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Day ticket rates vs Pass Prices

drjeff

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Ultimately it gets down to do you feel happy with what the pass options give you resort wise, since the price point is very good verses do you like to jump around, at which point the trend in day ticket prices at many locations isn't as attractive over a decent number of days during a season...

Is one "better" than the other? Probably going to be as much of a factor of personal situation and feeling than anything else

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ScottySkis

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Thanks DHS AZ definitely need this thread
I in tough spot with pass make life much better because I don't have to buy lift ticket
But it means this winter majority of my ski days are going to be at BellFlat Gore and hope Whiteface because of pass I not working currently. so huge help
I definitely miss not having to ski in Roxbury NY where 1 of best Indy hills is
I sure I ski few other hills
I like �� variety of different hills
Maybe next season I get NY gold ski pass
 

Harvey

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Seems like you are doing OK this season Scotty.

I continue to ski on my season's passes. But lately it seems that everyone you ski with is redeeming something at the ticket window. My buddy and I got to Gore yesterday, way ahead of the now famous traffic jam and were ready to go well before the lifts were to spin. We were first in line at the ticket window, to redeem his ticket and waited 40 minutes. We snagged maybe the 10th gondola.

The pass redeeming, or day ticket purchase, kill it, for a first chair addict like me. Love me my season's pass.

FWIW Gore was banging, over 7000 in the house. Lines were not hard to avoid. Even at the bottom the moved quick.
 

cdskier

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I can see both sides, but I still think the day ticket window rate complaint is overblown as there are so many alternatives. Everyone always focuses on that, but people ignore the fact that pass prices have actually come DOWN in price in many cases. The "I have my pass so screw the casual skier" view I also feel is wrong. I don't think people like me are saying that at all. We're saying you need to be smart. Even back when I was a "casual" skier at the big resorts, I still looked around for deals and didn't just make a last minute decision the day of (and if I did, I realized I would have to pay a premium for that choice). Today planning in advance even just a few days can result in significant savings off the window rate. I have a bit of a hard time agreeing with people that seem to think they should be able to just show up on one powder day a year and get a cheap ticket.

Here's my questions for people that don't like the high day ticket rates:
1) Why shouldn't people that are loyal to a resort be rewarded more?
2) What would be a reasonable day ticket window rate? (I know people love to complain about anything over $100, but a place like Camelback in the Poconos is $78 for an adult weekend/holiday window ticket. Even Mountain Creek in NJ is $80 every day)
3) How do you rate the value of a day skiing vs other expensive entertainment options (NFL games, concerts with major mainstream artists, etc)?
4) Is the skiing day ticket pricing model really any different from other industries that also charge more if you don't plan in advance?
 

Scruffy

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I The "I have my pass so screw the casual skier" view I also feel is wrong. I don't think people like me are saying that at all.

Right, and from Orca's post in the SB thread: "Or we could title the thread "F*ck the casual skier, I've got mine", which is the prevalent attitude here."

WTF is that? Look, if I could do anything about it, I might, but I can't, I didn't get a vote when Altera or Vail made the current rules, anymore than I got a vote in the current Airline scheme of pricing. The only thing I can do is look at the reality of what is happening and make a decision on what is the most beneficial for my circumstances. As I said in the SB thread, if you don't like the current window rate and can't plan in advance, vote with your $$s and go ski one of the small indie mountains, and tell them that you're happy that they are still in business and one of the anti-mega-pass mountains. That's about all anyone can do except not ski where you pay for lifts.
 

JimG.

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I'll stick with my season passes, Killington and NYS 3 in 1.

The mega pass thing is going to crash under it's own weight. I would be very pissed if I owned property at an area that has been over run by crowds. I'm lucky I have held off on anything like that. I am very sorry for the walk up skier who has to pay these higher window rates but honestly part of the price does reflect a legitimate increase in costs. My real concern is for the ski areas that will be out of business when the shakeout comes.
 

BenedictGomez

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The mega pass thing is going to crash under it's own weight.

That will happen a few years after Rob Katz decides he, "needs to move on to a new challenge" or "a different chapter" in his life or decides to get into politics, or etc.

In my experience, these CEOs in transformative, but ultimately unsustainable efforts nearly always flee via such excuse before the train jumps off the rails, a point that they are privileged to foresee via insider knowledge, thereby maintaining plausible deniability & escaping blame, pinning-it rather upon their successor. This destruction, however, will occur long after Katz is able to sell his remaining equity interest in Vail on the open market after his no-longer-an-employee lock-up period expires.

This is all a ways off though, there's still plenty of juice to squeeze in this lemon, and the frog hasnt even started to slowly boil yet via annual EPIC pass price increases (which are coming).
 
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Scruffy

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That will happen a few years after Rob Katz decides he, "needs to move on to a new challenge" or "a different chapter" in his life or decides to get into politics, or etc.

In my experience, these CEOs in transformative, but ultimately unsustainable efforts nearly always flee via such excuse before the train jumps off the rails, a point that they are privileged to foresee via insider knowledge, thereby maintaining plausible deniability & escaping blame, pinning-it rather upon their successor. This destruction, however, will occur long after Katz is able to sell his remaining equity interest in Vail on the open market after his no-longer-an-employee lock-up period expires.

This is all a ways off though, there's still plenty of juice to squeeze in this lemon, and the frog hasnt even started to slowly boil yet via annual EPIC pass price increases (which are coming).

You are likely correct, and I know we'll see mega pass price increases, the hook has been set. I hope this is a boon for the indie mountains. My prediction for the consumer side, once the prices for the mega passes get's outta control and sales numbers start dropping there will likely be some adjustments in price, and other opportunities surfacing--maybe a return of the resort only pass or something along those lines, but who knows. Mountains gotta fill seats on chairs one way or the other.
 

bdfreetuna

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I can see both sides, but I still think the day ticket window rate complaint is overblown as there are so many alternatives. Everyone always focuses on that, but people ignore the fact that pass prices have actually come DOWN in price in many cases. The "I have my pass so screw the casual skier" view I also feel is wrong. I don't think people like me are saying that at all. We're saying you need to be smart. Even back when I was a "casual" skier at the big resorts, I still looked around for deals and didn't just make a last minute decision the day of (and if I did, I realized I would have to pay a premium for that choice). Today planning in advance even just a few days can result in significant savings off the window rate. I have a bit of a hard time agreeing with people that seem to think they should be able to just show up on one powder day a year and get a cheap ticket.

I agree with this generally because I'm not arguing for "cheap". I'm arguing against highway robbery prices. What percentage of skier visits does a mountain such as Stowe or Sugarbush or Killington get from last minute window walk ups? I'm curious about this demographic. For a little while this was me because I re-entered the sport after a 10-year hiatus in the late 2000's. I figured out how to get deals quickly enough, but I'm a resourceful person in that regard anyway. I think mainly this demographic represents new skiers and/or people new to the area.

Here's my questions for people that don't like the high day ticket rates:
1) Why shouldn't people that are loyal to a resort be rewarded more?

no argument, I'm arguing against penalizing those who don't and even first timers (even as a good business practice)

2) What would be a reasonable day ticket window rate? (I know people love to complain about anything over $100, but a place like Camelback in the Poconos is $78 for an adult weekend/holiday window ticket. Even Mountain Creek in NJ is $80 every day)

Berkshire East is $45 tomorrow and I'm getting 50% off so $22.50. So I guess that's where I start and we can work our way up if there's added value to the equation.

But really Sugarbush $89 weekdays, same with Stowe/Killington and whoever else is doing triple digits+. Weekends I don't ski so if they want to jack people on rates do it then I guess. I think it's a fair system along with having tiered/advance pricing. Sugarbush is good that if you pay for Mount Ellen you don't have to pay for Sugarbush South. It should also be vice versa. I've never skied both mountains in a day so it never benefited me to pay for both.

3) How do you rate the value of a day skiing vs other expensive entertainment options (NFL games, concerts with major mainstream artists, etc)?

Can't give you an objective opinion, skiing is the best. But I'm a cheapskate on a lot of things and mainly in the entertainment arena. Summer activity to replace skiing is hiking and some mountain biking. I'm riding the same Specialized Enduro from 2007... my thing is usually get the high end stuff a few years later on the cheap. I tend to gravitate toward the $6.50 16oz 4 packs of Goose Island IPA. Not sure if this answers your question.

4) Is the skiing day ticket pricing model really any different from other industries that also charge more if you don't plan in advance?

Kind of, because tiered/advance pricing was originally positioned as a discount mechanism, whereas it's become very quickly an excuse to raise window/ticket prices in order to claim something silly like "Saturday March 7 -- $118 -- 25% off! -- ONLY 4 TICKETS LEFT AT THIS PRICE"
 
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chuckstah

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I happened to walk past a ticket window at Mt Snow today. I had to look, it was $118, on a Tuesday, about 70 percent open, with equipment damaging thin cover on lots of natural terrain. They claim 83 percent snow making. Crazy. I should have asked if they sold any tickets. Doubt it.

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Greg

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I tend to gravitate toward the $6.50 16oz 4 packs of Goose Island IPA. Not sure if this answers your question.

I think we have our answer! :lol: ;) Kidding...not looking to argue. Different people measure value in different ways it seems.

I still contend, it is what it is. The industry as a whole is shifting with its pricing model/strategy and there is little we can do about it. I was excited about my Ikon pass purchase this summer and have been enjoying the flexibility and convenience of it. Not until I came back to AZ this season did I feel like a second class citizen for buying one.:dontknow:

As far as day tickets, I buy in advance. Generally I have to plan ski days a few days in advance anyway so I never concern myself with the window rate. If I don't feel I'll get value out of a $70, $80, or $90 ticket, I'll simply look elsewhere.
 

bdfreetuna

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The industry as a whole is shifting with its pricing model/strategy and there is little we can do about it. I was excited about my Ikon pass purchase this summer and have been enjoying the flexibility and convenience of it. Not until I came back to AZ this season did I feel like a second class citizen for buying one.:dontknow:

Well when I see numbers like a half million people reading some of these threads here, it's not super low traffic. Does leaving TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews affect business practices? If we have threads where the owner of a major high-ticket ski area is deciding to participate, can you really say it's on deaf ears?

For one I don't care what other people buy, how they ski, where they ski, and so forth. I have self-interests in this sport (and this is probably one of the most selfish sports thus validating the high price) but I think I'm not a one-off either.
 

Greg

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Recent anecdote that is appropriate here. My 17 year old daughter wanted to ski yesterday with her friends. Over the weekend, they collectively made the decision to night ski locally last night after looking into lift ticket prices at various places. If a group of highschoolers can figure it out on their own, I have little sympathy for grown ass adults being shocked by day-of window rates...

They had fun.
 

Scruffy

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Recent anecdote that is appropriate here. My 17 year old daughter wanted to ski yesterday with her friends. Over the weekend, they collectively made the decision to night ski locally last night after looking into lift ticket prices at various places. If a group of highschoolers can figure it out on their own, I have little sympathy for grown ass adults being shocked by day-of window rates...

They had fun.

Yup! +1
 

Greg

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Well when I see numbers like a half million people reading some of these threads here, it's not super low traffic. Does leaving TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews affect business practices? If we have threads where the owner of a major high-ticket ski area is deciding to participate, can you really say it's on deaf ears?

Uhm...well, I did have some pretty detailed insight into what this site's reach was at its peak and I can tell you even then that we probably wouldn't have had much of an impact with influencing any industry pricing models based on what's posted here. AZ has had some influence on the operations side at times, but probably not much beyond that.
 

bdfreetuna

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Uhm...well, I did have some pretty detailed insight into what this site's reach was at its peak and I can tell you even then that we probably wouldn't have had much of an impact with influencing any industry pricing models based on what's posted here. AZ has had some influence on the operations side at times, but probably not much beyond that.

I was just referring to raw page hits unless vBulletin gives fake numbers it's relatively impressive.

This season I'm rolling on:

Ride and Ski NE Card (mostly for 50% off at Berkshire East - $22.50 week days)
3 pack of Cannon tickets for $49/day
MyChamplainValley/Fox44 Ski Card x2 ("sharing" with my wife who isn't skiing very much)
4 pack of Ski Vermont Passes
Warren Miller movie promos (early/late season Sugarbush and Smuggs passes primarily)

You're preaching to the choir and I don't really have a bug up the arse over it. I just find $129/$139 excessive and prohibitive to a lot of people. We've outpaced inflation and this is mainly a Vermont probably IMO.
 

JimG.

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Uhm...well, I did have some pretty detailed insight into what this site's reach was at its peak and I can tell you even then that we probably wouldn't have had much of an impact with influencing any industry pricing models based on what's posted here. AZ has had some influence on the operations side at times, but probably not much beyond that.

But word is that Belleayre is allowing some bumps to form so there is that anyway.
 

cdskier

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Berkshire East is $45 tomorrow and I'm getting 50% off so $22.50. So I guess that's where I start and we can work our way up if there's added value to the equation.

But really Sugarbush $89 weekdays, same with Stowe/Killington and whoever else is doing triple digits+. Weekends I don't ski so if they want to jack people on rates do it then I guess. I think it's a fair system along with having tiered/advance pricing. Sugarbush is good that if you pay for Mount Ellen you don't have to pay for Sugarbush South. It should also be vice versa. I've never skied both mountains in a day so it never benefited me to pay for both.

Ok. Well you can easily get tickets even lower than those prices at Sugarbush with planning even just a mere 2 days in advance (this Thursday is $77 online and even Friday is $84). Plan a little bit further in advance and any mid-week day next week you can get anywhere between $71 and $77. I think those prices are pretty reasonable. If you want a single ticket that you can use anytime even last minute, grab an $88 voucher from REI (need to be an REI member, but that is a $20 one time fee for a lifetime membership). And of course if you plan to go 4 days, you grab a Quad pack in the fall and pay even less per ticket than any of the numbers I mentioned above.

Killington doesn't appear to ever be quite that cheap online no matter how far in advance you purchase. Next Tuesday/Wednesday right now online is $95 for K. Every remaining day this week is over $100 online for them.

To be completely transparent, I could probably count on 1 hand the number of times I've paid a window rate in my life. Even when window rates were relatively low, I was still utilizing deals.

I know window rates are easy to use for comparison over time, but they really don't tell the full picture at all. A far more interesting number (that almost none of us have access to or would be able to see) would be a comparison of the average day ticket price PAID over time. I know Win has mentioned in the SB thread that very few people today pay window rates. I wouldn't be surprised if years ago that wasn't the case as people had less incentive to look for deals. So years ago the average "paid" price was probably far closer to the window rate and today it is far lower than the window rate due to a much higher percentage of people using deals of some sort today vs 10-15 years ago. And today the information on what is available as far as discounts should be so much easier to find as well thanks to the Internet. I really have a hard time believing that even first timers do no research before showing up at a mountain. It is sort of like buying a car. No one pays the sticker price on a car. You do research and know what you should be able to talk the dealer down to that would be considered fair. I'd also argue that for first time skiers, chances are they aren't randomly deciding to try the sport completely on their own. SOMEONE (be it a friend or family member) is encouraging them to try it. At the very least that person should be aware of the various deals and tell the new skier about them.
 
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