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Ski resorts get load balancing with Liftopia

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Interesting story...

"The ski season will be kicking off soon in the West, and with it will be a new way to find and buy lift tickets.

A team of San Francisco-based entrepreneurs has just launched Liftopia, a marketplace for ski lift tickets that will bring airline-type dynamic pricing to ski resort operators--and also airline-style restricted fares to customers."

Rest of the article:
http://news.com.com/2061-12572_3-613...0852&subj=news
post #2 of 13
Hey bored...

I am a new Epicski guy, but would be happy to answer any Liftopia questions. I have been working on it with another guy for the past year and a half, and we are excited to be a value to both skiers and resorts.

The general idea (as the article mentions) is to apply proven metrics from online travel to a new inventory set, lift tickets.

Feel free to send any critique, questions, or suggestions my way, and hopefully we will hook a bunch of you up with great deals this season.

Discount lift tickets to our first partner resorts at www.liftopia.com
post #3 of 13

liftopia

its ideas like these that make me wish i came up with them first. its a nice list and seems like some good deals. any more resorts in the works or do we have to wait for the press release :
post #4 of 13
Hey rtop,

we are going to do our best over the coming months to add more resorts. There are some 'definitely' in the works, and it is definitely a challenge as it is somewhat of a new idea (or new application of an old idea) within the industry.

We are hoping to build our trust within the resort community and prove to them that we are trying to help them (and skiers!) and hopefully will keep adding a bunch more. Everyone wants to ski more right?

We are very open to critique, so feel free to send it my way. If you are in CO, we have some good deals to A-basin over the next couple weeks.

Evmo
post #5 of 13
It's funny but I was just this past weekend criticizing resorts for not doing a better job of price discrimination. I was looking at the other side of pricing, for the busiest days, especially the two three day weekends. I wish the resorts would thin the crowds on those days a bit by either increasing the price dramatically or requiring patrons to buy a lift ticket at full price for a low-demand weekday when buying a pass for those busy days.
post #6 of 13
Great idea. Good luck. Hopefully Utah will come aboard soon.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post
It's funny but I was just this past weekend criticizing resorts for not doing a better job of price discrimination. I was looking at the other side of pricing, for the busiest days, especially the two three day weekends. I wish the resorts would thin the crowds on those days a bit by either increasing the price dramatically or requiring patrons to buy a lift ticket at full price for a low-demand weekday when buying a pass for those busy days.
Impressive thinking Fog, and this is the essence of yield management as applied by the airlines and hotel industry.
post #8 of 13
EVMO, I see a 15% discount at Kirkwood resort in Dec. I assume Kirkwood is paying you guys , what is the motivation? Snowbomb also offers discounts and online ordering, are you in competion or is this a unique product?
post #9 of 13
Boredtoo; thanks for the thread start with this. Awareness that this type of service is evolving would provide a welcomed option to the traditional model the resorts have prescribed for us.

Makes perfect sense from a consumer point of view and has legs when you consider other examples notably airline and hotel. Of course those industries are now generating new start ups that are developing algorithms and AI inputs that tell us when to buy and what that price will be. But, one step at a time. With success, Lifopia will eventually provide us likewise.

Good luck Evmo, change the paradigm, provide a reliable service then enjoy the magic.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkevenson View Post
EVMO, I see a 15% discount at Kirkwood resort in Dec. I assume Kirkwood is paying you guys , what is the motivation? Snowbomb also offers discounts and online ordering, are you in competion or is this a unique product?
Hey Mkevenson,

Our model is definitely different from Snowbomb's, in that they typically require that you purchase a Tahoe Card in order to get tickets to their participating resorts. Their service is a good one, and they have a number of loyal customers. Our primary difference (beyond the membership requirements) is that our resorts have the ability to adjust their price points up and down as they wish, in order to react to demand and/or conditions changes.

Our biz model is very similar to online travel sites, which means it is a merchant model (net rate plus margin = price to consumer). This means that the resort doesnt pay anything to participate, and we can manipulate our margins to make sure our deals are good ones (for the customer).
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
Boredtoo; thanks for the thread start with this. Awareness that this type of service is evolving would provide a welcomed option to the traditional model the resorts have prescribed for us.

Makes perfect sense from a consumer point of view and has legs when you consider other examples notably airline and hotel. Of course those industries are now generating new start ups that are developing algorithms and AI inputs that tell us when to buy and what that price will be. But, one step at a time. With success, Lifopia will eventually provide us likewise.

Good luck Evmo, change the paradigm, provide a reliable service then enjoy the magic.
Hey Don,

Thanks for the well wishes, we truly are hoping this will be a win-win for customers and for resorts by bringing the price of tickets in line with their value. We are avid skiers (I spend every weekend in Tahoe in the winter) and recognize that people want to ski more, and resorts want this as well. We aim to align the best interests of both without compromising the complimentary and current business model.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evmo View Post
Impressive thinking Fog, and this is the essence of yield management as applied by the airlines and hotel industry.
The thinking would be a lot more imressive if I didn't study economics. Price theory is a staple of most economics majors, and seems a lot more realistic than macroeconomics. This is simple price discriminitaion, andapplies to many industries. Transportation is one where there is much less arbitrage, making it more effective. I imagine ski resorts can do well in avoiding arbitrage as well. I think price is a better way to allocate resources than using queues. When a ski area is very crowded you end up paying more per run because you spend mor time witning in lift lines. This detracts from the value of actually skiing, and diminishes the demand for the ski area's services. I'd rather see high prices and shorter lines.
post #13 of 13
Yup. There are actually some resorts that have practiced upward pricing on higher demand days (Park City, so I am told), and at the end of the day makes a bunch of sense. One of the difficult issues on the upward pricing side, is most resorts either dont cap their capacity, or rarely hit that capacity, so dont see the opportunity for yielding higher on days when they could... At the end of the day it is the price of the day being in line (or not in line) with its value, based on any number of value components (day of week, snow conditions, weather, time of year, geopolitical BS, etc). Better utilization of this = better experience for customers and more profitability. At least theoretically anyways... It has worked wonders in the hotel industry and the utilization of metrics like RevPAR...

Anyways, here's to some snow and getting out on the hill more often.
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