Vail to charge $99 for holiday lift ticket; Aspen’s peak price: ? | AspenTimes.com

Vail to charge $99 for holiday lift ticket; Aspen’s peak price: ?

ASPEN – Vail Resorts will knock on the door of a $100 adult lift ticket this season but won’t cross the threshold.

The single-day lift ticket price at Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek will be $99 on Dec. 26-31 and again over Presidents Day weekend in February 2011. The price will climb again to $99 during the heart of spring break, March 11-27, according to Vail Resorts’ website.

That’s the price for an adult ticket, for customers ages 13 through 64.

Vail will drop its price to $94 for six weeks between New Year’s Day and Presidents Day, then again in late February. The company will change is single-day lift ticket price 11 times over the course of the season.

The Aspen Skiing Co. is keeping its peak price under wraps but has disclosed it will charge $192 for a two-day ticket window rate during Christmas week, or $96 per day. “You can expect the single-day price to be higher than the two-day,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said. Discounts are offered on all multiday purchases.

Aspen charged $96 for its peak price last season, the same as the prior season. The ticket price is the same at all four of its ski areas – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk.

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There are a number of options to lower the price of skiing at Aspen-Snowmass and nearly every other ski resort. Skico gives discounts for multiday ticket buys as well as purchases at least seven days in advance. The more days skied, the bigger the discount.

Nevertheless, the single-day price gets the most scrutiny, to the chagrin of many industry officials. They don’t think the media should focus on the highest price for skiing since so many discounts are available.

Hanle said single-day lift tickets account for about 10 percent of sale revenue per season. Single-day tickets are typically purchased by people who are making a quick trip or weren’t able to plan ahead.

Hanle acknowledged it’s just a matter of time before the $100 threshold is crossed, possibly as soon as next season. The lift ticket prices reflect the cost of doing business, he said, and very few businesses are able to keep prices flat. He thinks the price still offers good value.

“When you’re talking Colorado, it’s the best skiing in the country,” Hanle said.

Other resorts in Colorado are sniffing the $100 price this season. Telluride’s single-day lift ticket price will climb to $98 for the holidays, from $95 last season, according to its website. Steamboat’s peak price will be $97.

Outside of Colorado, Deer Valley, Utah, will charge $94. Stowe, Vt., is sticking to $89 for a third season. The top price in Sun Valley, Idaho, is $85.

Aspen’s top price will likely be unveiled around Dec. 18. Ticket prices are starting at $79 for adults for the start of the season on Thanksgiving Day.

scondon@aspentimes.com