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The price of a day of recreation in the snow are becoming astronomical in Colorado’s premier ski area.

It is perhaps another sign that Vail Resorts does not appear to be targeting ordinary Coloradans for days at its expansive ski areas. This past weekend Vail announced that the price of a one-day ski lift ticket at Vail and Deer Valley has been raised to the high altitude rate of $229/day. The Vail Daily broke the news on Sunday, in a season of COVID-19, when reservations to even be able to ski are already required.

On Dec. 25, Christmas Day, Vail was charging $218 for a single day, with only 60 percent of its total terrain available. When Mongolia Bowl opened this past weekend, making 4,607 acres of skiable terrain available, that percent rose to 88 percent and the lift ticket rose to $229.

At Vail, a lift ticket for the Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Jr holiday is currently selling for a relative bargain at $199, but given the current reservation system, and the prices Vail just charged yesterday, that won’t last.

In a Scandinavian sport that in the 1940’s was still just a matter of sliding your foot onto a board held by a strap of leather, pulling on long underwear and a couple paris of corduroys, jamming on a fur hat and a couple pairs of wool mittens, putting your skis over your shoulders and slogging up a hill — to go down a hill — then up a hill to go down, the price of entry has been steadily rising. Along the way, the great ski resorts of this country were developed by some legendary 10th Mountain Division soldiers and both technology and fashion entered the picture, as well as organized tourism efforts.

Contrasted to Vail, our local Monarch Mountain remains a more affordable family outing. The site also contains coupons:

  • Kids 0 – 6           $0.00
  • Kids 7-15           $64.00
  • Adult 16-61        $94.00
  • Seniors 62-68   $64.00
  • Seniors 69+       $0.00

At Ski Cooper, lift tickets are also reasonably priced (and coupons are available):

  • Kids 0-5            $0.00
  • Kids 6-14        $60.00
  • Adults 15-74   $80.00
  • Seniors 75+     $0.00