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Cut Tickets--ethics

post #1 of 403
Thread Starter 
A recent thead got me interested in how you all feel about this scenerio. I'll give my thoughts at the end:

Ski area only sells 8 hr lift tickets. I puchase one but leave after 5 hours for whatever reason. As I am leaving, people coming to the area try to purchase my ticket. You can take this scenerio the opposite way...would you purchase someone else's partially unused lift ticket?


I don't sell and would not purchase. It might be the good catholic upbringing in me or simply the idea that the ski area needs all of the lift money they can muster. If everyone "shared" the cost of skiing this way, the way I see it, the ski area would have to increase ticket prices, costing me more money.

Is this black and white for me? No. While I have never done it, I might be pursuaded to give my ticket to a kid who looked like he had little or no means to purchase it.f Or a dad who brought his son but couldn't afford to go himself. These scenerios would be hard to spot in the parking lot walk. Don't think I would sell.

Interested in other's thoughts, of course your alias is listed. I do believe most tickets say non-transferrable. Would your answer change if the ski area sold tickets in 2 hour increments? Our area sells in multiples of 4. (4,8,12) However they do not give refunds if you purchase a 12 and only use 4 or 8. Some mountains (Telluride) does give refunds for 1/2 day passes that are unused.
post #2 of 403

I wouldn't consider it either.

When faced with ethics questions, I usually reverse roles and see what I would want others to do. If I owned the ski resort, what would I think would be fair. It's amazing how much clearer that sometimes makes it. I see the lift ticket as me buying the right to ski for up to 8 hours, not the resort offering any holder of the ticket 8 hours of skiing.

The next refinement of your question would be two guys buying one ticket and alternating the use of the ticket each hour (or each run) for the rest of the day.

However, I very much appreciate that the ski area I frequent offers a 4 hour pass. It's amazing how much uncrowded skiing you can get done on the best snow of the day before the mid day crowds and liftlines build.
post #3 of 403
Some devil's advocacy:

It's noon and you're just arriving and someone leaving sticks an active lift ticket in your hand as they pass you in the parking lot. What do you do?
post #4 of 403
Selling/buying day tickets at noon is pretty common over here. The resorts try(unsuccessfully) to prevent it directly by the ticket windows, otherwise they seem to have resigned or at least they don´t know how to stop it. ("Guys, if you sell them in the parking lot it´s your business but don´t do it in front of the ticket windows" is what a friend of mine, boss of an important quad, says when there are too many too close.)

The tickets are officially non-transferrable but it doesn´t bother those selling and buying. In most resorts there are enough types of tickets.
The resorts themselves contribute to the phenomenon. The afternoon tickets (12-16, 13-16, 14-16) are mostly overpriced.
Who would buy an expensive afternoon ticket officially when there are always enough people selling much cheaper?
Who would resist to sell at noon if it means that you paid only about a third of the official ticket price for the best morning hours?

Under such circumstances the absence of intrinsic ethical barriers means that people simply act economically.

Otoh, hardly anybody thinks of it the way gandalf does:
"I see the lift ticket as me buying the right to ski for up to 8 hours, not the resort offering any holder of the ticket 8 hours of skiing."

Most users here take the ticket as a document giving its holder (any holder, i.e. the person physically "holding" it) the right to use the lift(s). "They got the money and it´s always just one person going up."

Is there any lawyer commenting on what a lift ticket really is?
post #5 of 403
What I find interesting is there are numerous ways that area operators could prevent people from transferring lift tickets.

Scenarios spring readily to mind...

I was in a casino in the Netherlands that issued me a photo ID when I entered...they scanned my drivers license for a phot and gave me an ID card with a bar code on it. Ski areas could easily do something similar.

They could take a deposit. If you had to turn in your ticket (or get it 'cancelled' if you want the souvenir), you'd never turn it over to someone else.

Heck they could have a reader at every lift that required you to swipe a card with your ID and a magnetic strip the way automated check-ins at airports work. You'd be issued no lift ticket at all, you'd just be authorized for the day and your own ID would be utilized.
post #6 of 403
I'm curious when resorts will just start issuing you a pass tied to your credit card that is charged when you ride the lift instead of an all day type pass.

The people this hurts the most are fast skiers who ski all day using more than their fair share of lift rides. People who only ski a few hours in the morning or ski slowly would benefit as they don't ride the lift as much.

The fact that people don't sell their unused time on ski passes represents a missing market which artificially drives up the price of lift tickets. Most skiers would likely be better off if everyone did this because it would be an incentive for the resorts to go to a toll system on the lifts.

Right now it sort of an all-you-can-ride buffet, which only benefits the skiers that ride a lot.
post #7 of 403
Right now Sugarbusch has the 'Sugarcard". A photo, active ID linked to the credit card of your choice.

Its scanned when you hit your first lift and you credit card is automatically charged for a whole day ticket.

Its a goood deal for 2 reasons;

Convience ( no ticket lines when you want to get on the mtn); and

Savings, Price is about 10$ less on most days than a conventional ticket.

Especially good considering thier high cost for a season ticket, so if you can't ski there 30 days a season you can still save some $$$ and make access quicker.
post #8 of 403
I have been on a ski trip where another family had a sick kid they couldn't leave alone. The parents shared one ticket as they tag-teamed between skiing and watching. It would have been a shame if they had to use 2 separate tickets for that day.
post #9 of 403
Heh, we had a very heated 6-7 page discussion on this 5 years ago.
post #10 of 403
I've done it for years. Not much lately since 1) I have more money 2) I have less time and 3) I either have a pass or like the mountain too much to stiff them.

Mad River Glen should not be ripped off by me. That would be immoral and I would not sleep well. Killington can go f#@k themselves.

Killington has pretty good fraud prevention, so watch out!
post #11 of 403
If you love the sport and recognize how small the margins really are for ski resort operators ... you pay full fare and are happy to make this contribution to maintain the present and promote the future.

There are two kinds of people who would buy/sell their ticket
1) cheap bastards
2) those who can't afford the full fare

The cheap bastards should be publicly humilated as often as possible.

Now ... discussing how to make an expensive sport accessible to people of all incomes is a whole other story.

Imagine a "sliding scale" ticket pricing scheme?
post #12 of 403

Trip Toll vs Hill Use

Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
I'm curious when resorts will just start issuing you a pass tied to your credit card that is charged when you ride the lift instead of an all day type pass.

The people this hurts the most are fast skiers who ski all day using more than their fair share of lift rides. People who only ski a few hours in the morning or ski slowly would benefit as they don't ride the lift as much.

The fact that people don't sell their unused time on ski passes represents a missing market which artificially drives up the price of lift tickets. Most skiers would likely be better off if everyone did this because it would be an incentive for the resorts to go to a toll system on the lifts.

Right now it sort of an all-you-can-ride buffet, which only benefits the skiers that ride a lot.
Your analogy is solid if you accept the basic premise that you are paying for the use of the lift. I pay to ski. Slow skiers use up as much hill time, if not more, than fast skiers during the same four hour period. Fast skiers spend more time on the lift.

The question is almost philsophical. Do you pay for the use of the lift or the right to ski? My focus is on the end not the means of achieving it

I am off thread at this point. Oh those dam tangents
post #13 of 403
onyxjl,

Sounds like someone is a slow skier. I don't see how it's fair to make the person when wants to ski more during the 8 hour period spend more. If you or anyone else wants to go take a 2 hour lunch and waste your ticket price money, thats your deal, I want to ski as much as possible.


Just my 2 cents
post #14 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis
I have been on a ski trip where another family had a sick kid they couldn't leave alone. The parents shared one ticket as they tag-teamed between skiing and watching. It would have been a shame if they had to use 2 separate tickets for that day.
Some forward-thinking resorts, such as Northstar-at-Tahoe, gladly make accomodation for this. They offer a ticket that can be legitimately shared, for the exact same price as a regular full-day ticket. I've never had need for it, but I think it's a great idea.


From http://www.northstarattahoe.com/info...ft-tickets.asp:
Parent Predicament - We understand what it means to be a parent, so we offer the Parent Predicament ticket, an interchangeable lift ticket for both parents. $61 Regular Season, $64 Peak Season.
post #15 of 403
The question is almost philsophical. Do you pay for the use of the lift or the right to ski?

Actually it's not philisophical in most cases, where it's public lands. It's for use of the lifts.
post #16 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB
The question is almost philsophical. Do you pay for the use of the lift or the right to ski?

Actually it's not philisophical in most cases, where it's public lands. It's for use of the lifts.
Dead on...you can't legally charge someone who hikes and skis. But if you are going to hike and ski, why would you go to a skied off resort?
post #17 of 403
If that's the only place that there is snow. And yes there are people who do it, I've seen one who does it a few times every day.
post #18 of 403
No way am I'm paying per ride unless it's at least as un-economical as a full day ticket.
post #19 of 403

Not a problem

Dgudaitis:

Maybe it's situational ethics, but I don't have a problem with the they handled the situation you described, where a husband and wife share a ticket because of an unexpected situation like this. Seems fairer than one parent not getting to ski at all or both deciding not to ski.

If I ran the ski resort, I would be glad they both got to experience the mountain even for half a day rather than having the illness kill the day.
post #20 of 403
Gan

It's not alowed. They could charge you with theft of services and lock your @$$ up or you wife's or both. Ethics is kind of bull $h!t because all that really matters is law. Are you willing to break the law to save a few bucks. I say less and less as I get old and less impoverished.

Now skiing closed trails: that's illegal too! I still do that although less and less as I get old and less willing to debate the issue with a patroll man.

I prefer looking at laws (and rules) as guidelines - you know, a makes sense approach.
post #21 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye
Now ... discussing how to make an expensive sport accessible to people of all incomes is a whole other story.

Imagine a "sliding scale" ticket pricing scheme?
Don't even go there. Imagine the government oversight and cost to enforce this! I end up paying $100 per ticket so the "less fortunate" (that are entitlled to a luxury activity like skiing), can pay a lesser share. No doubt these lower income individuals are also entitled to subsidized education (ski school), daycare, meals and lodging. Sorry, non-starter. Does skiing discriminate on the basis of income? You betcha!
post #22 of 403
The land a ski area sits on may be public, but the snow making $, the trail maintenance $, and the ski patrol $ all come from the mountain and ticket sales; a slow skier uses just as much of these services as a fast skier, if not more (who spends more time on the trail... the slow skier, yes?).

If you are charged for lift rides, perhaps different trails should cost more or less, depending on the amount of maintenance they require.

Perhaps different lifts should vary in price.

Maybe we should charge per sled ride care of a patroller.

The point is that charging by the lift ride is not a great proxy for 'cost per skier', and as such I don't believe it's terribly justified. That being said, if a resort does start charging me for skiing fast, I expect them to discount my ticket for skiing on only a steep, icy, poorly maintained trail as I race train, a trail that they don't spend much money on and that nobody else wants to ski...
post #23 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Don't even go there. Imagine the government oversight and cost to enforce this! I end up paying $100 per ticket so the "less fortunate" (that are entitlled to a luxury activity like skiing), can pay a lesser share. No doubt these lower income individuals are also entitled to subsidized education (ski school), daycare, meals and lodging. Sorry, non-starter. Does skiing discriminate on the basis of income? You betcha!
Cirquerider ...

I was using a bit of rhetoric ... you made my point. We should all just shut up and buy our tickets.
post #24 of 403
K, I think I caught your drift and got caught up in the moment. Food for thought.
post #25 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jones
...Now skiing closed trails: that's illegal too!
Illegal? Where? Just because a resort has the right to revoke your ticket for skiing a closed trail doesn't mean there's actually a law against it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jones
... They could charge you with theft of services and lock your @$$ up or you wife's or both.
Let's not get carried away. I can see a resort wanting to press charges for somebody using a counterfeit lift ticket, but beyond that, I doubt they'd be trying to lock up mom or dad for sharing the job of watching a sick kid and skiing with a paid lift ticket.

In NYS, it is a Theft of Service to use a ski lift without lawful payment (NYS Penal Law 165.15.9). But how are you going to prove that a person wearing a legitimate lift ticket is sharing it and/or using the lift without the lawful" payment? Not easy, if not impossible to prove. What are they going to do, have some lift jockey grab you and hold you for the Police? Fat chance.

If somebody puts his hands on me at a ski resort because he thinks I'm sharing a lift ticket, that's a Civilian arrest - and they're not going to do that because there's too much potential liability involved. Any resort employee that would put their hands on somebody in such a case, for $5.50 an hour, would be insane.

The best they can really do is deny you from boarding the lifts and ask you to leave the premises.

To me, it is more of an ethical question. I'd share my $70 lift ticket with my wife and sleep like a baby afterward if I had shelled out big $$ for some resort condo and suddenly had one of our kids got sick. We could each ski one full day for a total of $140, or 2 half days for the same $140. I don't see anything unethical about that regardless of whatever they want to print on the back of my lift ticket.
post #26 of 403
I haven't read all of these, but in case anyone is keeping score. I wouldn't sell it and I wouldn't buy it. It says it is non-transferable and to me if you're gonna break the law do it for something that is worth the fine or the jail time. A lift ticket isn't.
post #27 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
I haven't read all of these, but in case anyone is keeping score. I wouldn't sell it and I wouldn't buy it. It says it is non-transferable and to me if you're gonna break the law do it for something that is worth the fine or the jail time. A lift ticket isn't.
Some of you guys have to get over this "law" thing. I think it's great that you want to honor a resort's "policies" but printing non-transferable on a lift ticket does not make it a "law."

I personally honor the closed trail policy out of respect for patrollers, for my own safety, and because I don't think it's worth getting my lift privleges revoked. But do I obey every rule that a resort decides to print on a napkin? Jeez, if I do, please pull out my feeding tube. :
post #28 of 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogwonder
Dead on...you can't legally charge someone who hikes and skis. But if you are going to hike and ski, why would you go to a skied off resort?
That's dangerous advice you're handing out, Dogwonder...You most certainly can be charged for hiking/skiing at a resort without a lift-ticket, even if the land the resort sits on is Federal land.

As far as the ethical/moral question that started this thread -- I think the practice of clipping tickets is reprehensible, not b/c I feel bad for the resort, but b/c I feel bad for the rest of the skiing public that will be forced to absorb the cost. Just like shoplifting causes retail prices to rise and insurance fraud causes insurances costs to rise, clipping tickets (in high enough #'s) causes prices at the mountain to rise.

A quick search came up with an article from SKI magazine (let the flames begin!) last year...here's the pertinent stuff:

Nobody can pinpoint how much money fraud costs the industry, but Charles Culp, president of the ticket company Comptrol Systems, says simply: "It’s huge." Some studies estimate resorts lose up to 8 percent of ticket revenue to fraud. With roughly $2 billion in ticket sales last season, that would put the nationwide price tag at $160 million.

And guess who pays. Ski-industry executives estimate the cost of fraud could add more than 5 percent to ticket prices. Vail Senior Vice President William Jensen gives a smaller estimate for "deception" at his resort: 2 percent of ticket revenues, or about $1 million per year. Jensen (among the few executives willing to discuss theft) says roughly $1 of Vail’s $71 ticket price last season went to cover scamming.


Using the 5% figure with the $70 ticket at my home hill means that $3.50 of every ticket is due to fraud. I skied about 65 days there last year, which means I would have paid out almost $230 b/c of scammers. That's bullshit. Even using the Vail figure of $1, I've still paid out $65 bucks, or one more day of skiing.

I understand completely the impetus behind this thread, but I have one question (which may be worthy of it's own thread in and of itself). Are you guys actually paying full retail value for the majority of your tickets?!
post #29 of 403
Hey, I've seen a guy arrested for selling a ski VOUCHER in front of the ticket window that read non-transferable. Theft of services.
post #30 of 403

Single Ride Tickets

Here I go dating myself again. When I first started skiing in the '60s a full day ticket at Willard Mountain (<500' V.) was $7 and single ride tickets were $.50. Once you rode fourteen times you were skiing "Free" the rest of the day.

Neighbors took me with them. Dad, son, daughter and I. I remember going to a bigger mountain one brutal cold day and we bought two tickets. The Dad and Daughter wore the ticketed jackets for a run, came in to warm up and the Son and I put those jackets on and went out for a run.

When you apply a sense or code of ethics I think you have to also include the comon sense (which isn't too common anymore) of are you complying with the letter of the law, or policy, or are you complying with the intent. At some point reality creeps in and says "Is it better to sell two tickets and watch them share, or ZERO tickets and watch them go bowling instead?"

In the case of the sick child above I am absolutely certain that given the choice the family would have rather paid big $ to have the child in ski school all day and skied together all day, but given the sick child the next best thing was to share "duties" and have some fun alone rather than pack up and go home.
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