Prices of lift passes in the US and the Alps compared

Arjen

The most expensive lift passes in North-America and the Alps

Riding deep powder is priceless, but it still costs you a whopping $ 175 a day in Vail

The prices of lift passes in a lot of resorts in North America are high. Like really high. Especially compared to the Alps. And the prices are rising every year. A day pass in Vail is more expensive than a lift pass for a week in some resorts in the Alps. Touring is gaining popularity in North America and we wonder what the reason might be... Since most people in North America have less holidays compared to Europeans, they don't go skiing for a week, but mostly for a couple of days. But then again: where does it stop? When will skiing (and snowboarding of course) become a sport for the absolute elite? Check out the prices of the most expensive resorts in the USA in the season 15/16:

Most expensive lift passes in the USA

  1. Vail/Beaver Creek (CO): $175 (€ 157,24)
  2. Breckenridge (CO): $164 (€ 147,38)
  3. Steamboat (CO): $159 (€ 142,89)
  4. Aspen (CO): $149 (€ 133,90)
  5. Winter Park/Copper Mountain (CO): $144 (€ 129,41)
  6. Northstar at Tahoe (CA): $140 (€ 125,81)
  7. Squaw/Alpine (CA): $139 (€ 124,92)
  8. Keystone/Heavenly (CO/CA): $135 (€ 121,32)
  9. Jackson Hole (WY): $130 (€ 116,83)
  10. Deer Valley (UT): $126 (€ 113,23)

The prices in the list above are the prices of DAY passes. Yes, you read that right. A whopping $ 175 for a day pass in Vail. And in case you were wondering what the lift pass price in Whistler/Blackcomb (BC, Canada), the biggest resort in North America is, that's 'only' 129 CAD (109 CAD if you buy it online) and that's with the current exchange rate of the Canadian dollar around 85 euro (72 euro if you buy it online). That's a lot cheaper than a day of skiing in one of the resorts that actually made the list, but still more expensive than the most expensive resort in the Alps.

Some not so expensive lift passes in North America

  1. Eaglecrest (AK): $ 46 US (€ 41,80)
  2. Mount Washington (BC): $ 85 CAD (€ 56,04)
  3. Hudson Bay Mountain (BC): $ 58 CAD (€ 38,24)
  4. Shames Mountain (BC): $ 47.62 CAD (€ 31,39)
  5. Loveland (CO): $ 65 US (€ 59,07)

It's definitely possible not to spent too much money on lift passes in North America, but it's still more expensive than the cheapest resorts in the Alps.

Most expensive lift passes in the Alps

  1. Zermatt (CH): € 84,00
  2. Verbier (Les Quatre Vallées): € 68,59
  3. St. Moritz/Engadin (CH): € 67,90
  4. Engelberg Titlis (CH): € 62,00
  5. Chamonix (FR): € 60,00
  6. Gstaad (CH): €56,13
  7. Les 3 Vallées (FR): € 59,00
  8. Val d'IsèreTignes (FR): € 54,00
  9. Andermatt (CH): € 53,44
  10. St. Anton/ Ischgl / Sölden (and other resorts in Tyrol): € 51,00

That's a bit of a difference right? A day of skiing in the Alps is definitely more affordable than a day of skiing in the US. Resorts in Switzerland top the charts and that probably isn't a surprise for anyone. The strong Swiss Franc and the fact that Switzerland has always been more expensive than neighbouring countries like France, Italy and Austria push the price of lift passes to the top of the list. The resorts are big, offer a lot of lifts and slopes, but they also come with crowds. So, what other options do you have when you want to ride lift-assisted powder for a day?

Some not so expensive resorts in the Alps

  1. Pelvoux (FR): € 16,55
  2. Prali (IT): € 25,00
  3. Champex (CH): € 25,60
  4. Bonneval sur Arc (FR): € 27,00
  5. Rofan (AT): € 29,00

Six days of skiing in Pelvoux costs € 71,00. That means skiing with two people for six days in Pelvoux is cheaper than skiing for one day (with just me, myself and I) in Vail. Of course there are some differences between the two ski areas (the only thing they have in common is that you slide down a mountain). Pelvoux isn't that big as Vail, with less restaurants, less slopes, less amenities etcetc, but also less lift lines, less crowds and less tracked terrain.

So where will you spent your next day of skiing? In a big resort? Or in a small resort where the snow is just as white and probably just as deep, but also not tracked out that fast?

Vail Skiticket 2011

Thanks to Ilona for the original article!

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