Ski Magazine Snow-Online.com

Lift Ticket Prices Taking A Leap 2017-2018

Surprising or not: Winter sports enthusiasts will have to dig deeper into their pockets this season, as many ski resorts have raised their prices by some 3 percent at the start of the new 2017-2018 ski season, following a similar increase from the previous year. Snow-Online.com just did a price comparison of more than 300 ski resorts from the 7 most popular winter sports countries.

The North American ski resorts are particularly hit hard by this year's price increases. Compared to the Alps, skiers in North America often pay twice as much as skiers do in Europe, or even triple of that. However, large investments in lift infrastructure, snowmaking, and grooming also result in higher prices in European ski resorts.

North America: Are Skiers Being Priced Out?

The world's most expensive ski resort: Aspen Snowmass.
© Snow-Online.com The world's most expensive ski resort: Aspen Snowmass.

Skiing in the United States and Canada sure is an outstanding experience for each and every winter sports lover. Finest Champagne powder and ungroomed runs definitely make for world-class skiing. Nevertheless, prices for skiing and snowboarding jump up significantly in North America and the question is whether skiers are being priced out of the sport, struggling to afford it, and only rich people would be able to afford to ride lifts. Although the ski resorts rarely invested in new lift systems or snow-making facilites, the prices have raised by 5 percent in Canada and even 6 percent in the US.

While Aspen and Vail are all-time favorites, and definitely the two most expensive ski resorts, the average price of a peak-season one-day adult lift ticket in the United States is US$94, which is about 80€. The average price for a peak-season one-day adult lift ticket in Canada is CAD$96, which is about 63€, with Whistler Blackcomb being the most expensive ski resort of all Canadian ones.

Compared to the Alps, skiers in North America often pay twice as much as skiers do in Europe, or even triple of that. Turns out, day passes there are often more expensive than a lift pass for a week in some ski resorts in the Alps. That implies that sure, it is possible not to spent too much money on ski passes in North America, yet they are still more expansive than the cheapest resorts in the Alps.

Lift Ticket Price Comparison - North America:

 United StatesCanada
Average price
(peak-season one-day adults)
94 USD
(appr. 79,90 Euro)
96 CAD
(appr. 63,50 Euro)
Increase compared to previous year+ 5,80 USD
(appr. 4,90 Euro)
+ 4,60 CAD
(appr. 3 Euro)
Rate per km of slopes1,31 USD
(appr. 1,12 Euro)
1,15 CAD
(appr. 0,76 Euro)
Most expensive ski resortAspen Snowmass
(169 USD - appr. 143 Euro)
Whistler Blackcomb
(139 CAD - appr. 92 Euro)

 

News about other destinations

Switzerland: Great Snowfall - High Lift Prices

A single-day lift ticket at Lenzerheide costs 75 Swiss Francs in the 2017-2018 winter season.
© Snow-Online.com A single-day lift ticket at Lenzerheide costs 75 Swiss Francs in the 2017-2018 winter season.

For years, Switzerland has had a special status of all winter sports nations. Resorts in Switzerland top the charts in Europe, which is probably not really surprising for anyone. Although investments are also constantly being made here, ski pass prices have been stagnating for years. Due to the strong Swiss Franc and Switzerland being more expensive than neighbouring countries like Austria, Italy, France, and Germany push the lift ticket prices to the top of the list.

The average price for a peak-season one-day adult lift ticket is 58 Swiss Francs (approx. 50€), while Zermatt and St. Moritz top the list with 79 Swiss Francs (approx. 68€). Yet, that is not it: Long ago, Laax, Lenzerheide, Saas-Fee, and 4 Vallées have also exceeded the 70-Swiss Franc limit.

Lift Ticket Price Comparison - Switzerland:

Average price
(peak-season one-day adults)
CHF 58,70 
(appr. 50,40 Euro)
Increase compared to previous year+ CHF 0,35
(appr. 0,30 Euro)
Rate per km of slopesCHF 0,97
(appr. 0,83 Euro)
Most expensive ski resortsZermatt (CHF 79 - appr. 68 Euro)
St. Moritz (CHF 79 - appr. 68 Euro)

 

Italy: South Tyrol's Expensive Investments

Sunshine, powder, and great views in the second most expensive destination for ski holidays in the Alps: South Tyrol.
© Snow-Online.com Sunshine, powder, and great views in the second most expensive destination for ski holidays in the Alps: South Tyrol.

The single-day lift tickets in the Italian ski resorts have risen by more than 1€ for the new ski season. The average price is now 45.30€, making it the second most expensive one in the Alps. Skiers have to dig really deep into their pockets, especially in the South Tyrolean ski resorts: Kronplatz continues to lead the list, increasing its single-day rate to 55€ (54€ in the previous season) for the peak season. Val Gardena and Cortina d'Ampezzo in Veneto (both 2€ more this season) are just behind with 54€.

Anyways, a great deal of investment is being made in this area: new state-of-the-art gondolas were opened both in Val Gardena and at the Schnalstal Glacier, and, to top it all off, a new six-seat chairlift was put into operation at the Kronplatz. If you want to ski more than 100 km of slopes at a reasonable price in Italy, you may need to leave the German-speaking part of Italy and head to Livigno (47€), La Thuile (43.50€), or Via Lattea (37€).

Lift Ticket Price Comparison - Italy:

Average price
(peak-season one-day adults)
45,30 Euro
Increase compared to previous year+ 1,10 Euro
Rate per km of slopes0,79 Euro
Most expensive ski resortsKronplatz (55 Euro)
Groeden (54 Euro)
Cortina d'Ampezzo (54 Euro)

 

Austria: Kitzbühel Remains at the Top

Skiing in Austria continues to be most expensive in Kitzbühel.
© Snow-Online.com Skiing in Austria continues to be most expensive in Kitzbühel.

There is noplace else in the Alps being home to as many large and modern ski resorts as it is the case in Austria. In order to maintain the wide range of ski resorts different in price and size, millions of euros are invested by the ski areas every single year, and, as a matter of course, prices continue to rise. Just five of over 80 ski resorts being compared in our price comparison did not raise their lift ticket rates. All the others adjusted their rates of up to 1.25€.

Altogether, the average amount of money skiers have to spend in order to enjoy a nice day of skiing rose up to 44.50€, which lets Austria stay put in third place, with Switzerland staying at the top and Italy being the second most expensive destination for ski holidays in the 2017-2018 winter season. Skiing in Austria continues to be most expensive in Kitzbühel (55€) followed by Sölden, Ski Arlberg and Saalbach-Hinterglemm-Leogang-Fieberbrunn (53€).

Lift Ticket Price Comparison - Austria:

Average price
(peak-season one-day adults)
44,50 Euro
Increase compared to previous year+ 1,25 Euro
Rate per km of slopes0,98 Euro
Most expensive ski resortsKitzbühel (55 Euro)
Ski Arlberg (53 Euro)
Soelden (53 Euro)
Saalbach (53 Euro)

 

France: Great Offer at Low Price

They have a lot to offer at a low price, but are only used to a limited extent: Ski resorts in France. Regarding the modernity of their lift infrastructure, the French lag behind Switzerland, Austria, and South Tyrol. However, France is the perfect destination for your next ski holiday, if you fancy winter fun on the cheap. The average price for a one-day adult ticket is about 39€. Well, yes, that is still more expensive than the rates for ski resorts in Germany, yet France offers larger ski resorts in terms of km of slopes than does Germany.

This winter season, the most expensive ski area in France is Les 3 Vallées (61€) with a total slope length of over 600 km of pistes, and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (62€). However, the majority of French ski resorts end up far below the 50-Euro mark.

Lift Ticket Price Comparison - France:

Average price
(peak-season one-day adults)
39,40 Euro
Increase compared to previous year+ 0,40 Euro
Rate per km of slopes0,52 Euro
Most expensive ski resortsChamonix-Mont-Blanc (62 Euro)
Les 3 Vallées (61 Euro)

 

Germany: Lowest Average Price

That's news: Nebelhorn ranks among the most expensive German ski resorts.
© Snow-Online.com That's news: Nebelhorn ranks among the most expensive German ski resorts.

Germany is your go-to if you try to ski as cheap as possible. On average, a peak-season single-day ticket for adults costs under 28€, which is an increase of just 90 cents compared to the previous year. The most expensive ski resorts can be found in the region of the Alps: Both Nebelhorn and Fellhorn-Kanzelwand offer lift tickets for 47€; same with Winklsmoosalm.

Söllereck is the only one offering cheapter rates, aside from Winterberg (35€), Willingen (28€) and Feldberg (36€), which are located in other parts of Germany. Sure, the German ski resorts may not be as big as the ones in the other countries mentioned above, and there are definitely less slopes and less amenities, but also less lift lines and crowds. So, where are you going to spend your next powder day?

Lift Ticket Price Comparison - Germany:

Average price
(peak-season one-day adults)
28,10 Euro
Increase compared to previous year+ 0,90 Euro
Rate per km of slopes4,10 Euro
Most expensive ski resortsWinklmoosalm-Steinplatte (47 Euro)
Oberstdorf-Kleinwalsertal (47 Euro)

 

Overall Price Comparison

 Average Price
(one-day peak season adult)
Increase compared to previous yearRate per km of slopes
United States79,90 Euro+ 4,90 Euro1,12 Euro
Canada63,50 Euro+ 3,00 Euro0,76 Euro
Switzerland50,40 Euro+ 0,30 Euro0,83 Euro
Italy45,30 Euro+ 1,10 Euro0,79 Euro
Austria44,50 Euro+ 1,25 Euro0,98 Euro
France39,40 Euro+ 0,40 Euro0,52 Euro
Germany28,10 Euro+ 0,90 Euro4,10 Euro


In order to facilitate a better comparison, all currencies are listed in Euro. Foreign currency translation according to the exchange rate of December 14, 2017.

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created on 4 Jan 2018