It’s no secret a day on the hill — especially a spontaneous one after welcoming several inches of new snow — isn’t the cheapest way to spend your weekend. Still, breaking the threshold of $300 for a single-day lift ticket is going to turn some heads, which is precisely what’s happened after a resort near Flagstaff, Arizona saw lift ticket prices reach $309 a pop over the weekend.
Arizona Snowbowl is a resort north of Flagstaff, Arizona, with 777 acres of skiable terrain that are typically open to the public from mid-November through April of each year. Having just 82 percent of the resort’s lifts currently open wouldn’t exactly scream “winter of a lifetime” to the outsider. But a couple of factors just combined to send its single-day lift tickets across a less-than-popular threshold.
First, Snowbowl uses dynamic pricing, or surge pricing, basing its lift ticket prices on demand and availability like an airline or rideshare app (or black market ticket scammers). The more people want the thing — the ticket, the ride, you name it — the more it will cost them. So when more than seven feet of snow reportedly fell in the area over the previous week, including 15 inches Friday, there were a lot of people lining up to get on the hill the morning of Saturday, January 21. Et voilá! The $300 threshold for a single-day lift ticket was broken.
By comparison, according to SnowBrains, a day-of lift ticket on Saturday ranged from $219 in Aspen to $265 at Vail, and the high mark for a single pass last season was just $249 at Deer Valley (which was reportedly charging $259 on Saturday). But there’s more…
When SnowBrains shared a screenshot of Snowbowl’s ticket prices for January 21, you can see Saturday, January 28 was at $169 per ticket. On Tuesday, Snowbowl’s ticket calendar had already gone up almost $100 more. And as of the time of this posting on Wednesday, Saturday the 28th, it was nestled at $299. Sadly, it’s fair to say $300 lift tickets are now going to be a thing unless skiers apply some pressure. Vail Resorts, for example, was under fire for the size of its Epic Pass crowds until they decided to apply a cap to walk-up day tickets and online ticket sales.
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