Vail Mountain, CO, charged $229 for a day ticket this weekend and Deer Valley, UT will be charging $229 for a day ticket over the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr holiday. On Christmas Day, Vail (with just 60% of terrain open) charged $218, reports Vail Daily.
- Related: Dissecting the $200+ Lift Ticket
Two seasons ago, Vail and Beaver Creek caused an uproar when they became the first resorts to break the $200 barrier for a single-day lift ticket, charging $209. Last season that went up to $219.
These numbers seem huge – and make a great headline – but here’s the thing: most skiers and snowboarders do not have to, and should not, pay anywhere near that. There are many way cheaper options, such as season passes, or multi-resort passes, which often pay for themselves after a handful of uses.
“Lift tickets are extremely limited this season as we are prioritizing our pass holders. Like every year – passes provide the best value (including Epic Day Passes which save up to 50% off lift ticket prices). Lift ticket purchasers can always save money by buying in advance.”
– Vail spokesperson John Plack told Vail Daily
Even at their highest prices, the Ikon Pass and the Epic Pass pay for themselves with five days of skiing. And you get so much more.
In the last 10-years, sales of lift tickets, both multi-day and single-day, have dropped from 55.5% of a resort’s business to 43.5% last year, according to the Aspen Times. During that time, pass visits have increased to 43.4% from 34.7%.
If you’re walking up to the window and paying full price, you’re doing it wrong.