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Ticket Rates 11-12, New England

billski

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+ 4

Also, while not as high as $100, I think you're going to see Jay Peak aggressively increase prices over the next 5 or 6 years to pay for their obviously increased labor and other costs.

JP 6 year total rate change: +29%.
Rate change 10/11 to 11/12 +9%.

The tsunami is incoming.

JP markets more towards the Montreal money, which is two hours away. Talked to someone from the club who was at JP last year. She said the water park is as good as they get, with some big vertical drops.
 

BenedictGomez

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I can see that, on account of the EB5 growth

Yup, that went into my thinking as well.

JP 6 year total rate change: +29%.
Rate change 10/11 to 11/12 +9%.

The tsunami is incoming.

JP markets more towards the Montreal money, which is two hours away. Talked to someone from the club who was at JP last year. She said the water park is as good as they get, with some big vertical drops.

I'm sure it's all awesome, and FWIW, I like Jay a whole lot. But at the end of the day, you need to get paying customers to your business to profit, and I have a very difficult time believing whatever internal growth data they're looking at to justify all this massive expansion.
 

Smellytele

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I never pay the going rate when I go by myself. When I go with the family I tend to average out below the price of a kid ticket. Example today at Cannon 4 of us (no wife) $66 total. At Killington 3 of us 70.
 

thetrailboss

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Season Passes are the way to go if you can commit to one place. Unlike vouchers or discount tix, you still go, even when others might not. It also gets you skiing more and a lot of places treat their passholders well. Still, I get the whole wanting to explore thing. But again, if the season starts out rough, like say this one, I'd rather be skiing than sitting on the sidelines waiting for something that may or may not come. FWIW I consistently manage to get my pass down to $15-20 per day at least, including weekends, holidays, etc. No coupons are going to come close to that.

Jay Peak: I can only say that it has consistently grown and they have a following. Montreal is practically next door. Folks drive every weekend from Boston for it. Their attitude is "if we build it, they will come." Besides that, the best deal there, again, are passes. IIRC they were $599 or so. When that rate goes up a lot folks will notice. Plus they do a ton of deals with lodging and significantly "discount" their offerings. How many folks do the Vermonter Deal or the "Other Passholder" Deal? Lots. So the retail price means little IMHO.

Burke: same thing. They offer some good discounts that are easy to find. If they had amped up the snowmaking this year than I could see them justifying the $70. But to have a HSQ that flies you to one partially covered trail on a holiday is not worth $70. I believe they regraded Dipper this year so that it can open a lot faster. The Upper part was litterally a boulder/talus slope that needed a ton of snowmaking to cover. They are getting there. I will never forget how in 2005 they spent all this money on the lodge and the Sherburne HSQ to have people ski on grass and mud off that lift over Christmas (and ride up over a grassy Binney Lane). It looked like hell and made them look like they did not know what they were doing. So hopefully next season they add more capacity and more coverage. But again, their passes come in at under $600, so until it changes the day rate doesn't mean much to me.

If anything they use that rate as a way to try to project an image. It is no secret that SB sees itself as second to Stowe, so they believe that they should be second in price. Killington, apparently, sees itself in the same light, but I really have to :-? at that since all I hear are :argue: about Killington and they have done some work, but nothing as ground shattering as at Sugarbush and Stowe.
 

billski

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FWIW I consistently manage to get my pass down to $15-20 per day at least, including weekends, holidays, etc. No coupons are going to come close to that.

I agree with thetra that passes make the best use of your capital. I pay more for coupon-served tix because I want flexibility. For unlimited flexibility, just show up and pay window rate.
 

thetrailboss

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I agree with thetra that passes make the best use of your capital. I pay more for coupon-served tix because I want flexibility. For unlimited flexibility, just show up and pay window rate.

Yeah, I know it is your MO. And honestly you're in a place where the close skiing options are decent, but not like places up north, so you can play the conditions and the market to get what you want. A pass to Nashoba is just not the same as a pass to Cannon.

FWIW I did the discount/no pass thing in 2003-2004 when I was in Boston and hated it. It's fun to find deals and bargain shop, but very time consuming and I hated being told when and where to ski. It was fun to explore places...I ended up at Pats Peak and loved it so much that we got passes and ended up skiing there on them in March 2004 that month (promo) and in 2004-2005. But yeah, I thought twice about skiing and shelling out $$$ when conditions were blah. With a pass I ski more often and in conditions, good and bad.

We thought about doing the no-pass thing here in SLC and I was really hesitant. There are great deals here for locals, and I explored some places over the summer, but we settled on Snowbird and I love it. The place is huge and has a long season. It has the highest elevation in Utah and awesome snow and variety. For me though I feel connected to the community/ski area. I like that.
 
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steamboat1

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It is no secret that SB sees itself as second to Stowe, so they believe that they should be second in price. Killington, apparently, sees itself in the same light, but I really have to :-? at that since all I hear are :argue: about Killington and they have done some work, but nothing as ground shattering as at Sugarbush and Stowe.
I'll give you Stowe but the hotel ASC built at Killington makes the hotel Sugarbush built look like a warming hut. The new base lodge at Sugarbush is nothing to write home about either.
 

Smellytele

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Yeah, I know it is your MO. And honestly you're in a place where the close skiing options are decent, but not like places up north, so you can play the conditions and the market to get what you want. A pass to Nashoba is just not the same as a pass to Cannon.

FWIW I did the discount/no pass thing in 2003-2004 when I was in Boston and hated it. It's fun to find deals and bargain shop, but very time consuming and I hated being told when and where to ski. It was fun to explore places...I ended up at Pats Peak and loved it so much that we got passes and ended up skiing there on them in March 2004 that month (promo) and in 2004-2005. But yeah, I thought twice about skiing and shelling out $$$ when conditions were blah. With a pass I ski more often and in conditions, good and bad.

I do the season pass thing at my local hill - Pats. Well I get mine for free so that helps and then I do the discount pass thing to other place. I used to have season passes at Cannon before kids and did the discount thing then to other places but not as much as now.
 

abc

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increases over and above inflation can be accounted for by features that almost all skiers want: snow making and grooming.
I think THAT is the problem!

I for one, don't care for super-smooth surfaces!

A few well groomed trails for those who wants it, or those who wants it SOME of the times, is fine. But grooming half of the mountain flat isn't my idea of a "good" mountain! For one thing, it encourages high speed, even for those without the skill!

Snow-making helps to extend the season. So although I don't benefit from it much (I have other things keeping me away from the mountain before New Year), I can see a direct correlation of money spend on snow making to money coming in as lift tickets.

I agree many skiers like groomers. But definitely not "all" as you think. And not "all the time" even by those who prefer it. I don't see the correlation of money spend on grooming vs increase skier visit. I think most of the high price mountains over-groom, and is just money wasted.

Anyway, it's interesting to be reminded the full window price. I haven't paid full window price for so long I totally forgot they now cost an arm and a leg!

(A few years back, I've made a line on the sand: <$50/day without pass. And I found it's so easy to achieve I have no intention to move that line for the next few years. :) A lot of times I was way under that :D )
 

riverc0il

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I think THAT is the problem!

I for one, don't care for super-smooth surfaces!
Well, I sure hope you are being honest and haven't skied at all yet this season and don't plan to until January... because skiing prior to January this season at ski areas was only possible on two weekends if you earned your turns only as the natural snow didn't create enough base for areas to open or open those trails.

I for one really like snowmaking and grooming and am GLAD that ski areas invested in this infrastructure. That said, I am a die hard natural snow and powder skier and will only ski groomed snow if I am desperate for turns. But that snowmaking and grooming helps out massively in getting trails up and running and ensuring ski areas can operate when conditions on natural snow are truly miserable.

And besides, folks that love natural snow and don't care for groomers (folks like you and I) are a very small part of the ski industry and not representative of what most skiers want. Most skiers are not enthusiasts and the vast majority of skiers rarely get off the groomers if ever. Even those that do occasionally spend most of their time on groomed terrain. Those of us that would ski natural snow all the time if it was available all the time are a very small minority.
 

BenedictGomez

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And besides, folks that love natural snow and don't care for groomers (folks like you and I) are a very small part of the ski industry and not representative of what most skiers want. Most skiers are not enthusiasts and the vast majority of skiers rarely get off the groomers if ever. Even those that do occasionally spend most of their time on groomed terrain. Those of us that would ski natural snow all the time if it was available all the time are a very small minority.

I often hear the above, but I've never seen any empirical data to support it.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that, that I've literally never seen any data. I would love to ski a place that only groomed beginner trails and perhaps a few intermediates and left everything else natural. One of the reasons I fell in love with Plattekill is due to their minimal grooming. So I'm not so sure that we're the minority that you (and apparently others) seem to think.
 

riverc0il

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I often hear the above, but I've never seen any empirical data to support it.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that, that I've literally never seen any data. I would love to ski a place that only groomed beginner trails and perhaps a few intermediates and left everything else natural. One of the reasons I fell in love with Plattekill is due to their minimal grooming. So I'm not so sure that we're the minority that you (and apparently others) seem to think.
I don't have data to offer you. But I think that so few areas like MRG, Plattekill, Magic, etc. is self evident that natural snow doesn't pay the bills. Mad River and Magic both are coops, Magic has been lost before and would be lost again if die hards didn't financially support the ski area. Plattekill is lucky to have an owner that "gets in". These places do very low visits. I imagine a holiday weekend at Kilington or Sunday River probably does more visits than MRG does all year.

Since we don't have data, let's try logic: If skiers didn't demand snowmaking and grooming, why would ski areas spend so much money to make it happen? Wouldn't they try cutting corners and seeing if visits drop? I bet they have and I bet they did.

We can debate when a ski area should shut off the guns and when they should stop grooming a trail and let it bump up... there clearly is a demand for the guns and grooming to get turned off eventually. But even that isn't the majority marketshare opinion.
 

4aprice

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I do the pass and the discount game. I've never figured out what the price breakdown of my pass/day is but its gotta be pretty cheap because I hit it 40+ days a year. Having had the pass now for several years I don't think I could live without it. It's become one of those household budget items just like the lake slip for the boat in the summer. Having the convience of skiing 45 min from the house is great and even if its not the Rocky Mountains its a great place to "drill, drill, drill". (even this past weekend). With my daughter in Vermont now I also play the discount game. My objective here is to hit as much of the Green Mountain spine for as little $ as I can. Thanks to billski and the other great posters on this board (thank you to all) I've got a good selection of pre bought discount tickets to several areas along with comps to a couple of others. (while a little tedious it was actually kind of fun to search them out). Our other ski desitination Utah we generally buy "discounted" (notice the quotes) tickets at the Lift House at the bottom of BCC or one of the Canyon Sports around Sandy.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 
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ScottySkis

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I don't have data to offer you. But I think that so few areas like MRG, Plattekill, Magic, etc. is self evident that natural snow doesn't pay the bills. Mad River and Magic both are coops, Magic has been lost before and would be lost again if die hards didn't financially support the ski area. Plattekill is lucky to have an owner that "gets in". These places do very low visits. I imagine a holiday weekend at Kilington or Sunday River probably does more visits than MRG does all year.

Since we don't have data, let's try logic: If skiers didn't demand snowmaking and grooming, why would ski areas spend so much pmoney to make it happen? Wouldn't they try cutting corners and seeing if visits drop? I bet they have and I bet they did.

We can debate when a ski area should shut off the guns and when they should stop grooming a trail and let it bump up... there clearly is a demand for the guns and grooming to get turned off eventually. But even that isn't the majority marketshare opinion.
Plattkill makes money now under great ownership just smaller vertical then hunter and not many people want to drive to it pass bellaire but that's fine
 

billski

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While the accolades are appreciated, I need not be singled out. I have gotten a lot of hot tips from a lot of posters here. The only difference is that I keep records and keep them organized from year to year, so it's a quick find.
The more interesting topic to me is if and how you use them. Each of us has our own M.O. but it's always interesting to see the motivation and the strategy used. Are you a blender, an advance (summer) purchaser, a card-er, a last minute-er? I seem to do a little of all, just to mitigate risk. It's hard for me to believe that some people have never paid full price.

I have sadly succumbed to that when all the right folks and day suddenly appear. There's sometimes that desperate moment when visitors want to ski at the place where all your discounts are blacked out.
 

abc

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Since we don't have data, let's try logic: If skiers didn't demand snowmaking and grooming, why would ski areas spend so much money to make it happen? Wouldn't they try cutting corners and seeing if visits drop? I bet they have and I bet they did.
That logic doesn't always work. Let's try again: if people can afford 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 5 1/2%, why did they end up with a variable rate at 5% only to see it gone up to 7%? The answer is: the industry pushed for it!

People don't always knwo what they want. They take whatever is available.

When the majority of the trails are un-groomed, people learn to ski natural terrain. When 90% of the terrain is groomed, they never learn how to ski un-even terrain and they stay away from it at all cost! Now, you just created a ski population that NEED groomers.

I like Bill's suggestion. Groom most of the beginner trails, some of the intermediates and none of the advanced terrains! That way, the yahoos can't straightline a black run and do substantial demand to others! (they can still straightline the green/blue runs, but they won't build nearly as much speed)

A case in point, my first bump run was out west, where they DO have un-groomed blues that bumps up! When the mountain grooms all the blues, how do people learn to ski bumps??? Is it then a wonder why very few people ski black bumps any more?

I don't have a problem with snow making per se. Though I do have a problem with snowmaking in November! In any case, I don't benefit from it in most years because I never ski in November and only rarely ski in December. I save my money for April.

I don't work in the ski industry. But if anyone here know, I wonder the money spend to blow open a couple of WORD on Thanksgiving is recouped by lift ticket?
 
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