Originally Posted by anachronism
My point was that more often than not on Loveland/A-Basin's opening day, the ground is bare except for the snowmaking ribbon.
That's ok. Hit it up in Oct and in a good year in July and you had lift served skiing for 10 of the 12 months of the year for the wallet friendly price of $279.
Originally Posted by MT Skull
Anyway, yeah, A-Basin probably couldn't do a lot of what they do without the cash injection from VR, much as I despise VR.
I think this is an interesting assumption, but I think Vail needs A-Basin more than A-Basin needs Vail. Walk up ticket prices at A-Basin in May are north of $70. Half day starting at noon are something like $54. That's pretty high and it reflects solid demand.
The profit margin of $70 at A-Basin is probably quite a bit higher than $135 at Vail, which is why A-Basin isn't so reliant on revenue from adjacent sources. They really can just run a lift served skiing business model while adding modest amenities over time. Skiing is a real estate business after all, and as with all real estate....location, location, location...
The other reality is that RMSP + A-Basin is $718, which is $11 less than an Epic Pass. Plus, if you only ski A-Basin after April 1st, then you only need a pass every two years, which makes RMSP/A-Basin $578 a year on average. That means you are comparing Copper, Mary Jane/Winter Park, Steamboat, and A-Basin vs. Vail, Breck, Keystone, and A-Basin, the latter group running you $141 more a season. And guess who is there in both combos?
Loveland on the other hand wants $379 a year, so RMSP + Loveland = $818 or $89 more than an Epic Pass and $240 more a year for the RMSP/A-Basin combo (assuming A-Basin/Loveland is your Spring skiing add-on) and you lose a good 5-6 weeks or more of ski season for that premium. Now you could buy a couple of 4 packs at Loveland and reduce the deficit, but there is no way to make them comparable in cost.
And that's why A-Basin eats Loveland's late season lunch. This year, by my eye anyway, Loveland retained at least as much snow as A-Basin well into June. Once the snowpack goes isothermic and it's just good slush crystal skiing exposure isn't as critical as base depth, and I think Loveland wins there looking at average seasonal snowfall.
But the business models are somewhat inverted, and I think Loveland really wants to sell "I Ski ❤️Land" bumper stickers to a captive audience. Which is cool if you want to miss days like this on May 14th.