Skico institutes discount blackout
Aspen Times Staff Writer
The Aspen Skiing Co.’s seven-day discounted lift ticket will not be offered over this year’s Christmas Holiday.
Skico has decided to black out discounts for two weeks between Dec. 20 and Jan. 4, thereby eliminating the usual $68 discount on seven-day lift tickets. Skiers during this chunk of time will be forced to pay full price.
David Perry, the vice president of Skico, said the decision to black out those dates came after lengthy consideration.
“Every year, we try to adjust our ticket pricing to fit the marketplace and increase business, improve revenues,” Perry said. “We are [a] business, and when we set our prices and ticket products, we work on it very long and hard.
“We do a great deal of competitive analysis and soul-searching, and we feel our pricing as it relates to our market offerings is very competitive this year.”
Perry said lowering ticket prices to attract visitors over the holidays has backfired on the Skico in recent years. “We didn’t sell one more ticket,” he said. “That’s a business mistake.”
Furthermore, Perry said Aspen is not taking a unique stance.
“It’s very normal in the industry,” he said. “You wont find lift tickets on sale during Christmas for any resort.”
While the seven-day discounted ticket will be available before Dec. 20 and again after Jan. 4, there are some different rules this year. In the past, multi-day discounted tickets could be purchased at the window; now, they must be purchased at least seven days in advance.
“We’re trying to work with properties and tour operators to sell tickets in advance,” Perry said. “We’re encouraging people to buy tickets ahead of time and save money ” those less price-conscious will pay full price.”
Despite the changes to certain discount deals, Perry said Skico still offers an abundance of discounts, including customized ski and lodging packages.
For instance, during the low season ” early January through February ” vacationers have close to 40 options to choose from for a four-night, three-day lift ticket package. Prices range from $382 to $1,182, depending on the lodging.
Furthermore, Perry said the Skico is broadening its relationships with tour operators. “They’re like an extended sales network with our resort,” he said.
Despite the holiday discount blackout, Perry said things are looking good.
“Frankly, bookings for Christmas in town look very, very strong,” he said.
[Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
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