Summer is upon us which means one thing – it’s time for ski season!
The question is: how much is a ski lift ticket at Vail, Colorado?
Unfortunately, with the cost of living steadily increasing in Colorado and the number of people going to the mountain not nearly keeping pace, the price of a ski pass has now climbed to an all-time high.
Let’s examine the trends and see if we can discern any patterns that might help us predict the future of ski passes.
The Cost Of Living In Vail Is Now At Its Highest
Many people in Vail and Summit County can’t believe their eyes when they see the prices of everyday items. It seems that everywhere they look, prices are skyrocketing. It’s not just about the cost of living in the mountain however – it’s also the increasing competition.
Ski passes have always been relatively expensive in the Vail Valley but in recent years, with more people buying them and the cost of living going up, the prices have gotten out of control. The cost of a full-weekend ticket for a double-decker chairlift is now $400, up from just $30 in 2008.
The increases are so dramatic that even savvy shoppers are finding it difficult to keep up with the spiraling costs. And it’s not just about the tickets either – food, lodging, and transport all cost more, too.
More People Are Choosing To Ski During The Weekends
With the costs of living so high, many people are choosing to ski during the weekdays instead of the weekends. Wednesdays and Saturdays are now the most popular days to ski according to SnowSports Retailer, motivating the development of midweek passes.
The development of weeklies was a direct response to the increasing demand and to keep up with the trends, lift ticket prices have also gone up accordingly.
Even Friday and Sunday nights are now more popular than Saturday afternoons, which means the peak season is moving to later and later in the day.
Ski-in/ski-out Access Has Finally Come To Rural Colorado
One of the biggest problems for people who live in the surrounding areas of Vail is that although there are plenty of trails close to the town, getting to them requires you to go through a gauntlet of car traffic, stoplights, and people queuing up at the bars.
Many people in Summit County would love to get a daily ski pass and use the mountain as their own private playground, enjoying the luxury of being able to drive straight to the slopes without having to worry about finding parking or missing their chance because there wasn’t enough space on the mountain.
However, with the cost of living and the traffic, this is now possible for people living in rural areas like Silverton and Palisade. The development of the freeride skiing era has also made some terrain inaccessible to beginners, necessitating the development of “snow bunny” courses to help teach newbies how to handle themselves in the white stuff.
This is creating issues for established skiers and snowboarders who want to keep challenging themselves and enjoy the same levels of freedom that the new generation of snow bunnies are enjoying.
These issues will undoubtedly become more prominent as the cost of living continues to increase and more people want to get their fix of powder. It’s a catch-22 situation, as more people want to get in the powder but the prices are putting off potential new customers.
What’s even more disheartening is that although some companies and resorts are trying to lower the overall cost of a ski trip by increasing the number of people sharing the cost, the end result is still that the price of a ski pass has increased.
There’s no question that the cost of living in Vail is now at its highest, and even seasoned skiers and snowboarders are feeling the pinch.