ASPEN - The Aspen Skiing Co. will raise its lift ticket prices to their highest level of the season at $99 starting today, while Vail and Beaver Creek will break the $100 barrier with their single-day, window price, information from the resorts shows.
The Aspen Skiing Co. ratcheted up its single-day, window price since the start of the season as more terrain became available. The $99 price starting today will be the Skico's peak for the season, said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. The company charges a $5 refundable deposit for a radio frequency card needed to pass through chairlift gates.
Skico charged $96 for its maximum single-day ticket price both last ski season and the prior season.
Hanle said Skico officials decided some time ago that the company wouldn't exceed the $100 barrier this season. Its holiday pricing was kept under wraps until Friday.
Vail and Beaver Creek will be among the first, if not the first, to crack the $100 barrier. The website for Vail and Beaver Creek says that the window price for a single-day lift ticket will be $102 from Dec. 17 through Christmas Day. From Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, the ticket will climb to $108. From Jan. 1-14, it will be $102.
Breckenridge will charge a peak window rate of $104 during the holidays, while Keystone will charge $99. Both ski areas are owned by Vail Resorts.
Vail Mountain's website features the prices offered for purchases at least seven days in advance. The online, advance purchase price is $94 rather than $102 for now through Christmas Day, and $99 rather than $108 for the big holiday week. A consumer needs to read the fine print and click a link to realize the window price is higher than the advance, online purchase price.
The Aspen Times reported Nov. 24 that Vail's pricing wouldn't exceed $99 during the holidays, but that was only for ticket purchases at least one week in advance.
The Skico charges the same price for a lift ticket at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. One ticket is good at all four areas.
The Skico has 4,352 acres open or 84 percent of all terrain, Hanle said. He noted that consumers have numerous alternatives to paying the maximum window price. The easiest way to save is to buy multi-day tickets at least seven days in advance.
"We are encouraging everyone to at least do that and save," Hanle said.
Ski industry officials maintain that the single-day lift ticket price receives more scrutiny than it merits. Most customers are able to take advantage of discounts, resort operators claim.