LIFT TICKET PRICES SKYROCKET OUT OF CONTROL!!!
When I found myself back in the skiing scene this year for the first time in the last few years, I almost kicked Snowbird's illustrious tram down the canyon when I saw the astronomical day pass rates!!! WTH happened this past decade to a semblance of sanity in lift ticket pricing???? LET'S TAKE A GOOD, OBJECTIVE LOOK AT THIS MESS!!!
A FEW FINE FRESH EXAMPLES
Northern Utah's renown resorts (e.g., Alta, Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbird) adult one day lift tickets run from $75.00 to $105.00! Seriously? C'mon... THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. (Even by scrounging for seemingly "underground" discount lift passes at a few select ski shops, Utah's horrific lift ticket price range only drops to $70-90.) This type of lift ticket pricing irritates me beyond respectable language!!! Why? Well, for instance, I remember paying ~ $25.00 a day to ski at Alta not so long ago (back when Alta repeatedly promised its customers it would NEVER charge the prices of Utah's ostentatious, snooty resorts) in a condition very similar to the modern day Alta. Now, Alta once "the commoner's bargain resort" would rob me of $75.00 to spend a few precious hours of my time on its same old slopes!!! $75.00 DAMN DOLLARS FOR A LIFT TICKET - REPRESENTING A 200% INFLATION RATE OVER A PERIOD OF TIME (20 YEARS) WHEN THE NATION'S AGGREGATE INFLATION RATE ROSE A COMPARABLY MINUSCULE 40%!! I further note that even just a few years ago when Deer Valley broke the $50.00 per-day lift ticket mark, most Intermountain skiers thought the resort quite pompous and disdainful! Indeed, even LESS than one decade ago, $50 for a one day lift ticket proved an off-the-chart, significant, and extremely costly investment. (See, e.g.: EPICSKI, "Historical Lift Prices," 2004 [reporting Vail's 1997 lift tickets - just over ONE-HALF decade ago - at $52 a day, which means that where the U.S. national average inflation rate rose by only 45% since 1997, U.S. ski resort lift ticket rates rose by well over 100% in that same five or six year time span].)
FAST FORWARDING FROM THE EARLY 90's TO TODAY'S SICKNESS
We now face resorts charging a completely asinine ~ $100.00 per day for the opportunity to grace their "gold plated" lifts and runs apparently blanketed with some new, secret, synthetic, perfect snow (see, e.g.: Aspen, Beaver Creek, Deer Valley, Heavenly, Park City, Steamboat, Squaw Valley, Sun Valley) . Even the cherished, once-upon-a-time "bargain" resorts (e.g.: Alta, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Kirkwood, Solitude, Winter Park) now believe a skier should cough-up $70.00 to $85.00 bucks for a single, seven-hour (i.e.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) daily stint on their purportedly resplendent, practically perfect mountains! This kind of lunacy means that for ONE DAY - sans lunch, any rentals, other on-mountain purchases - a family of four (e.g., two parents, one 17-year-old and a 12-year-old) would pay anywhere from around $260.00 (i.e.: Solitude, Utah w/ three adult tickets @ $72.00 each & one "junior" ticket for $44.00) up to approximately $421.00 (i.e.: Aspen, Colorado - three adult tickets at $114.00 each & one "child" ticket for $79.00) just to pay for family lift tickets... FOR ONE SINGLE, SEVEN-HOUR DAY!!! Again, REMEMBER that in these past 20 years, the nation's average aggregate inflation rate went up ~ 40% compared to these shockingly pretentious ski resorts skyrocketing 200-225% inflation in that same period of time!!!! WTH???
EVEN "THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH" SLAPS SKI RESORTS SILLY
Further, consider the following. Once known as the "most expensive place on earth" (among other things), California's world-famous Disneyland Resort will charge adults $87.00 per day and children $81.00 for the 2013 season; further, MULTIPLE discounts are available in the dozens that slice a good chunk off those prices. Disneyland Resort - an experience of a lifetime for many & an incredible place standing way above of the "famous" or "popularity" leagues of even America's most reputable ski resorts - is OFTEN open from 9:00 a.m. to well past 10:00 p.m., even midnight on weekends! That's 11-13 hours of what is often a once or twice IN A LIFETIME treasure of amazing memories and many hours of fun compared to "dime-a-dozen" ski resorts paltry seven hours of whatever it is they offer these days!!! Consider that THESE facts alone place today's incredulous lift ticket prices into a bright, bitter light.
CONCLUSIONS & OBSERVATIONS
Ski resort owners & executives have become disgustingly greedy; further, they obviously fed their greed via, inter alia, tacit collusion in their pricing agendas. In their blatant avarice, those idiotic owners & execs have made skiing a "rich man's sport," along the lines of polo or resort golfing! This skyrocketing lift-pricing scandal is a travesty, slapping square in the face the plethora of 10-25+ year skiers/riders that allowed those voracious charlatans (owners & execs) to enter and to remain in the positions that they now use to plunder their benefactors' (OUR) pockets. These selfish, narcissistic, egocentric owners & executives have insulted all of the "common" skiers & boarders that filled the resorts' lift lines - even back when average aggregate lift tickets hit the nauseating $50.00 mark. As to the current, dizzying lift prices and pricing trends? Today's ski lift ticket prices and their recent rocketing trend cockily blaze an infuriating, damn outrage against both the sport and its participants - to say the least!!!