Originally Posted by lonewolf210
Why the massive difference in day passes then? I'm just curious
Day tickets in CO are viewed a few different ways: window rates, offsite, promo and multiproduct. They go after different audiences. I won't get into discounts, in a lot of cases you could think of them as promo tickets.
So, window rates are the worst price you'll pay on a ticket. Aspen sets the pricing on day tickets - they announce first and cap the the high end and everyone else adjusts downward accordingly. The theory here is to just get the highest price possible for people showing up and there's little incentive to move people to offpeak times. These are mostly for tourists and daytrippers who don't ski much. During Presidents Weekend, MLK Weekend and Spring Break these are the primary area of ticket revenue.
Offsite tickets are a much better deal. Here we start to see efforts to shift people to mid-week or have blackout dates. It's important to fill in the gaps in the season. It's also a good channel to push multi-day tickets like "6-packs". These are for the savvier tourists but we also start to see some locals get those products.
Promo tickets are very targeted offers. Early and late season are anyone's game and that's why you see a lot of jockeying for position. If a resort is off the pace for their skier visit number in mid-March, you'll see lots of late season discounts. Or, if parking is going to be an issue for the weekend, we might see a free lift ticket given out for carpoolers or something. Or, we might see a $10 lift ticket deal. Here we start to see more locals get targeted.
Multiproduct (or multicomponent, or probably a million other names) are the most complicated. This is where lift tickets are bundled with other products to make them more attractive. For example, a deal like "2 night of lodging and lift tickets" or a ski lesson-rental-lift ticket combo. Lots of markets here.
Anyway, so your question was, why the big difference in prices. So, the almighty number a resort is trying to hit is the skier visit total. That's followed by some lines of business focusing very heavily on yield. First, we build the base of skier visits with pass sales - that's why pass numbers are so important, you go into the season with a decent idea how many skier visits you'll get from that group. Surprisingly, that number doesn't vary too much from year to year. From there, it gets easy to project offsite and window sales. From there, promo and multiproduct tickets fill in the gaps to hit the skier visits.