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Old 11-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Regarding ticket prices, I think it's a combination of supply/demand, the additional cost of snowmaking in the east and the tourist $$. Let's face it, there's not a lot of places (if any) in the east that you'd buy an airline ticket to visit. So there's not enough tourists paying $100 for a day pass to "subsidize" the locals, in fact they're probably "subsidizing" the snowmaking. Most independent places in the east are probably only two poor seasons away from bankruptcy.
It is 100% supply and demand. If magically a resorts operating cost were cut in 1/2 the price per ticket would not drop a penny.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:06 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I think a season pass at Granite Peak in Wisconsin is like 450 if you get it at the last minute. If you plan on hitting up that place more than 6 times a year then it's your best bet by far.

Snowfall here sucks. All hills in WI that I know of have been making snow around the clock and no one is truly "open" yet. How do you expect them to absorb that cost? Definitely can't be cheap to have crews working long hours and making snow 24 hours a day.

Overpriced season passes? Meh, a little. Depends on how much you want to go snowboarding I guess.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I think a season pass at Granite Peak in Wisconsin is like 450 if you get it at the last minute. If you plan on hitting up that place more than 6 times a year then it's your best bet by far.

Snowfall here sucks. All hills in WI that I know of have been making snow around the clock and no one is truly "open" yet. How do you expect them to absorb that cost? Definitely can't be cheap to have crews working long hours and making snow 24 hours a day.

Overpriced season passes? Meh, a little. Depends on how much you want to go snowboarding I guess.
I don't think season pass prices are a true reflection of operating costs, I'm pretty sure it's much more expensive to operate a true mountain resort. Take a look at the size of Crystal or Snoqualmie (someone posted images in this thread), you can't seriously believe the cost of blowing snow for a small hill would exceed the cost of managing terrain that is 15 times the size in a mountain range. Most of the costs for blowing snow would probably be electricity as water is in abundance, and most likely the melted water is recycled for use from a reservoir. It's not like they're pumping in ocean water, desalinating it, and running a state of the art cooling system like Dhubai.

Yes, it depends on how much I want to snowboard in WI for an extremely limited experience at outrageous prices. More power to them for charging what people are willing to pay, I'm not knocking them for running a business, but I don't have to play ball. I'm planning to buy a season pass in WA and take trips out there periodically during the winter.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I got a season pass to Chestnut Mtn this year, after deliberating whether it was worth it. The normal price is $450 but I got an early deal for $300, so I think that's much easier to justify. I imagine the biggest problem they have is the length of the season. Last year Chestnut opened in mid December and closed at the beginning of March. That is literally two and a half months of operating. That's only about 10 weekends! And they had to make a lot of snow because the snowfall was awful. Half the season the conditions were either slush or ice, which I'm sure really drives people away. Then you have to add in the costs of 100% coverage on snowmaking and the number of guns, groomer costs, park crew and other resort staff, chairlift/lighting/water costs, etc. They probably don't have a whole lot of profit per season even after the expensive tickets. As expensive as it is, snowboarding is fairly expensive in general, and I would rather support the local hill to keep them from going bankrupt.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:05 PM   #35 (permalink)
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It's all about the demand, the smallest scale hill in the east will charge a lot if they're close to a major centre.

Dagmar ski resort is at most 90 mins drive northeast from a population of 5 million people in the greater toronto area. It's $600 for a season pass and it's 200 feet high (not a typo). A day pass is $47 at good old Dagmar, vs $75 or so at whistler which gets you something like 25x the vertical and god knows how zillion many times the terrain.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #36 (permalink)
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It's all about the demand, the smallest scale hill in the east will charge a lot if they're close to a population center.
This. I pay 230 total to ride at two of the three best resorts in Minnesota (some of the best hills in the midwest for that matter)

But we're 3 hours from a major population center which is why it's affordable.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:43 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I would quit snowboarding if I had to ride this place only.


On that note, I feel SUPER fortunate to only pay $429 with pass insurance for access to arapahoe basin, keystone, and breckenridge(99% of the time), and just as fortunate to get a loveland pass for $269. If I lived in park city,ut I wouldn't be able to afford a pass for 1 resort let alone 4.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #38 (permalink)
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You are showing how little time you have been in this game. In the 90's a season pass at Snoq's would have cost you nearly $1k. All Western ski areas were at this higher rate. Once again, thank Winterpark for launching the pass war prices and bringing down the season pass rates all over the US.

Comparatively, Mid West areas were a bargain back in the day. Western areas have a lot of advantages over their mid west and east coast counter parts. I would imagine that offering a much cheaper pass would likely mean that your little area would have to stop spinning the wheels. It sucks, but those are just some of the realities with it. Running a ski area ain't cheap, that's for sure.

I can't confirm those season pass prices or deny it, although i want to strongly deny that, but my memory is faded. back then day lift tickets were so cheap.. I worked there in 1990.. what i can confirm through the 80's and leading into the 90's is $10 mon-tues and $15 wed-thur-friday day tickets at many WA. resorts or something very close to this.. I doubt shitty pass ever came close to 1k for season passes, ever.. I can confirm a Mt baker season pass for $500 in 1995 which was one of the 1st season passes I had bought...

after some digging..
what i did find was North Cascade Heli $325 for a day in 1990.. which is now $985 for a day

1990 Wa. breakdown
Sports | Washington Ski Areas | Seattle Times Newspaper
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I can't confirm those season pass prices or deny it, although i want to strongly deny that, but my memory is faded. back then day lift tickets were so cheap.. I worked there in 1990.. what i can confirm through the 80's and leading into the 90's is $10 mon-tues and $15 wed-thur-friday day tickets at many WA. resorts or something very close to this.. I doubt shitty pass ever came close to 1k for season passes, ever.. I can confirm a Mt baker season pass for $500 in 1995 which was one of the 1st season passes I had bought...

after some digging..
what i did find was North Cascade Heli $325 for a day in 1990.. which is now $985 for a day

1990 Wa. breakdown
Sports | Washington Ski Areas | Seattle Times Newspaper
Very interesting, thanks for the info. That seems more realistic, as prices usually rise as opposed to getting slashed as described.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:36 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I would quit snowboarding if I had to ride this place only.
I visited Wilmot for the first time last Saturday and that was my thought exactly. You can bomb down those runs in like 15 seconds, some of you guys could probably do it in less time than that. If it was my only snowboarding experience there is no way I would have become hooked like I did in WA. It was quite sad.

I was on the lift with another snowboarder who said he's just "riding what he's got", and I totally understand that, but I felt deeply sorry for him.
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