Five thousand dollars: That is what it would cost for a beginner skiing family of four, with two children under 10, to ski in Aspen over Christmas. This includes seven days of lift tickets, seven days of gear rental, two days of lessons for adults and three days of lessons for the children. This does not include your airfare, car rental, hotel, or food.
Lift tickets at $2268 plus lessons at $1222 plus gear rental at $1316, brings it to $4826 before taxes.
Three years ago I met with SkiCo’s David Perry and Jeff Handle over this very issue. I explained to them how they are losing their renewable consumer base: That, being the beginner skiing family and the beginner single skier, because of how SkiCo’s pricing structures are set that they were causing skiers not to create memory’s here. And that these people would someday be the one’s with the disposable income that would invest in the area where memories were created that they were losing. They shook their heads at me saying I was wrong. They did not believe that to be the case.
Yet on Wednesday at the annual ACRA luncheon, CEO Mike Kaplan said we need to get those beginner skiers back. Let me explain to you where those beginner skiing family’s might be going.
I can buy two adult unrestricted/unlimited Epic ski passes online for $1400 that come with 12 days of free lift tickets for my kids, and discounts on rentals and lessons. So we are going to ski Tahoe and visit Vail Resorts there (Aspen is way better than Vail). Lessons and rentals for the wife and kids only cost a total of $900 because of the pass. My total cost for the same expenses going to Aspen is $2300. I save $2700. Guess what? That savings almost paid for my flights to Reno, hotel room and car rental. Yes, I would rather take my family to Aspen, but it just cost’s to damn much to create memories there.
Memories just got created at another ski area and not Aspen because of the foolish nose-in-the-air policies and a lack of business common sense. We are not even coming close to competing for that family/single skier like the other resorts are. And we are way late in not doing so.
So SkiCo, if you are serious about renewing out consumer base. Stop being three years past the curve, or one day you will open a season with only illegal alien workers, that is completely empty of skiers because nobody can afford to come here.