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Day ticket rates vs Pass Prices

Killingtime

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Good point up top but we're not talking about Magic and Tenney... they are the pure antithesis of this discussion.

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.

Good to know about BE. Never been there but picked up the Indy Pass this year to check it out. Looking at some time in early Feb.
 

cdskier

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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.

Many businesses give special discounts to their loyal and repeat visitors. This isn't a ski-industry specific thing. You want to incentivize people to visit you more often than your competition. If I go to 15 different wineries and buy 3 bottles of wine at each one, I'm not going to get much of a discount. If I go to 4 wineries and buy a case at each one, I'm suddenly getting a rather substantial discount often times. They'll say "now you're in our case club. You get bigger discounts and free tastings next time you come back. All you have to do is just keep buying at least 12 bottles a year from us to keep your membership active." I can choose to favor those places now and get better discounts. Or I can go for variety and visit other wineries instead and pay more. It is a trade-off. You can't expect a business to cater to people that show up once in a while.

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

I don't feel bad for this scenario. Sorry. If you want to cherry pick where you go on the days with the absolute best conditions, you should pay a premium. Or buy some pre-purchased "valid any day" tickets ahead of time (like Quad packs) to a few different areas to avoid those premiums. Now I'd also be in favor or a far more dynamic pricing scheme that lowers prices on crappy days to counter the premium for high demand days.

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).

This scenario I can agree is a negative if you're right about new skier behavior. But I also question how relevant your experience from 10-15 years ago or whatever it was is. There are ways for beginners to save money (substantial amounts in some cases). The information is out there. Part of me doesn't have a lot of sympathy for people that are too lazy to do any research ahead of time. Do these people also just go into car dealers and willingly pay window sticker prices? At the same time though, I'm also willing to concede that ski resorts don't always do a good enough job promoting and marketing the deals aimed at beginners.

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).

I still think we need a bit more data on this one as there are too many variables at play. But conversely, an empty mountain is also not a benefit to locals as it hurts the local economy. You need to find the right balance.

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

Realistically this should be a great opportunity for the indies to market themselves as good alternatives to the mega resorts at lower prices. With all these "anti-megapass/resort" people they should have a large potential market to target.

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 still wish I had data to compare the actual average price PAID per day ticket over the years. As I said earlier, I suspect years ago the average price paid was far closer to the window rate while now I suspect it is far different with people using more deals to avoid paying window rates. So I don't believe the actual price paid has truly been subject to the level of inflation that the "sticker price" has.


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.

I think some people may fall in that category, but I think there's another side to it as well. In the scenario where you don't have a season pass, every day you ski is a "cost" decision. So let's say 10 years ago when I didn't have a pass my situation would have been "is it worth going skiing tomorrow and paying $40?". Every time I wanted to ski there was an incremental cost. Now with a pass I have no incremental cost. The pass is paid for already. So now the question simply becomes "do I want to ski tomorrow". The cost factor is removed from the equation. So there are actually far more "average" days that I'm willing to ski since there's no incremental cost to do so. Ultimately I am getting more value by doing this, but it isn't a desire to "get as much value as I can" that is driving my decision.

Good point up top but we're not talking about Magic and Tenney... they are the pure antithesis of this discussion.

Magic isn't exactly cheap at $74 window rates. And if you think that is a fair rate, then I would question why you think a place like SB should be only $15 more than that when they have substantially more overhead and infrastructure.

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.

Don't worry...I've certainly had times where I've complained about different things or decisions at SB over the years. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I think they're perfect.

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.

Excellent example in favor of my response to BG's point #5 above. Maybe I have a different perspective than some others here too. When I was younger, the "big VT resorts" were special treats. They were places I only went to 1 or 2 weekends a year. The rest of the time was hitting up the smaller "mom and pop"/"indy" places in the Poconos or Catskills. So I guess to me I just naturally expect the larger VT resorts to be more expensive than those places.

At any rate, I do believe there's a huge opportunity for those indy places if they price themselves appropriately to capture people like yourself that aren't satisfied with what is being offered by some of the larger resorts. An Indy that offers a good product should be able to do quite well in the current situation with mega passes and high day ticket prices at the larger resorts.
 

bdfreetuna

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Magic isn't exactly cheap at $74 window rates. And if you think that is a fair rate, then I would question why you think a place like SB should be only $15 more than that when they have substantially more overhead and infrastructure.

$29 on Thursdays tho (which is essentially the same deal Sugarbush does for Mt Ellen so I can save you some typing on that point ;) )

but Magic would be stupid not to charge $74 when neighboring resorts are well into triple digits (and many people prefer Magic regardless)

There's only so much to be said about this. Maybe I will start a poll..
 

BenedictGomez

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Magic would be stupid not to charge $74 when neighboring resorts are well into triple digits

This is part of what many posters here do not understand regarding the upward pressure causing significant single day lift ticket inflation. It is NOT just at the EPIC & IKON resorts. FYI, Magic took a 7.2% price increase last year.

When Vail & Alterra own all the mountains that surround you & jack the ticket price to eleventy-billion dollars per day, there is no longer any competitive reason for you to not significantly raise your ticket prices as well, just not to the level of theirs. For those of us who pay attention, we already notice this has been happening in the EPIC & IKONic era.
 

deadheadskier

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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
Aren't about as conservative of a capitalist as they come? Or is that only true when businesses cater to your particular preferences?

I definitely don't agree with your position regarding beginners. I think any one who goes to learn to ski at a major resort paying $139 for a lift ticket and then lessons on top of that is an idiot. There are plenty of CHEAP feeder hills to learn at. Would a beginning golfer go to Pebble Beach to learn and pay $595 for a round of golf? I frequently take my son to McIntyre out of convenience. It's 35 minutes door to door and costs me $35 for a ticket from 9AM to 2PM. That's window rate by the way. He skis free. That experience is just as fun for him as taking him to a bigger mountain. It's better for me as I don't have to take a long ass drive to get him on snow and risk the occasional meltdown when he wants to call it a day after two hours.

Honestly at this point, more than others being corporate spokespeople for their preferred resorts, it's people like you and Tuna who look like a bunch of whiners, but try and mask it with some altruistic spin that you're arguments are really for the betterment of the industry.

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KustyTheKlown

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i tried to post a slow clap gif but gifs are too large for the image attachment. so, ::slow clap::

its never been less expensive for an avid skier to get a full season of awesome variety.

meanwhile, vail's skier visit numbers are down, and vermont resorts large and small just had a historically successful holiday weekend

no sympathy for people who are too dumb or lazy to not realize there are other options beyond window rate.
 

bdfreetuna

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So we have the "whiners" on one hand, and on the other hand we have a competition over who has the least sympathy for "idiots"

Just double checked because I thought I remembered you were the one who started this thread (??)

I don't pretend to be altruistic. I've stated rather plainly that I'm a cheapskate.
 

abc

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I don't have a lot of data point of how much it cost to learn to ski "back then". I learned as part of school program.

What I can say is what I see these days as beginner deals. Many mountains offer all-in packages that includes lift/rental/lesson for say the first three days. Some (Pico used to) offer cheap season pass if you've done their learn-to-ski package.

Basically, I'm not sure if it's all bad for learners. For unprepared learner, yes, paying for individual day tickets, add rental and then add lessons? Yeah, that's expensive! Especially if doing so in "mega-resorts". But millennials, for example, are particularly good at fishing out deals online. My former co-worker, who's an occasional skier, managed to find lots of deals I didn't know about!
 

deadheadskier

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So we have the "whiners" on one hand, and on the other hand we have a competition over who has the least sympathy for "idiots"

Just double checked because I thought I remembered you were the one who started this thread (??)

I don't pretend to be altruistic. I've stated rather plainly that I'm a cheapskate.
started the thread out of a request for an independent thread on the topic vs derailment of others.

Personally, I care very little on the subject. I've been a pass holder and a free agent over the years. I support the large corporations and also the small indy's where I pay full walk up rate when I go to places like Black, Lonesome Pine, Big Rock etc. I don't think it's difficult to find affordable skiing. I also never complained about Stowes high window rate when it's my former home and one of my favorite places to ski. I just didn't pay it and took my business elsewhere.

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jimk

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Sorry, didn't read whole thread. A question came to mind, what does the rise of mega-passes and extreme reciprocity passes (e.g., buy a season pass to Monarch and get 3 free days each at 30-40 other ski areas) do for the sales of single area passes? What does it do for real estate and home sales around individual resorts? Is owning a 2nd home at and being dedicated primarily to a single area becoming passé? Or is there room in the well to do skier's budget to ski ten weekends at their home mtn and also go on a one week ski trip using a megapass or reciprocal pass to cover both options?
 

Scruffy

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This is part of what many posters here do not understand regarding the upward pressure causing significant single day lift ticket inflation. It is NOT just at the EPIC & IKON resorts. FYI, Magic took a 7.2% price increase last year.

When Vail & Alterra own all the mountains that surround you & jack the ticket price to eleventy-billion dollars per day, there is no longer any competitive reason for you to not significantly raise your ticket prices as well, just not to the level of theirs. For those of us who pay attention, we already notice this has been happening in the EPIC & IKONic era.

To pay for new infrastructure; a couple of new lifts and snow making. Magic been in and out of business so many times these past few decades, it's about time someone with some business sense ran the place. That increase hopefully will keep them alive.

The indies understand the mega pass model and know full well that the exorbitant window rates at the megas are to drive people to the mega passes, they can't compete with that and would be silly to do so. Skiing has always been expensive and it has always increased year over year. Killington is $125 and they are not owned by Altera or Vail. I realize IKON is good there for 5 or 7 days, but that has nothing to do with Killington's window ticket prices, they have their own passe price structure and season passes, and even though POWDR owns other mountains, your Killignton season pass is not good at those other areas, so they're not playing the same game as Altera or Vail--right now anyway.
 

BenedictGomez

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Aren't about as conservative of a capitalist as they come? Or is that only true when businesses cater to your particular preferences?

Huh? What does this discussion have to do with Capitalism? Not to mention, ironic to your comments, I believe I am the only one here who has laid out a fairly in-depth thesis for why I believe Rob Katz & Vail will eventually fail with this business model.

I definitely don't agree with your position regarding beginners. I think any one who goes to learn to ski at a major resort paying $139 for a lift ticket and then lessons on top of that is an idiot. There are plenty of CHEAP feeder hills to learn at. Would a beginning golfer go to Pebble Beach to learn and pay $595 for a round of golf? I frequently take my son to McIntyre out of convenience. It's 35 minutes door to door and costs me $35 for a ticket from 9AM to 2PM. That's window rate by the way. He skis free. That experience is just as fun for him as taking him to a bigger mountain. It's better for me as I don't have to take a long ass drive to get him on snow and risk the occasional meltdown when he wants to call it a day after two hours.

Well that would be a combination of you being wrong, combined with you conflating the issue of children beginners with adult beginners. Nobody (at least not me, and from what I can tell nobody else on AZ) is commenting on the concern of children's programs, which have nothing to do with single day ticket prices. In terms of your "wrong" part, you have no clue just how many adults show up to a ski resort & buy a lift ticket & ski rental. Thousands. Hoards. Every week. Yes, at "big" places too, not just at Cochran. And I'm surprised that you have not heard of this concern, because it's not like I'm on an island with this belief, as people in the industry have commented & written about this fear as well. I believe it will not insignificantly impair the adult learner segment, which if we're correct should show up in the numbers eventually.

Honestly at this point, more than others being corporate spokespeople for their preferred resorts, it's people like you and Tuna who look like a bunch of whiners, but try and mask it with some altruistic spin that you're arguments are really for the betterment of the industry.

I don't think caring about the ski industry, Mom & Pop hills, and/or genuinely disliking the direction the industry is precipitously going based on my personal prognostication is "whining" in the least. If that's the case,there's a lot more "whiners" than just Tuna & I regarding all the various issues EPIC & IKON are causing. Perhaps branch out beyond AZ.
 

deadheadskier

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Get a grip BG

We get it. The mega pass model doesn't work for you.

But, I'm sure you are infinitely smarter than Katz regarding ski area management. Hell your business prowess is so we'll advertised, I'm kinda shocked you don't own your own ski area by now.

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KustyTheKlown

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on the subject of adult beginners, a few years ago my ex paid sugarbush something like $170. that got her three days of rentals, lessons, and progressive lift tix (carpet>lower mountain>full). when she finished her lessons, she presented a form signed by her instructors and was handed a free sugarbush season pass for the rest of the season. i've heard of other mountains doing similar deals but rewarding the newbie with a set of skis and boots and poles after they take the lessons. i am not sure if this is still a thing at sugarbush, but as recently as ~3 seasons ago, this sort of program was available and brought the entry costs down massively. i would suspect other places do similar things, especially in january learn to ski month.

the adults who show up and pay full freight are dummies. if they took a little bit of time to research, at the minimum they can find single day bundled lift/lesson/rental deals on liftopia.
 

BenedictGomez

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What does it do for real estate and home sales around individual resorts? Is owning a 2nd home at and being dedicated primarily to a single area becoming passé?

That's a fascinating point, I hadn't thought of that. On the margins, I imagine it will make owning a dedicated ski home or condo less attractive from a demand perspective. Yes, there will still be people who want that base, but that number of people will surely be smaller going forward. How could it not if you can ski for "free" driving distance to numerous places. I'd have a difficult time arguing otherwise.

.
Killington is $125 and they are not owned by Altera or Vail.

Yes, all 7 days, thank you, that's 100% consistent with one of the points I'm making. They were $95 last year except on weekend. A 32% price increase in one year.
 

BenedictGomez

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But, I'm sure you are infinitely smarter than Katz regarding ski area management. Hell your business prowess is so we'll advertised, I'm kinda shocked you don't own your own ski area by now.

Seven years from now when Vail fails, the stock takes a dive, & Rob Katz is gone I'll say I told you so.

Sort of like when I told you Jay Peak's financials & EB-5 use were likely an illegal scam several years ahead of the authorities catching-on, and you had some similar sarcastic words for me.
 

bdfreetuna

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^^
Yup I used to ski Killington more than anywhere. They basically lost me as a customer, even though I use discount cards, it's still a 32% increase over what I was paying before. And their online advance discounts are suddenly weak as well. No more 2-for-1 email blasts, etc.

Mount Snow at least I was getting tickets around $40-$50 a day or two in advance earlier in the season. So I went there 3 times instead of Killington 3 times.
 

deadheadskier

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Seven years from now when Vail fails, the stock takes a dive, & Rob Katz is gone I'll say I told you so.

Sort of like when I told you Jay Peak's financials & EB-5 use were likely an illegal scam several years ahead of the authorities catching-on, and you had some similar sarcastic words for me.
Seven years?

Why not five? or nine? Be specific. You have to know right?


And yes, if Vail does fail, Lord knows you will take a serious victory lap, drink Milk and flaunt your Hood sponsorship

Ain't know one who loves to say, "I told you so! I was right!" quite like you do BG. But, if that's what your fragile ego needs, go for it. It makes for solid entertainment.

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Edd

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Seven years?

Why not five? or nine? Be specific. You have to know right?


And yes, if Vail does fail, Lord knows you will take a serious victory lap, drink Milk and flaunt your Hood sponsorship

Ain't know one who loves to say, "I told you so! I was right!" quite like you do BG. But, if that's what your fragile ego needs, go for it. It makes for solid entertainment.

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Lol, indeed. BG is a Very Good Predictor of things and will inform you that he did predict correctly. Everyone got that?
 
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