, then you don't have the slightest understanding of why the ski areas are shifting the risk.
    Forfeitures are a small piece of the pie and not why resorts are shifting their pricing models. They want commitment ahead of time to provide more level revenues year over year. You can't survive in a capital intensive industry like skiing as a business with huge Spike and trough revenue years. Unless you can show consistent revenue, no financial institution will talk to you about financing the $$ we are talking about for lift replacements/upgrades, Snowmaking upgrades/replacements or even new groomers. This model may not be as friendly to consumers looking to make last minute powder day decisions or to ski around last minute. That is a downside. The upside is with more level revenues and a bit of foresight and planning, your day costs should be the same or lower now and resorts are vastly more able to make investments and improve the customer experience.



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  7. #37
    It's amusing how so many people here love their newfound "cheap" skiing so much that they're like corporate spokespeople for these new pass products. LOL Completely unable to see any negatives at all.

    Here are just some:

    1) It stinks for people who like variety to hit many different resorts in a season (not just EPIC or IKONic resorts). That got WAY pricier.

    2) It stinks for people who are serious storm-chasers. That got (or is getting) pricier.

    3) It stinks for beginner skiers (I worked @ ski school for years, lots of completely "wrong" assumptions in this thread being expressed about new skier consumer behaviour).

    4) It stinks for locals whose mountains have become absolutely overrun (Deer Valley, Jackson Hole, to name a few, though even better examples may exist).

    5) It stinks for those concerned for Mom & Pop indies (the heart of skiing) which are being harmed by frenetic consumer consolidation.

    6) It stinks for those with no interest in a Season Pass, as these passes have & are causing significant single day lift ticket inflation
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC



  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by BenedictGomez View Post
    It's amusing how so many people here love their newfound "cheap" skiing so much that they're like corporate spokespeople for these new pass products. LOL Completely unable to see any negatives at all.

    Here are just some:

    1) It stinks for people who like variety to hit many different resorts in a season (not just EPIC or IKONic resorts). That got WAY pricier.

    2) It stinks for people who are serious storm-chasers. That got (or is getting) pricier.

    3) It stinks for beginner skiers (I worked @ ski school for years, lots of completely "wrong" assumptions in this thread being expressed about new skier consumer behaviour).

    4) It stinks for locals whose mountains have become absolutely overrun (Deer Valley, Jackson Hole, to name a few, though even better examples may exist).

    5) It stinks for those concerned for Mom & Pop indies (the heart of skiing) which are being harmed by frenetic consumer consolidation.

    6) It stinks for those with no interest in a Season Pass, as these passes have & are causing significant single day lift ticket inflation

    I agree with this. While I appreciate multi-resort passes, there needs to be a balance. Right now the industry is basically requiring everyone to have a season pass. And these people feel they aren't getting their money's worth unless they ski a certain number of times. So thats why you see more people on the slope at one mountain.

    It's like traffic nowadays. People try to use Waze to outsmart the traffic by taking backroads, but then end up realizing that the backroads are now filled with people that normally wouldn't be there. In other words, the average skier is likely skiing more days.

    I have many friends and colleagues at work that want to ski with me--but the tickets are just so expensive that they either don't have money for it, or they don't think it's worth it. These people used to pull out their skis once every 2 seasons, but now they just have found other hobbies that are less expensive, like rock climbing. You know it's bad when rock climbing is less expensive then skiing

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by crazy View Post
    Just take a look at NELSAP if you're wondering what it looks like when a ski resort has a few bad seasons. The pricing strategies that we are discussing make resorts more resilient to bad weather, which for many (maybe most) resorts is the #1 reason why people decide whether or not to ski. If walk-up rates were cheap enough that passes or advance sales were less necessary, think about what could happen to a place like Magic or Tenney if they had a couple of bad seasons where very few people showed up to buy tickets.

    If you're angry that the walk-up ticket at _____ resort (ex. Sugarbush) is specifically so high, well, that's the point. The resort doesn't want you to buy a walk-up ticket, they want you to pay less money in order to get you to commit to skiing in advance. Presumably, they have done a pricing analysis (perhaps using Liftopia's platform, or if it's a major org like Vail or Alterra they surely have people whose job this is) to determine what the optimal walk-up rate is to maximize business objectives like total revenue, the realization of pass or ticket revenue in advance, and more. If the walk-up rate is too high, or too low, the pricing analysis will be updated and adjusted accordingly. Keep in mind too that prices are determined by supply and demand. The fact that ____ resort (ex. Berkshire East) is $$ doesn't necessarily have a whole lot of bearing on resort _____ (ex. Sugarbush) charging $$$$.

    I don't want to see any more posts along the line of "nobody has given any reason/justification for walk-up prices being so high!" You may not like the reasons/justifications for the way that prices are working now, but these are the business reasons for resorts doing what they are doing. If anything, I think that skiing is going to shift even further towards an earlier-realization-of-revenue model. I don't see a return to the old system.
    Good point up top but we're not talking about Magic and Tenney... they are the pure antithesis of this discussion.

    Also I'm completely not angry about the issue... as BenedictGomez stated well, "it stinks" for some skiers which fit my profile (powder chaser, likes variety, avoids crowds, partial to Indy resorts).

    It is a somewhat interesting discussion though when you have a variety of views and some people also act like their favorite ski resort never had a drop of piss on the toilet seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazy View Post
    I don't want to see any more posts along the line of "nobody has given any reason/justification for walk-up prices being so high!" You may not like the reasons/justifications for the way that prices are working now, but these are the business reasons for resorts doing what they are doing. If anything, I think that skiing is going to shift even further towards an earlier-realization-of-revenue model. I don't see a return to the old system.
    Surely there is a dollar figure / ticket price that you would even say it was completely unjustified?

    This thread can die as far as I care, and we can pick it up again in the Sugarbush thread next year when they're at $149. Just popped in to answer CDskier's questions.


    Paid $22.50 again at Berkshire East today... great conditions practically hero snow, everything skiable except the woods, blasting snow all over the mountain. Next year I'm recalibrating my ski season to devote 1/2 of my days to Berkshire East.

    So they aren't exactly losing $$$ by selling me cheap day passes. By delivering a great product so cheap and so close they've practically stolen my business away from bigger Vermont resorts.
    Last edited by bdfreetuna; Jan 22, 2020 at 1:57 PM.
    2019/2020 season

    Berkshire East [12/20, 1/7, 1/10, 1/22, 1/24]
    Bretton Woods [1/3, 1/30]
    Cannon [2/19]
    Gunstock [1/2]
    Mad River Glen [1/29, 2/11]
    Mount Snow [11/14, 11/21, 12/2]
    Pico [2/23]
    Smugglers Notch [2/12]
    Wachusett [12/16]

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnye View Post
    I agree with this. While I appreciate multi-resort passes, there needs to be a balance. Right now the industry is basically requiring everyone to have a season pass. And these people feel they aren't getting their money's worth unless they ski a certain number of times. So thats why you see more people on the slope at one mountain.

    It's like traffic nowadays. People try to use Waze to outsmart the traffic by taking backroads, but then end up realizing that the backroads are now filled with people that normally wouldn't be there. In other words, the average skier is likely skiing more days.

    I have many friends and colleagues at work that want to ski with me--but the tickets are just so expensive that they either don't have money for it, or they don't think it's worth it. These people used to pull out their skis once every 2 seasons, but now they just have found other hobbies that are less expensive, like rock climbing. You know it's bad when rock climbing is less expensive then skiing
    If you’re top roping or climbing at a gym it’s a much more affordable activity than skiing.

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