According to the press release on the Telluride Ski Resort website, the competition begins on 12/15 and concludes Sunday 12/18.
It’s definitely a great thing to see some of the top athletes in their discipline compete at such a high level … especially in a sport which I happen to love, snowboarding!
What kind of gets at me though is the way the ski resort has set the pricing of a single day lift ticket in Telluride during the “early season” at $73 for an adult through December 17 (then it goes up to regular rate of $98), even though only a limited number of runs are open …. most of which are not exactly within the most challenging terrain to ski or snowboard either.
It’s also easy to see a big chunck of terrain closed off to the public (with a lot of energy being invested to shape it no less). I’m not really sure of the exact percentage of overall open terrain, but I would venture a guess it’s about 10% of all currently open terrain give or take … which is a fair amount even in light of snowmaking/patrol’s best efforts to deploy the rest of the mountain (which to their credit have recently opened up peek-a-boo, ophir loop, and most notable Woosley’s Way [in that it will allow people to do limited-laps on 6]).
Again, I don’t begrudge the competition at all & am all for it’s mutual use co-existence with public use of the ski area; however, what I am opposed to is what I believe to be a disproportionate early season fee of $73 for a single day lift ticket given that:
1.) There is a relatively small amount of terrain open to being with
2.) Complete public accessis curtailed due to the competition is using at least a statistically significant portion of skiable acreage
Again, it’s not the competition, it’s the pricing I don’t like.
If I had the time (maybe I’ll re-visit this later), I’d compare a calculation of the percentage of terrain open vs. the early bird rate as a percentage of the regular rate. My suspicion is there would be an enormous disparity in so far as the early bird rate being a much higher in “cost per open acre (or runs/lifts)” … even if a seasonal average were utilized vs. a best possible total acres open.
I don’t know, maybe the high rate could be intentional as a means of delivering “negative advertising” to dissuade larger numbers of skier visits due to safety/capacity issues?
I realize the competition will be over within a week, so it’s not a permanent issue and I’m not looking harp on competitors for doing what they love to do … especially since we share a similar “love of the game”. It’s really about how the ski area is “rolling with this” in so far as keeping the lift tickets at $73 which bothers me.
I suppose it might be considered arbitrary for me to say $50 is fine, but $73 is not … although I’m willing to bet a lot of business owners would agree that lower ticket rates during times of relatively lean snow would have a positive influence on the local economy … especially when visitors are more keen on following weather and snowfall trends online and deciding where to go more at a moment’s notice. I realize the ski company needs to cover it’s costs and so forth, but I wonder if they’ve considered building in a “reserve fund” to make flexible downward adjustments as needed? I’ve seen lots of capital improvements recently, almost too many to mention … so it’s difficult to say. Having the full rate pushing $100 might also be a part of the equation … maybe from their current starting point, a $73 ticket represents a sufficient discount. Not looking to minimize the number of factors at play in pricing considerations, but just saying that it’s kind of getting out of hand from my perspective. Who knows really, but I just know I’m not exactly a fan of the pricing.
Regardless of all my ramblings, I do wish all of the competitors the best of luck and to enjoy the moment (& your stay)!