Any skiers/snowboarders here? WTH happened to lift prices?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by ArrowFlyer86, Dec 27, 2022.

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  1. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I religiously did a ski/snowboard trip out west every year, or twice a year from ~2009 to 2020. Usually go with the same group every year and I'm the one responsible for organizing it, and last time we went was the week before SHTF with COVID in 2020.

    I'm now planning to go back and I just have to say... What the hell happened to lift ticket prices? We used to go to breck, steamboat, Whistler, keystone, ... and I'd never pay over 150$ on the very high side for a ticket and that was usually the window price, less expensive if purchased in advance. Normally if you buy a few days at a time it'd be ~100ish assuming not peak time like xmas. Now it seems like $200 a day (for 5 days) is about as low a price as you can get.

    Is there a new way to buy lift tickets that are cheaper, or is this just the new normal? Did everyone move to those EPIC/IKON passes or something? I feel like I must be missing something. But sadly if I can't get the price down it's going to chop the group down to a fraction of its size.

    ... And before I bother checking lodging prices I think I'm going to run out to the plane and grab a god damn air sickness bag :eek: Those were already expensive before and I can't imagine those have gone down.

    Any cost saving tips on tix or lodging would be appreciated (assuming a Colorado location).
     
  2. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    Nearly all of the resorts consolidated into a couple giant conglomorates. Welcome to the world of monopoly.

    You can go well, well off the beaten path if you want cheap. Loveland, Snowy Range, or just skip it altogether and get into back country skiing :). Of course then you need all new gear...
     
  3. kaiser

    kaiser Cleared for Takeoff

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    Epic pass guy here. You have to buy them super early. I paid 800ish in April or May or something insanely early. I have zero restrictions and blackout dates.

    For cheap lodging, stay in Golden CO… right on I70 and rental drive to the resorts daily. Last I checked it’s 90/night ish.

    Speaking of, I’ve been trying to gather of Midwest peeps together for a GA flight out to Colorado for some skiing.
     
  4. charheep

    charheep Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Wait, you guys intentionally go out in the cold and snow, and pay for it? Odd ducks...
     
  5. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll have to get the Epic pass for next year. They hounded me with emails for it but I just brushed it off and thought I'd look at it later. Joke's on me I guess b/c $800ish is a steal for what they're currently charging.

    Unfortunately the crew I travel with enjoys staying in the city (as we usually partake in ski apres activities that would make driving unsafe)... I think most of the lodging options I'm going to have to look at will have to be close to the lifts in order to get folks aboard.

    You're speaking my language! I'm a nearly 100% guaranteed attendee for that.
     
  6. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    As noted, Epic/Ikon really changed the landscape and not in a good way for occasional skiers. I think the Indy pass is less expensive if you are interested in the hills it covers, otherwise, discounted day tickets have nearly dried up.

    Utah used to be a bit less expensive than Colorado. Alta was a great bargain, for all the terrain it offers. I’ve not been out there for a few years, though.
     
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  7. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I should have suspected industry consolidation was to blame. I may end up looking off the beaten path a bit, that's a good idea. Perhaps some place that hasn't been swallowed up by the monopoly man in his effort to bring the resorts under 1 roof and jack up prices.

    That's true - we could save a lot of money doing backcountry. That's a great idea. Probably only need 1 night of lodging and no return ticket - because nearly everyone in our group would be dead, missing or buried under an avalanche after the first day :D

    (most of our group likes sticking to groomers and 300' wide green circles [yawn]; it's only a few of us who partake in blues and blacks and T-bars up to the top).
     
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  8. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Golden is ok, but then on the weekend you'll be dealing with the parking lot known as I-70, both directions. And if weather hits, and the tunnel is closed, well, sleeping on the floor of the Holiday Inn in Frisco in your ski clothes is not fun (don't ask).

    Prices? Unless I was with a group from out of town, I always skied Loveland. City side of the tunnel, fewer hassles, cheaper. There's no glamour only skiing. Drive into Idaho Springs for pizza at Beau Jo's (p*ssed they closed the Denver location). Even staying in Idaho Springs would be cheaper. Of course if you want slope-side, you're paying for it. I have friends who owned a condo in Vail (north side of I-70, the low rent district) but they moved back east, have no idea what happened with the condo.

    Consider Steamboat instead of the I-70 strip. Fly into Steamboat - no need to go over mountains, you can take the long way and follow the CO-WY state line.

    I moved here to ski (and be a partner in a small geophysical research company - we went bankrupt) and skied seriously for 20 years. Trashed my knee so I traded skiing for flying. Not sure which is more expensive.
     
  9. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    We're in NM now and it's roughly 600 per day for the 4 of us to ski.

    And we're paying 250 per night for a 1 room little that is so small the 2 queen beds take up the entire floor space.

    It's insanity.
     
  10. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Sounds like Angel Fire. We were there this past January and the snow was so thin you saw grass blades poling up thru it.
     
  11. FoCoJayco

    FoCoJayco Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, the only way to do it is with a season pass, and as was mentioned above, buy as soon as they go on sale. We have a place in Steamboat, so we buy the Ikon passes. About 4 days is break-even if you ski on prime days (which we do).

    100% avoid Golden. While prices are nice, I-70 is a mess. We tried that before we bought a place, and it was rough.

    One option that worked well for us to save some $$ is to rent a place in Dillon or Frisco and drive to ski Loveland. Loveland passes used to be quite a bit less, especially with the 4 packs (if they still have them). And you’re driving opposite of the traffic, so it’s a breeze both directions.
     
  12. Flocker

    Flocker Line Up and Wait

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    I have a snowboard I'm willing to sell...LOL
     
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  13. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Cleared for Takeoff

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    And hence why I sold my skis years ago.

    Paging X3Skier. He’s probably on his way out west now.
     
  14. kaiser

    kaiser Cleared for Takeoff

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    From Golden, I would always hit Loveland and A basin. I’m a big fan of those two. I haven’t tried this since joining epic, but keystone is right next to A basin.

    The big issue with my setup is not so much passes or lodging, it’s the rental car. They seem to be crazy expensive this winter. I’m considering relocating one of mine to BJC or APA just to save some coin!
     
  15. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I've been wanting to take the family skiing for a few years now...but always wait too long to start researching and booking... and I've never gotten past the hotels (availability and price!). I never made it to a deep dive into the research of lift tickets and rental prices (which I assume are also sky high now)
     
  16. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Quit with the negative waves, man.
    Is Cooper still operating? Not far outside Leadville. It was an inexpensive, family oriented hole in the wall, little in the way of amenities but really good skiing. Chicago Ridge cat tours offered back country. You bought the lift tickets at the grocery stores.

    My wife and I did all the big places, Aspen, Steamboat, Copper, Keystone. We had the best time at Cooper, just pure skiing with locals. I wanted to do A-Basin, but it was a bit too steep for the wife. When they say double black diamond, they really mean it.
     
  17. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Quit with the negative waves, man.
  18. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    The best deals are before Christmas break starts, the gap between MLK weekend ending and President’s Day weekend kicking off. Keystone is great for access and families, but because of that is more crowded than we liked. Copper Mountain is just a few mins west on 70 and usually a better deal all around.

    But, Wolf Creek isn’t convenient to anywhere and there’s not much of anything at the base which leaves it affordable and they usually get more snow than anywhere in the lower 48 each year.

    Their peak rates are under a C-note per day still.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2022
  19. BPM

    BPM Pre-Flight

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    Same boat. And the services and experience have gotten worse since COVID.
     
  20. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    absolutely nothing's wrong. everything's great! the economy is great!
     
  21. Lycosaurus

    Lycosaurus Pattern Altitude

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    In comparison, flying is looking to be more affordable
     
  22. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Prices are higher and sure part of it is inflation and another theme seems to be resorts are catering more to season pass holders. let supply/demand sort it out. Take a look at season pass prices and how many days it would take to make that work out.

    btw, conditions have been great!
     

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  23. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Snowboarder here and heading to Jackson Hole next week. I havent looked at lift prices online yet but will let ya know.
     
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  24. Archer Jack

    Archer Jack Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've skied most of the major resorts in Colo. The past few years we have gone to Crested Butte which is a little more out of the way but a lot of fun and a little less expensive. Cheers
     
  25. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Snowboarder here….I used to go to Beaver Creek every year for about 15 years. I stopped going a few years ago when the lift ticket prices went north of 200/day. It was simply not worth it anymore. I think their walk up price this year is $279! What a joke. (Yes there are cheaper ways than walk up but sometimes you just can’t plan it in advance).
     
  26. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Not for a couple of weeks. 26th season in Steamboat.

    If you don’t buy an Ikon or Epic or other group pass early (or even late), you’re passing up a great deal and will be kicking yourself with boots on. $250 and up on some days for the one day lift ticket.

    Steamboat has really revamped the base area and next season with a new Gondy to almost the top, it will be perfect. If any POA folks show up, I can show them around the mountain if I’m not working in the Ticket Office (and NO, no freebies or discounts to anybody less I get my pass pulled by the Steamboat Security Army:p)

    Cheers
     
  27. ArrowFlyer86

    ArrowFlyer86 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Steamboat is consistently my top pick for Colorado, and that's kind of the place I'm hoping people get behind for this year, too! Not cheap though.
     
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For those looking for adventure, there is always Ski Gallup.!!

    Lift tickets are free. Because there is no lift. What happens is I will pull you up and down the hill outside my house with my 4 wheeler and adjust the speed according to the volume of the screams behind me...

    Act fast because the snow will probably be all gone by Friday...
     
  29. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Love CB for a pre-Christmas weekend, but man that place gets cold in January.
     
  30. kaiser

    kaiser Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can nab a Saratoga and would be able to haul 3 + cargo from Chicago - let's just do it Midwesterners! Tomorrow through Monday!
     
  31. NJP_MAN

    NJP_MAN Pattern Altitude

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    Wow Snowy Range, that's a deep cut right there. I used to take my pawn shop Kemper there when I was in elementary school and Jr High.
     
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  32. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    It's where I skied in college from CSU because it wasn't such a long drive and is waaaay cheaper and closer than the big resorts. It didn't have the vertical like the other places but i'll always love it.
     
  33. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Let me know...I'll meet you wherever. A most original POA meet!
     
  34. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Line Up and Wait

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    If you're interested in Summit County take a look at Copper Mountain. If you buy a multi-day pass it's around $150/day once the Xmas/New Year holidays are over (still not cheap, but probably $25/day less than Breck/Keystone multi-day tickets). If your group is looking for nightlife, I'd stay in Frisco rather than Copper and take the bus to the resort. If you just need a few restaurants and a couple of low-key bars to hang out at, you can stay in Copper. Most of the lodging there is walking distance to the slopes and there are a lot of condos on VRBO.
     
  35. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Also look at what comes with a season pass. Some offer discounted buddy passes. For instance if one or two people in the family will go 5 days on a trip or in a season and others in the family only go twice on trip, a couple of season passes and the discounted buddy passes for the others, saves a few bucks. A lot of times a season pass pays for itself in under a week and has discounts with it. Some places also offer deeper discounts on season passes at the end of the preceding year. As others said, plan ahead.
     
  36. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    A few buddies and I have been hitting a small mom and pop local resort that is only $99 per day. It is a decent intermediate at best place which suits us just fine with shorter runs but we can just lap lifts all day with virtually no lift line wait and actually get a seat in the lodge or at the bar for lunch...plus the car is so close we can layer up or down at a whim on a pee break without a mile hike to the car.

    Did a two day trip to Northstar last year and was miserable waiting in lift lines all day and unable to get any decent food with packed restaurants or even sit down with miserable parking and shuttles and paid over $300 for those 2 days. No thanks.
     
  37. NJP_MAN

    NJP_MAN Pattern Altitude

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    Another stallwart Ram I see.
     
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  38. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That’s why I like Loveland….Mary Jane is a good alternate but the drive in lousy weather is miserable….Mary Jane…the dark blue/black back side of Winter Park.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
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  39. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

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    I haven't purchased a season pass in a couple of years, but the local area here was $299. I guess skiing has gotten a lot more expensive... :-(
     
  40. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Almost as bad as airplane ownership!
     
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