Vail sells highest priced ski tickets in nation | VailDaily.com

Vail sells highest priced ski tickets in nation

Associated Press

Daily file photoA skier flys down Prima through powder on Vail Mountain, which, at $73, now sells the most expensive one-day lift tickets in the country.

All four ski resorts in Summit County charge less than Vail for a single-day adult lift ticket.

Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts, which are owned by Vail Resorts Inc. and are located in Summit County, charge $67 for a single-day adult ticket.

Copper Mountain in Summit County will increase its early-season price from $49 to $64 beginning Friday for single-day adult lift ticket.

Arapahoe Basin charges $49 for adult, single-day tickets.

The Aspen Skiing Co. and Stratton Mountain in Vermont are charging $72 for their most expensive tickets.

Last year Vail charged $71, Stratton $72 and Aspen $68 for adult, single-day tickets, although special multi-day tickets and passes kept most customers from paying full price.

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Discount tickets are available at area businesses. Tickets can also be purchased online. Seasonal and multiple-day passes offer additional discounts.

“Since Vail Mountain has been ranked the No. 1 resort in SKI magazine for the 12th time since the ratings began in 1988, and because Beaver Creek beat Aspen in the same survey for the second straight year last season, I think Vail should take the leadership in dictating what the premier price point is for skiing,” said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer for Vail Resorts.

“And besides, for $1 extra you get 4,616 more acres at Vail Mountain than you do at Aspen Mountain,” Jensen said.

David Perry, senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co., said Aspen deliberately did not want to have the highest-priced ticket in the country.

“We’re happy to let Vail hold that honor,” Perry said. “But we do believe that the Aspen ticket price belongs in the top tier of ski resorts because of the quality of products and services that Aspen/Snowmass offers.”

Michael Cobb, vice president of marketing and sales for Stratton Mountain, said the nation’s leading ski resorts are forced to charge premier rates to keep the experience top-notch.

“The biggest challenge we face is being overcrowded,” Cobb said. “We cater to an affluent market that cares more about the experience than the cost. It’s not all that exciting to pay $50 for a lift ticket then wait in line for everything.”

Summit County correspondent Christine McManus contributed to this story.