Why Are Lift Tickets So Expensive? (Solved)

Why Are Lift Tickets So Expensive

Skiing for the first time ever? Well you’re in for one helluva ride. 

You take a flight to a highly renowned ski resort, book a few days of lodging because you plan on skiing for more than just a day, put on your skiing gear that you spent hundreds of dollars on, get hit by the freezing cold winds and… wait how do you get to the top of the hill? 

And that, my friend, is where the ski lift comes to the rescue. Ski Lift as the name suggests, is built to assist you in getting to the top Hill in a more convenient fashion.

Because if you’ve tried trekking up a snowy slope, yeah you shouldn’t try that ever again cause it’s near impossible. But as we all know convenience comes at a price, and that price is very expensive.

In this post, I’ll talk about the reasons why are lift tickets so expensive. 

How Much Does A Ski Lift Ticket Cost?

To use a ski lift you’re going to have to buy a lift ticket. These can be purchased online or at the resort itself. Depending on the Ski Resort you end up going to, the pricing is bound to change drastically.

The average price for a Day ticket is between $70 and $90. But in almost every resort there are two more additional plans for Lift Tickets, those being Weekly tickets and a Seasonal Pass

How Much Does A Ski Lift Ticket Cost

Weekly tickets operate similarly to a day ticket, but like the name suggests lasts for 7 Days rather than one. These types of tickets can come at a slightly discounted rate when compared to the rates of the Day tickets at around $250 to $400 per ticket.

Seasonal Passes are a special type of ticket that has extra bonuses, such as discounted prices on other services provided by the resort, on top of the ability to be able to access the ski lifts. Depending on the resort you buy the seasonal pass from, the bonuses and pricing can change a lot, but on average a Seasonal Pass should cost you around $900 to $1500.

This is just an average for the ticket prices so keep in mind that these are subject to change depending on the resort and time period you purchase the tickets on, as some resorts can have special holiday offers or discount periods.

Also read our guide on magic carpet skiing.

Purchasing online also costs slightly less and there are discounts when skiing on weekdays in some resorts. 

Why Are Ski Lift Tickets So Expensive?

After spending countless hundred dollar bills on your skiing gear, the accommodation cost and the flight ticket, the biggest question lingering in your mind at this point I’m guessing is: Why are lift tickets so ludicrously expensive? 

Well it’s because of the amount of money that goes into building one of these.

Believe it or not, ski lifts are the costliest investment a resort owner could make. They’re even more expensive than constructing entire buildings for lodging!

Also read our guide on how much it cost to ski

Let’s take a look at greater details:

Cost Of The Machines

In recent times the cost of the machines and materials used to construct ski lifts have increased exponentially.

Due to the extreme weather conditions these machines must endure for 6 months out of a year (depending on the Ski resort location, some may have to be up and running all year round), the materials and engineering must be of the highest quality. 

Dopplemayr is an Austrian Ski Lift manufacturer that is one of the leading companies in the entire field, they offer high quality machines and materials that come at a hefty price.

Cost Of The Machines

It is reported that the most expensive Ski Lift in the world was made by Dopplemayr, which is also located in Austria, costing a whopping $83 million. Though the average large scale Ski Resort spends about $20 million on their Ski Lifts, it’s still an insane amount of money.

A single chair alone costs approximately $75,000. You read that right, a single chair. So you could imagine the prices for the rest of the machines and components.

Cost Of Maintenance 

Though the cost of maintenance isn’t as high as the cost of purchasing the components brand new, it’s still going to cost the resort multiple $100,000 checks (for some components, not all). 

And the components that are deemed irreparable must be replaced immediately which would have prices in the millions.

Plus, they have to pay all the employees, insurance and electricity bills.

Is It Cheaper To Buy Lift Tickets In Advance?

Yes, it’s ALWAYS cheaper to lift tickets in advance. You can probably save around $10 – $25 on a day pass.

Is It Cheaper To Buy Lift Tickets In Advance

Most ski resorts always have some kind of special offers, discounts and promotions for purchasing ski lift tickets in advance. Plus, buying lift tickets in advance can help you save time and avoid lines on the day of your trip! 

So always check a few days before your trip and see if there are discounts and book them online.

Bottom Line

Should this discourage you from planning a trip to a Ski Resort?

If you have the budget and you want to go to a place with some of the most incredible sights you’ll ever see, experience the adrenaline rushing experience of going 20 mph on snow, enjoy a hot cup of hot cocoa, and have an overall awesome time?

Then no, you shouldn’t be discouraged. But if you don’t have the funds to do so, well you better start saving up then.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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