By now, most skiers know that only the suckers buy their lift tickets at the ticket window the day they are going to ski. Most resorts price their tickets super high (as high as $89/day at Snowshoe) for these guests, but then discount tickets for guests that book early and take a little risk with their purchase. The primary player in this game is a company called Liftopia. They provide the systems that the majority of the resorts around the country use for selling tickets ahead of time.
Liftopia, the biggest name in lift ticket sales has introduced a new way to buy tickets this year. Based on your willingness to take some of the risk in your purchase, you can pay three different rates for your lift tickets. Here are the three tickets that they will be selling:
- Value lift tickets are what they have always sold. They’re date-specific, non-changeable and non-refundable. They offer the steepest savings, up to 85% off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. They’re great if you know your exact ski or snowboard dates.
- Value Plus lift tickets offer added flexibility for peace of mind if and when your travel plans change. They allow for a one-time date change during the season.
- Flexible lift tickets offer the ultimate flexibility with unlimited date changes during the season.
As an example, Snowshoe has the following available for 12/17/2014 — a two day lift ticket for $69.95 value, $79.56 Value Plus, or $84.56 Flexible. If I’m worried about the weather or the conditions, I might buy the flexible or value plus options, but if I know I’ll be there and will be skiing regardless of the conditions (they are always perfect anyway right?) then I’ll go with the best savings — $35/day! Not bad. But then you and everyone else should have bought the ridiculous pass for the entire season and all of this is a moot point!