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Day ticket rates vs Pass Prices

Greg

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

Sundown still does a bump event every year. Not quite the same regional draw as the bigger comps of the past, but a fun local event. It's just about the only time I go there these days. :lol:

(Yes, I just snuck in a Sundown Moguls comment in this thread!) ;)
 

bdfreetuna

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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.

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.

Yeah that's good. I think I get 40% off Sugarbush on Ride and Ski card too, so it'd "do-able". But still kind of priced out. Killington is priced out too, 50% ain't what it used to be up there. And the online sales are very little incentive as you've also noticed. I used to do 4-5 days a season at Killington. So far zero. Plans for zero or maybe 1 late season.

To be completely transparent, I could probably count on 1 hand the number of times I've paid a window rate in my life.

I don't either, but it's often at the expense of my first choice and settling for a second choice for the day. So that's a lost sale.

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. ... 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.

Good points. However if such small % pays window rate, I think it's more a marketing decision than out of financial necessity. Therefore places like Sugarbush and Stowe are marketing themselves as elite ski resorts (even if people pay less). I'm not sure that's an image I'm attracted to either. But I am glad it makes room for Independent "feeder hills" to carve out a piece of the pie.

Also on the new skier thing, I probably said this before but I married a Puerto Rican and got to know some folks in that bunch who started skiing. And I did tell them about deals and take friends to the Boston Ski Show and things like that. But others I know are rolling up to Mt Snow paying full price or close to it. It takes a while to get into the groove of this. But at the same time maybe I should shut my mouth because the feeder hills are benefiting!
 

Greg

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

Not really. Take the SB thread. 868k page views for an almost 15 year old thread is not that much
 

cdskier

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Yeah that's good. I think I get 40% off Sugarbush on Ride and Ski card too, so it'd "do-able". But still kind of priced out. Killington is priced out too, 50% ain't what it used to be up there. And the online sales are very little incentive as you've also noticed. I used to do 4-5 days a season at Killington. So far zero. Plans for zero or maybe 1 late season.

You were the one that set the bar at $89 as being fair for SB. I was just pointing out how they beat your bar! :lol: (I do think that was a decent price to expect to actually pay though)

I don't either, but it's often at the expense of my first choice and settling for a second choice for the day. So that's a lost sale.

That's a little different than me. I pretty much chose where I wanted to ski and looked for the cheapest way to make it happen at that resort.

I really kind of wish I kept track of how much I spent on day tickets 10-15 years ago. I have a suspicion I spent more overall back then than I do today on a season pass. I also ski far more days now (another benefit of a pass as in my view it "encourages" you to ski more since there's no incremental cost each time you go).

Good points. However if such small % pays window rate, I think it's more a marketing decision than out of financial necessity. Therefore places like Sugarbush and Stowe are marketing themselves as elite ski resorts (even if people pay less). I'm not sure that's an image I'm attracted to either. But I am glad it makes room for Independent "feeder hills" to carve out a piece of the pie.

Yes and no. It also does sort of "push" more people into buying season passes. So from a financial perspective the resort gets a more reliable and steady revenue stream. They also get a significant infusion of money in their bank account before the season starts which gives them a decent amount of money to put into the capital improvements everyone constantly demands.
 

bdfreetuna

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It's been > 100,000/yr in recent years (SB thread, several of the others in the hundreds of thousands are only a few years old). Take my YouTube channel where I dress up in a Kimono and sing Steve Winwood ukelele covers, I've been doing this for 8 years and still only 40 subscribers. So to me AlpineZone is pretty high impact.


I really kind of wish I kept track of how much I spent on day tickets 10-15 years ago. I have a suspicion I spent more overall back then than I do today on a season pass. I also ski far more days now (another benefit of a pass as in my view it "encourages" you to ski more since there's no incremental cost each time you go).

I was thinking of doing a Berkshire East seasons pass but for $449 vs $22.50/day I think I'll survive without committing.
 

Greg

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Take my YouTube channel where I dress up in a Kimono and sing Steve Winwood ukelele covers, I've been doing this for 8 years and still only 40 subscribers. So to me AlpineZone is pretty high impact.

:lol: Link please!
 

bdfreetuna

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:lol: Link please!

You wish! I get enough of you pervs who don't appreciate Geisha culture and recognize "Arc of the Diver" as the greatest album ever! Anyway YouTube keeps giving me warnings.. find me at Bitchute *paid subscriptions will have exclusive/uncensored material*
 

cdskier

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I was thinking of doing a Berkshire East seasons pass but for $449 vs $22.50/day I think I'll survive without committing.

See...at that day ticket price point a season pass doesn't make sense.

FWIW, my Sugarbush pass was $579. Really hard to complain about that price at a resort the size of Sugarbush.
 

bdfreetuna

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See...at that day ticket price point a season pass doesn't make sense.

FWIW, my Sugarbush pass was $579. Really hard to complain about that price at a resort the size of Sugarbush.

I don't know if that's the regular price or whatnot, but if Sugarbush was nearby I'd take that deal.

I'm fine with variety. The thing that bugs me is resorts I've been skiing for 30+ years, suddenly I'm getting priced out and realizing they don't really want my business anymore (because according to their business model I'm not "loyal", even though I might go there a couple times each year regularly otherwise).
 

deadheadskier

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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.

Yeah, put me in that camp. Zero sympathy. It's almost to the point where paying rack rate for skiing is akin to buying a suit for full price at Men's Warehouse. There's plenty of easily available data to make informed economic decisions about virtually anything today.

We have such a huge variety of skiing experiences at different price points in the Northeast, it's not too difficult to figure out something that works for you economically assuming moderate incomes. That's true whether you are a season pass skier or want to play the field with day trips. That's also still true with Epic/Icon controlling the market share they do now here.







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cdskier

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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.
 

crazy

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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.
 

deadheadskier

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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?

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Orca

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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.
 

Orca

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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.
 

machski

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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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BenedictGomez

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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
 

gregnye

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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
 

bdfreetuna

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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.

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.
 
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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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