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Lift Access: How would you like to pay for your skiing? - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

Paying by the hour is a great idea.  Jiminy Peak MA does it, saves our family a few bucks.

 

Paying by the run is a terrible idea.  I get pretty short ski days, so I maximize vertical with high speed laps.  Would hate to do 20 laps in 3 hours and pay double the average ticket price.  

It's only a terrible idea in your specific example. If it's offered as an option, not a replacement, at resorts where God can't do 20 laps in 3 hours, it can be a great deal. 

post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Single ticket rides would make the resort $ on powder and sunny days, but if it is cloudy, cold, or hasn't snowed in a while then it is real easy for skiers to stay in the lodge causing resort revenues to drop. Even if the lodge dwellers are buying extra food and beverage, it costs the resort $ to buy and prepare the food, so from the resort's point of view that $ is worth more if it is spent on lift tickets. Also out of shape skiers who quit early would cost the resort $.

I'm not so sure that they would make money on those days either. Perfect ski days are the kind of days that people come out for anyway. As it is now, they'll buy a full day or half-day pass without thinking about exactly how much that breaks down into per run, per hour, whatever. It's either pony up or not ski.

 

Since lift tickets have always been sold that way, people are used to paying a certain price, or at least range, per day (let's say $75). So if you switch over to charge-per-run, they're not going to want to spend more than $75, so they'll space those runs out however gets them at or under it. Then they feel like they're working the system for a better deal, instead of getting ripped off.  Then, like you said, on lesser days, they'll do a run or two and take off instead of buying a full or half-day pass. It seems like resorts would end up losing money that way versus what they make with day tickets. 

post #33 of 58

Our local resort has "knock off at 1:00" and get a voucher to apply to the next lift ticket you buy. Half day passes start at 1:00.  I like that it's not flexible because that leaves the morning skiing uncrowded for those of us who don't mind getting up early to ski.  I'm amazed how many people don't arrive until 1:00.  I have a season pass, and more than get my money's worth, so I wouldn't change anything.  Years ago there was a ticket which included X number of lift rides.  I don't remember how many, but it was good all season until you used up all your lifts. The main advantage was that during bad weather (ie: whiteout conditions from fog) you could quit for the day and not lose money.  That option is not available anymore so I would guess it was a bad business model.  The main problem I see with "pay by the ride" plans is that it causes serious congestion at small resorts during peak hours - both on the mountain and in the parking lot.  

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

Single ticket rides would make the resort $ on powder and sunny days, but if it is cloudy, cold, or hasn't snowed in a while then it is real easy for skiers to stay in the lodge causing resort revenues to drop. Even if the lodge dwellers are buying extra food and beverage, it costs the resort $ to buy and prepare the food, so from the resort's point of view that $ is worth more if it is spent on lift tickets. Also out of shape skiers who quit early would cost the resort $.

I'm not so sure that they would make money on those days either. Perfect ski days are the kind of days that people come out for anyway. As it is now, they'll buy a full day or half-day pass without thinking about exactly how much that breaks down into per run, per hour, whatever. It's either pony up or not ski.

 

Since lift tickets have always been sold that way, people are used to paying a certain price, or at least range, per day (let's say $75). So if you switch over to charge-per-run, they're not going to want to spend more than $75, so they'll space those runs out however gets them at or under it. Then they feel like they're working the system for a better deal, instead of getting ripped off.  Then, like you said, on lesser days, they'll do a run or two and take off instead of buying a full or half-day pass. It seems like resorts would end up losing money that way versus what they make with day tickets. 

 

True, but the flip side is perhaps more people would come for the lower cost. I ski less days a year than I would like because lift tickets in the Poconos are obnoxious. It costs me more to ski a 1000' hill with mellow terrain, crap snow, and slow lifts than it does to ski much nicer stuff in Vermont. Because the terrain is so meh I get bored after a while. I would pay $25 to make 5 runs a few times a winter. I'm not paying $65 very often to go lap the exact same run over and over again. 

post #35 of 58

    I don't want to pay more for making laps, sorry. icon13.gif  And then I have to remember which lift costs how much?!?!  I'm on a B U D G E T.

 

    zenny

post #36 of 58

I've purchased Soli's 10 ride ticket.  It was great.  I spent a couple of days getting a few pow runs in and then skinned out the gates after a few laps.  I love that lift ticket model.

post #37 of 58

A lot of these ideas are not new. 40 years ago both Stowe & MRG sold single ride coupon books. They were good if you only wanted to make a few runs & you still had coupons left for another day. In the case of Stowe we used to use them to take a single ride up the Spruce Peak chair & ski over to Madonna (now Smuggs), buy a ticket at Madonna & ski all day. At the end of the day ski back down Spruce into Stowe. Today it is cost prohibitive to do this since you have to buy a full day ticket at both resorts.

 

Quite a few resorts sell morning only tickets like 1/2 day afternoon tickets. Even more resorts do this on Sunday mornings only for the weekend warriors that want to get an early start on the drive home.

 

Selling tickets good for a couple or few hours isn't uncommon either. Someone already mentioned Jiminy Peak. To my knowledge West Mountain in NY also does this as well as both Stoneham & Mont. St. Anne in Quebec.

 

With the advent of RFID ticket scanners the possibilities are endless as to how lift tickets could be sold.
 

post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post

 

...With the advent of RFID ticket scanners the possibilities are endless as to how lift tickets could be sold.
 

That's what I think he's getting at ...  Trying to figure out all the possibilities, and the best for both resort and skier.

post #39 of 58
I think a lot has to do with resort layout. I'm trying to envision what would happen if we had tickets that expired in the middle of the day and someone showed up on the back with an expired ticket.. They actually do scan there. Would they have to have a credit card machine there? Sounds like extra staffing at the remote lifts.. There's no way you could make someone walk out of there... Maybe out of Hellroaring they could spend hours walking down to the lake, but up and over? It's just not realistic to be staffing for that, given our layout, infrastructure, and skier counts. Some days you wonder how they justify manning some lifts at all.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I think a lot has to do with resort layout. I'm trying to envision what would happen if we had tickets that expired in the middle of the day and someone showed up on the back with an expired ticket.. They actually do scan there. Would they have to have a credit card machine there? Sounds like extra staffing at the remote lifts.. There's no way you could make someone walk out of there... Maybe out of Hellroaring they could spend hours walking down to the lake, but up and over? It's just not realistic to be staffing for that, given our layout, infrastructure, and skier counts. Some days you wonder how they justify manning some lifts at all.

They could just give them a warning mark and tell them to get a new lift ticket or not ride anymore. If someone with a marked ticket did it again, then they could call ski patrol to meet them at the top and take them into the office to get them to pay or press charges. People might get away with an extra run, but I doubt they'd want to mess around once getting warned. 

 

I've seen them do the warning/go get a ticket at Powder Mountain, which is oriented upside down, with lodges and parking at the top. Besides people trying to get away with something, it's easy enough to forget a ticket. The one time I parked all the way at the top of Hidden Lake, I couldn't find a ticket window to get my ticket (if it's in the lodge there, I have no idea where). So I went Powder Country down to the shuttle with the intention of going back to the lodge and buying a ticket. By the time I got back to the lodge, I forgot all about it and proceeded down to the Paradise Lift like I would every other time. They really don't check tickets at Paradise, so you could pretty much ride all day like that. Paradise also doesn't take you directly to the lodge, so you don't even have a reminder of "go get your ticket stupid." They sometimes check at Hidden Lake, and that's where I've seen them tell people to go get a ticket. 

 

I'd imagine the new owners will change that lax ticket-checking culture, but who knows. 

post #41 of 58

^^ Couldn't they just link to a CC and charge a "time violation"?

post #42 of 58

Sun Peaks has a mid mountain chair, upper mountain chair, and a upper mountain mid-terminal where they don't check lift tickets. I guess not very many people do it, but I have encountered friends skinning up 2000' vertical in order to ski the top 900', lift serviced for free.

post #43 of 58
Back on the time issue.. Since you can get a full day ticket here for $50/day by going to Costco, and the half day window price for the PM is higher at $58, I'd say if you want to ski the AM, go to Costco. Not sure what the incentive is for the mountain to add CC machines (and wiring?) when it's already fairly reasonable. Most people have issues getting out of bed and getting here, from what I've seen. The bright and early people have the Costco route or Liftopia at $58... and they can decide to keep on going with both those deals.
post #44 of 58

Taos has a scanner system that reads passes and charge CCs on a per-day basis - the Taos Card.  Shouldn't be too hard to rig that so that there's a per-ride or per-hour charge.  I wouldn't know what to do about backside or upper mountain lifts that don't scan.  

post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Taos has a scanner system that reads passes and charge CCs on a per-day basis - the Taos Card.  Shouldn't be too hard to rig that so that there's a per-ride or per-hour charge.  I wouldn't know what to do about backside or upper mountain lifts that don't scan.  

We have that on the front side, but the two lifts I'm thinking of don't even have the scanners communicating actively for the vertical program as far as I can tell. The reason I say this is one day you see they've shorted you and suddenly you get your vertical a day you didn't show up when some scanner makes it back to the office. One of the lifts you have to scan yourself if you care about it as they only have a guy holding a chair and a guy running the lift. You can't lap that chair or get to it without having been scanned, but I've always used it as a day extender because it's a double descent after the main chair is closed, so it's where I'd go to game the system if there were expiring tickets. :-)
post #46 of 58

The local hill in Kitchener-Waterloo (Chicopee ski hill) had (and will still have as far as I know)  tickets that are time punched.  You can get 2 hours, 4 hours or a full day.  It works great; there were lots of times when I have gone for 2 or 4 hours because that is all I had to spare, but would not have gone otherwise (could not justify paying for a day and staying for half, or paying for 4 and only skiing for 2).

 

The local hill in Sudbury ON has 1/2 day and full day, but the times are fixed.  The rolling time clock is preferable.

post #47 of 58

Gas is my biggest expense per day of skiing.

Season Pass take care of the mountain expenses very economically, nothing more needed at that end.

 

As far as the half day or 4 hr thing, from what I've seen, it's usually 70+% of the full day price. No use at all for me because if I drive 5 hours

to ski for the day, it's gonna be 6 hours min. on the snow!

 

For local (5 minutes away) night skiing, 4 hours is reasonable with the savings card option I use there.

post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Gas is my biggest expense per day of skiing.

Me too.  With Egypt blowing up I'm expecting gas to go WAY up again.  Funny how whenever that happens it only goes down a little bit when the crisis is long past, never anywhere near where it was before said crisis.

post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Me too.  With Egypt blowing up I'm expecting gas to go WAY up again.  Funny how whenever that happens it only goes down a little bit when the crisis is long past, never anywhere near where it was before said crisis.

You might be OK since domestic gasoline supplies are still plentiful with the summer driving season numbers expected to come in at average. 

 

The recent pop probably also has a lot to do the pipeline bomb set off in Iraq and a strike in Libya, but this stuff always seems to be happening.  I imagine the markets are more concerned with Iraq and a potential Israeli response as the nuclear reactor(s) continue to be built.  Interpreting Gen. Martin Demsey's (US Joint Chief of Staff) quotes while in Israel last week led to speculation that the military options on the table for Iran may do more than temporarily delay the reactor, even if Israel does the job herself.  It also appears Obama is finally trying to figure out a response to what is happening in Syria, now that his "red line" was crossed a few times with the use of chemical weapons.   Syria's army, backed by Al-Qaeda fighters and Hezbollah (who are all backed by Iran), seem to be winning the civil war that has now claimed over 100,000 lives.  Oil probably ain't getting cheaper soon, but thankfully there is a lot of gasoline right now.

post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn View Post

 

 

 

1.  I think it would be interesting to see a ticketing model where you pay per ride.  Want to ride a lift?  Well, maybe Chair 1 costs $3 a ride.  Maybe chair 5 costs $6 a ride.  This fits pretty close to how I like to ski.  Charges are accrued based on scan.  

 

2.  Or, perhaps paying completely based on time would be interesting.  Maybe I just want to ski for a 1.5 hours in the morning.  Or, if I show up at the resort late on Friday after driving in, maybe I can pay a few $$ just to get that last half hour of skiing in.  I'm certainly not paying for a half day ticket for that.

 

 

 

I think the title of this thread should be how to destroy an otherwise relaxing day skiing for the sake of figuring how much each run costs. My guess is the OP is an accountant who enjoys bean counting as much as being on the slopes.

 

For myself I pay the price of admission and enjoy the day. Skiing is not a cheap sport. I know that and I really don't care how much I am spending per run. Three runs or 30, what matters is did I have fun? Priceless as the ad campaign says.

 

How to ruin a day of skiing: assign a price tag for each run. nonono2.gif

post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

I think the title of this thread should be how to destroy an otherwise relaxing day skiing for the sake of figuring how much each run costs. My guess is the OP is an accountant who enjoys bean counting as much as being on the slopes.

For myself I pay the price of admission and enjoy the day. Skiing is not a cheap sport. I know that and I really don't care how much I am spending per run. Three runs or 30, what matters is did I have fun? Priceless as the ad campaign says.

How to ruin a day of skiing: assign a price tag for each run. nonono2.gif
I could not agree more with your post!!! Absolutely agree!!! smile.gif

zenny
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

I think the title of this thread should be how to destroy an otherwise relaxing day skiing for the sake of figuring how much each run costs. My guess is the OP is an accountant who enjoys bean counting as much as being on the slopes.

For myself I pay the price of admission and enjoy the day. Skiing is not a cheap sport. I know that and I really don't care how much I am spending per run. Three runs or 30, what matters is did I have fun? Priceless as the ad campaign says.

How to ruin a day of skiing: assign a price tag for each run. nonono2.gif
Thank you
post #53 of 58

Certainly things work better for us as they are now ... he is just brainstorming for additional ideas. A few more options for paying aren't going to ruin anyone's day, seriously people. If you don't like it, don't buy it. But things such as flex times or 10-ride passes, those could make a lot of sense for many skiers.

post #54 of 58

In the end, the business model needs to make sense or resorts won't stay open.  Over the years, skiing has gone way up in price but so has everything else.  I would guess that resorts pay their basic overhead via season passes and that day passes are the profit margin.  If they would make more money charging per run, they would.  Each resort will probably use the business model that works best for them.  I guess it's still reasonably priced to me for the enjoyment I receive.  I live in SoCal and spend every summer waiting for winter and planning my ski trips.  I rarely stress the money even though I'm far from rich.  My husband has to sit on me to keep me from feeding my addiction by buying gear during the spring/summer sales.

post #55 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post

I think the title of this thread should be how to destroy an otherwise relaxing day skiing for the sake of figuring how much each run costs. My guess is the OP is an accountant who enjoys bean counting as much as being on the slopes.

 

For myself I pay the price of admission and enjoy the day. Skiing is not a cheap sport. I know that and I really don't care how much I am spending per run. Three runs or 30, what matters is did I have fun? Priceless as the ad campaign says.

 

How to ruin a day of skiing: assign a price tag for each run. nonono2.gif

I am not one of those people who gps their day on the slopes and likes to document speed, vertical etc., but some people enjoy doing this and they would imo really enjoy calculating a cost savings ski day.

 

I do enjoy calculating a powder day that delivers the most first or second descents in untracked powder, but that is it. For me with lift tickets, I'm more of a "the first run costs $80, the rest of the runs are free" kind of guy.

 

This idea about pay per ride is not going to catch on in very many places because the more the skiers save over a day ticket cost, the more the resort looses, unless they can get you to spend your money elsewhere on the mountain with a bigger profit margin for the resort.

post #56 of 58

I've been thinking about this a bit more, in conjunction with the discussion about ski school and the future of the industry.  Most of my ideas, unfortunately, would involve a significant investment in technology.  Basically, putting on-line RFID gates at all lifts would allow many payment schemes to be deployed.  Here are some ideas:

 

* Cheap ticket for limited terrain.  Unlike never-ever packages, everyone is always eligible.

 

* Premium price for "extra" terrain.  Some places do this now with snow cats.

 

* Discount for skiing only in the terrain park.

 

* Discount for never skiing the terrain park.

 

* Pay as you go option for race courses, terrain park, chutes, etc. if not included in ticket.

 

* Premium price for "fast lanes" at lifts.  Need to limit how many of these are sold.

 

* Discount for advance purchase.

 

* Discount for non-refundable.

 

* Premium for pass insurance.  Already exists.

 

* Discount for setting specific dates in advance.

 

* Discount for volume: number of skiers.

 

* Discount for volume: number of days.

 

* Premium for holidays.  Has been common for years.

 

* Premium for busy hours.

 

* Premium for busy lifts.

 

* Discount for combination with: ski team, ski school, lodging, etc.  Already exists.

 

* One run per day ticket.

 

The more I think about this, the more it seems like the airlines' price discrimination model.  The airline has a fixed cost for flying that plane, empty or not, just like a ski area pays to run a lift.  The airline may not make a profit on each seat, but should be profitable overall.  It's important to keep the pricing model in-line with true costs.  That's why a 4-hour ticket that can be used between 10:30 and 2:30 is a bad idea.

 

At the end of the day, I'm still probably best served by an unrestricted season pass.  It would be nice, however, if this weren't some isolated product, but just a combination of premiums and discounts available on a sliding scale.  Imagine that you start skiing on day 1 by paying the full daily freight.  Each subsequent day, the price goes down.  By day 9, your skiing is free as you've achieved a season pass.  A true season pass would be just like this, but with an additional discount for handing over the money in the summer, with the unused being refunded.

post #57 of 58

ssh or the resorts will charge extra like airlines if you bring skiswink.gif

 

 I can't see park rats paying their fair share for the huge costs of parks. I can see them saying "why am I paying $50 when the beginners pay $30 but get more sq.m of snow than us"

 

Maybe the solution is hiring snow with every lift ticket sold? eek.gif

*

post #58 of 58

The first thing that popped into my head was a dulled down version of option 1.  My imediate thought was per day skiing, charged at the end of the season.  But I definetly like your idea more than mine.  5 mil quads cost more to buy and op than a 1985 2 seat riblet.  \

 

On a side note, at any of your peeps home mountains offer a one ride up ticket for backcountry access?  Bogus Basin, Id is $8 for a paper ticket they tear in half when you go up.

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