ASPEN - Vail Resorts has jumped out to a commanding lead over Aspen Skiing Co. in the single-day lift-ticket-pricing competition, which fascinates members of the media to no end.
Vail Mountain recently started charging $129 as its walk-up window rate, according to a reservationist with the company. Beaver Creek charges the same price.
Vail's price climbed from $122 during the Christmas and New Year's period.
Aspen has lagged behind Vail all season in a category where it might not mind being second-best. Skico was charging $114 during the holidays but ramped up pricing to $117 for Presidents Day weekend. Skico offers a $5 rebate to skiers and riders who turn in their plastic tickets at the end of use.
Skico first topped the $100 barrier for a single-day ticket in March 2011. The company set its price at $99 for the holidays that season and declared that it wouldn't break the $100 barrier. The pricing committee reconsidered later in the season and charged $104 in time for the busy Presidents Day weekend.
Skico charged $108 during Christmas and New Year's Day 2011, while Vail charged $116.
Skico officials have insisted repeatedly in the past that they set their prices without regard to Vail's pricing strategy. There is no competition to be the most expensive resort, they say.
Both companies try to promote multiday lift ticket purchases through discounting. For example, Vail Resorts sells a four-day ticket for $384 right now if it is purchased at least one week in advance. The price for a single-day ticket is $106 at least one week ahead, according to the company's website.
Skico's website says it is currently charging $396 for a four-day ticket purchased at least one week in advance. That is $99 per day. Skico also sells a two-day advance ticket for $202. No single-day advance purchase is possible via its website.
The walk-up window price for a two-day lift ticket at Aspen is $220, the company's website said.
All ticket prices are for adults.