Originally Posted by River Hill
Where is Big Mountain?
Originally Posted by sibhusky
I love it! That's why we have no lift lines.
Just re-named Whitefish Mountain Resort. But we're resisting the name change. In lovely laid back Montana.
I just came across a great article in our local paper, dated 10/25 (I'm a bit behind in things):Skiing on Big Mountain still a great value
By RICHARD HANNERS/Whitefish Pilot
Skiing, like many outdoor recreational activities, isn’t cheap — particularly if a median-income family of four in the Flathead wants to go up to the Big Mountain for a day of skiing and snowboarding.
On top of lift tickets, there’s ski equipment, clothing, transportation and meals to consider.
But setting all that aside, Whitefish Mountain Resort continues to be a good value for local — and destination — skiers and snowboarders.
While the cost of everything goes up due to inflation, ski resorts are also affected by higher costs for energy needed to run chairlifts, power groomers and heat buildings. So how have prices increased over the past decade?
According to a survey by Kasey Joyce at KECI-TV, the cost of lift tickets for four people at Big Mountain has increased from $134 in 1997 to $172 today. But corrected for inflation, that is actually 0.001 percent less.
The cost for four skiers spending a day at Snowbowl in Missoula went up from $80 in 1997 to $104 today, a slight 0.01 percent increase.
Big Sky, however, saw a 15 percent increase over the past 10 years, from $174 to $260, while Lost Trail, south of Hamilton, saw a 39 percent increase, from $58 to $104.
Whitefish Mountain Resort this year broke into the top-20 rankings in Ski Magazine’s annual Top 50 Resort Guide and Whitefish Mountain Resort spokesman Donnie Clapp recently compiled price comparisons among the top-20 resorts.
Here’s what he found:
Ski Magazine ranking; resort name; adult full-day ticket price; skiing area; cost per acre:
1 — Vail, Colo.; $84
; 5,289 acres; 1.59 cents
2 — Deer Valley, Utah; $79
; 2,026 acres; 3.90 cents
3 — Snowmass, Colo.; $87
; 3,128 acres; 2.78 cents
4 — Whistler, British Columbia; $75
; 8,171 acres; 0.92 cents
5 — Park City, Utah; $79
; 3,300 acres; 2.39 cents
6 — Breckenridge, Colo.; $83
; 2,358 acres; 3.52 cents
7 — Aspen Mountain, Colo.; $87
; 673 acres; 12.93 cents
8 — Beaver Creek, Colo.; $83
; 1,805 acres; 4.60 cents
9 — Steamboat, Colo.; $85
; 2,939 acres; 2.89 cents
10 — Sun Valley, Idaho; $79
; 2,054 acres; 3.85 cents
11 — Keystone, Colo.; $83
; 2,870 acres; 2.89 cents
12 — Mammoth, Calif.; $74
; 3,500 acres; 2.11 cents
13 — Telluride, Colo.; $85
; 1,700 acres; 5.00 cents
14 — Copper Mountain, Colo.; $83
; 2,433 acres; 3.41 cents
15 — Jackson Hole, Wyo.; $77
; 2,500 acres; 3.08 cents
16 — Aspen Highlands, Colo.; $87
; 1,010 acres; 8.61 cents
17 — Heavenly, Calif.; $81
; 4,800 acres; 1.69 cents
18 — The Canyons, Utah; $69
; 3,700 acres; 1.86 cents
19 — Snowbird, Utah; $69
; 2,500 acres; 2.76 cents
20 — Whitefish Mountain Resort; $56
; 3,000 acres; 1.87 cents
Whitefish Mountain Resort has the cheapest all-day lift-ticket prices among the top-20 resorts at $56. The Canyons and Snowbird, both in Utah, tied for second at $69.
“So you can ski somewhere in the top-20 for 56 bucks or 87. It’s your choice,” Clapp said.
It should be noted that prices change through the season at some resorts, and discounts are sometimes available for group skiing.
Among the top-20 resorts, Whitefish Mountain Resort ranks eighth in size, with 3,000 acres. The figure includes terrain that is accessible by a chairlift, is in-bounds and is regularly patrolled.
Whistler, B.C., is a monster ski resort, nearly three times the size of Big Mountain. As a result, it ranks lowest in cost per acre. Vail, the second-largest resort among the top-20 resorts, came in next lowest at cost per acre.
Whitefish Mountain Resort ranked fifth in cost per acre at 1.87 cents. This measure should be taken with a grain of salt, however, because there are so many other variables to consider for value — how much snow, quality of snow, visibility, varied terrain, scenic vistas, lodging and other amenities.
“I know that we have fewer skiers per acre than anyone on this list by a large margin, according to Brand Advisors, an outside consultant that did a bunch of research when we were looking into the name change,” Clapp said. “In fact, we like to say that instead of skiers per acre, we have acres per skier.”
Over the past 10 seasons, Big Mountain has seen an average of 251,818 skiers per year, assuming 140 days per season, Clapp said. That works out to 1.67 acres per skier on an average day.
“Skier visits last year were 260,000, so these numbers would pretty much translate to the experience last season,” he said.