why is skiing so expensive?

Why Is Skiing So Expensive? Price Breakdown (2024)

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by James

Skiing can be an expensive sport. Ski holidays are sometimes viewed as the domain of the wealthy, an outlook that has only increased in recent years.

The costs involved with skiing have made it an exclusive sport in many regions. Although skiing on a budget is still possible, many of the biggest resorts have raised prices to unaffordable levels for the average skier.

In this article, we aim to answer the question that is on the lips of many: “Why is skiing so expensive?”

We will look at some of the costs involved with ski participation and assess why these costs have risen to the prices we see today.

Why Is Skiing So Expensive? Quick Answer!

The reason why skiing is so expensive comes down to two key components. The amount of individual expenses that skiing incurs and the high prices of each of these costs.

Average ski trip expenses include travel, accommodation, equipment, clothing, food, lift pass, lessons and insurance. Each of these expenses can be a significant outlay, adding up to a costly holiday.

The price skiing has been steadily rising in recent decades. Increasing consumer demand, along with a limited supply of ski resorts, has lead to prices continuing to rise.

Ski Resort In France
Resort Prices Have Seen A Sizeable Increase Across The Globe

How Much Does It Cost To Go Skiing?

In order to gauge an idea of the costs involved, we will list the common expenses that a ski trip incurs:

  • Travel
  • Accommodation
  • Ski equipment (buy or rent)
  • Ski clothing
  • Food and drink
  • Ski lift ticket
  • Winter Sports Insurance
  • Ski lessons

In this section, we will look at each of these expenses and gauge how they contribute to the overall cost of a ski holiday.

Travel

Unless you’re lucky enough to live near a ski resort, you are going to need to travel. Whether you are taking a car, train or aeroplane; the cost of travelling to a ski resort can be significant.

Since ski resorts are often located a reasonable distance away from major cities, most holidaymakers will need to take a flight. Although the cost of air travel has come down in recent decades, it’s still a sizeable chunk of the overall ski holiday cost.

Don’t Forget: If you own your ski gear, you will also need to include the added expense of checking your equipment!

If you are lucky enough to live within close proximity to a ski area, or are willing to accept a long travel time; trains and buses can prove to be cheaper. Also, they are often less strict when it comes to heavy luggage and additional ski equipment.

If you are able to drive to your chosen ski destination, then this is often the best option!

Road Leading To A Ski Resort
Travel Can Be Expensive, But It Is Possible To Budget

Accommodation

The price of accommodation can vary greatly depending on quality and location. However, in general, ski resort accommodation tends to be expensive.

With only a limited amount of ski terrain around the world; ski resort hotels are in high demand. In addition, the location of a hotel within the resort can have a big impact, with close proximity to ski lifts and ‘ski-in/ski-out’ accessibility often charging the most.

The price of accommodation can also vary greatly based on the time of year, with school holiday time often charging top dollar.

If you are looking for accommodation in the world’s most popular ski resorts, you will often need to pay exorbitant prices!

Expensive ski resort hotel
Quality accommodate often means high prices!

Ski Equipment

As with any sport, getting the best equipment is going to cost you. Skiing requires a huge amount of gear, much of which can be expensive.

Many beginners choose to rent their ski gear. This is a great way to save on the upfront costs when you’re just getting into the sport, but it’s not cost effective in the long term.

When it comes to purchasing your equipment, quality can come at high prices. However, if you shop around, it’s always possible to make good investments.

Expensive Ski Equipment
Ski Gear Should Be Viewed As An Investment

How Much Does It Cost To Rent Ski Equipment?

Ski equipment rental costs can vary between the location and quality of the equipment. However, here is an approximate costing of renting skis, boots and poles for a day or week.

  • Daily Rental: $40 – $80
  • Weekly Rental: $250 – $400

How Much Does It Cost To Buy Ski Equipment?

Ski equipment costs vary greatly depending on the quality of the gear. However, here is an average figure to get kitted out with skis, boots and poles.

  • Skis: $400
  • Boots: $300
  • Poles: $50
Ski Equipment
Buying Quality Skis Can Be Expensive

Ski Clothing

Due to the frosty conditions you will encounter on the mountain, you need clothing that’s going to keep you warm and dry. In addition, the right clothing and accessory choices can make your time on the slopes comfortable.

Ski clothing comes in a wide range of prices, from super cheap to outlandishly expensive. The key is to find something you’re warm and comfortable wearing all day on the slopes.

It’s also possible to rent ski gear. This makes perfect sense if you only plan on skiing once, or you would like to try before you buy.

Skiers Modelling Ski Clothing
Stay Warm, Dry & Stylish On The Slopes

How Much Does It Cost To Rent Ski Clothing?

It’s possible to rent all the clothing you need, either in resort or prior to your trip. In general, the rental clothing available will be fairly basic, but enough to keep you warm, dry and safe on the mountain.

Here, we will give you the average baseline ski clothing rental prices:

  • Helmet: $13
  • Gloves: $15
  • Goggles: $13
  • Jacket & Pants: $40
  • Base Layer: $25

How Much Does It Cost To Buy Ski Clothing?

Ski clothing should be viewed as an investment. Quality gear is designed to stand the test of time, keeping you warm and dry for many years.

The price difference between budget and top-of-the-line can be huge. However, it is possible to give you an idea of the baseline price for each item:

  • Helmet: $65
  • Gloves: $40
  • Goggles: $45
  • Jacket & Pants: $160
  • Base Layer: $40
  • Ski Socks: $15

The items listed above are the essentials needed for any ski holiday. However, you may require more equipment as your preferences change and ability improves.

Ski backpacks, mid layers, inner gloves, hats, facemasks, and sunglasses are all examples of additional clothing you may require as you become more ‘invested’ in the sport.

Skier Wearing Denim Ski Clothes
Choose The Ski Clothes You’re Comfortable Wearing!

Food & Drink

Eateries can range dramatically in price depending on the quality, location and resort. However, you should expect to pay top-dollar for food and drink at most ski resorts.

High demand and limited options lead to bars, restaurants and cafes charging premium prices. If you want to enjoy the mountain restaurants and après bars, you should be prepared to part with some serious cash.

If you are happy to eat lunch on the ski lift, or find a spot on the side of the slopes, then packing your own lunch can save you some expense. Additionally, finding self-catering accommodation can prove cost effective if you’re able to prepare your own dinner.

Mountain Restaurant
Mountain Restaurants Often Charge High Prices

Ski Lift Ticket

Ski lift tickets can be expensive. This is especially true in the major resorts, where popularity has lead to prices skyrocketing in recent years.

Ski lift tickets are usually bought per day, week or season. If you purchase your ticket for a week or season, you can expect to get a reasonable discount compared to the day rate.

Many resorts offer reductions for purchasing your lift ticket in advance.

Expensive ski lift
Ski lifts aren’t always a cheap mode of transport

How Much Does A Ski Lift Ticket Cost?

Lift ticket prices can vary tremendously, depending on the popularity and size of the resort. However, we can provide the average figures:

  • Day Ticket: $70 – $90
  • Weekly Ticket: $200 – $350
  • Season Pass: $1000 – $1200

These estimates can see large fluctuations depending on the time of year. Holiday seasons and peak weeks can see a big spike in ticket prices, so be sure to stay away from these dates if you’re looking to grab a bargain.

Winter Sports Insurance

Insurance is an often-overlooked expense, but its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Skiing can be a dangerous sport, so making sure you’re prepared is vital.

The costs involved with ski resort injuries can be astronomical. Much of this is due to the challenges involved with mountain rescue that can incur great expense.

Statistics from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) estimate the average cost of one air ambulance flight is between $12000 and $25000.

How Much Does Winter Sports Insurance Cost?

The cost of winter sports insurance can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Age, health status and policy terms often have the biggest affect on premiums.

Although, as evidenced below, the average cost of insurance is substantially less than the cost of mountain rescue:

  • One Week Insurance: $50 – $150

Many winter sports insurance policies do not include off-piste or snow park skiing. This makes choosing the right policy essential, so be sure to read the terms and conditions.

Skier Performing A Trick
Before You Do Anything Dangerous, Make Sure You Have Insurance!

Ski Lessons

If you are a ski beginner, taking ski lessons is essential. If you are more experienced, working with an instructor is preferable if you want to sharpen your skills.

Ski lessons are broken down into two categories: Private and Group.

  • Private ski lessons are one-to-one tuition, just you and the instructor. This allows you to have maximum attention during your ski lesson, but costs significantly more.
  • Group ski lessons are more cost effective. However, the instructor’s attention will be spread over the whole group, so progression can be slower.

Average ski group lesson sizes range from 6 – 10 skiers, so be prepared to share your instructor!

Group Ski Lesson
Group Sizes Can Be Large, But They Can Also Be Fun!

How Much Do Ski Lessons Cost?

Ski lessons are usually purchased per hour or day. Prices can vary between private/group, ski resort or time of year.

However, here are some average figures:

  • Private Lesson, 1 Hour: $70 – $100
  • Group Lesson, 1 Hour: $30 – $50
  • Private Lesson, 1 Day: $400 – $500
  • Group Lesson, 1 Day: $100 – $200

If you are a ski beginner, the best way forward is often to book multiple hours. Group lessons can be a great way for you to learn the basics, while also building some camaraderie with your fellow skiers.

If you are an advanced skier, hour-long private lessons can be beneficial. The instructor will be able to give you advice on the key technical issues that need improvement, giving you food for thought.

Booking more than one hour will usually give you the best rates. When you plan your ski trip, it’s also advisable to book any lessons in advance if you want to secure a good instructor for the best price, especially during peak season.

The Total Cost Of A Ski Holiday

Now we have broken down the basic list of expenses you can expect to pay, we can get an estimate of how much a ski holiday really costs.

The average cost of a one-week ski holiday is around $1500 – $2000. This figure includes accommodation, travel, ski pass, equipment and clothing rental, food, insurance and ski lessons.

The average daily cost of skiing can be calculated as $250 – $350. This figure includes accommodation, travel, ski pass, equipment rental, clothing rental, food, insurance and ski lessons – while also taking into account the increase in prices when paying daily rates.

These figures can fluctuate dramatically based on a wide variety of factors. The ski resort, time of year, equipment choices, ski lesson requirements and distance to resort will all have a significant impact on the price.

Breaking Down Why Skiing Is So Expensive

As mentioned previously in this article, skiing can be an expensive sport due to:

  • The high price of lift tickets
  • The expense of travelling to the resort
  • The cost of renting/purchasing ski gear
  • The cost of ski lessons
  • Requirement of winter sports insurance
  • High demand for skiing means premium prices

There are only a limited amount of ski resorts in the world that are trying to serve and ever-growing demand for skiing.

Skiing has always been an expensive sport. However, increasing ski participation coupled with shorter and more unpredictable snow seasons has seen a sharp rise in prices over recent decades. 

Snowsports can be available for those with a lesser budget. However, having an understanding of the basic requirements is key and plan ahead to get the best deals!

Skier Stood On A Ski Slope
Shop Around And Celebrate Finding The Best Deals

Thoughts From The Author

The costs involved with skiing seem to be making it more exclusive with each passing year. This is especially true with many of the top resorts, where extortionate prices have made them unattainable for most skiers.

Options for affordable skiing are becoming an industry in itself. Many package holiday providers, discount accommodation locations and ‘smaller’ ski resorts/nations are all looking to attract budget conscious skiers.

Indoor ski slopes, dry ski slopes and endless ski slopes have all seen a sharp uptake in popularity. They provide bang-for-your-buck ski progression, making them a big hit with beginners.

Although skiing may often appear unaffordable, being willing to compromise is key. Affordable ski holidays in smaller resorts are worth every penny, allowing you to enjoy the sport you love without breaking the bank.


Now you have our view, we will pass the question over to you! Why do you think skiing is so expensive? Or maybe you don’t think it’s too expensive? Either way, leave a comment and let us know!

32 thoughts on “Why Is Skiing So Expensive? Price Breakdown (2024)”

  1. We as a group would prefer to ski in france and did so for a number of years however we were slowly priced out of the market not by accommodation, cost of travel or cost of lift passes purely by the greed of bars and restaurant owners which in some resorts food and drink prices were so extortionate that the lift operators were threatening strike action unless the bars lowered their prices we now mostly ski Italy or Austria where it is much more affordable

    1. Thanks for the insight Graeme. It’s a shame to hear that skiers are getting pushed out of resorts for issues that aren’t even ‘ski related’! I guess that when one door closes, another one opens. If resorts refuse to be reasonable, there is always another option. As long as you enjoy your time on the slopes, it doesn’t really matter where you are.

  2. I love to compare skiing with other sports, like biking, for example.
    I love to have my own equipment.
    So, for example I live in Croatia on the Coast of the Adriatic Sea. We have the possibility to bike about 300 days in the year. I do mostly 200. And I do one bike holiday per year. The coasts for 5 years or 1.000 biking days.
    – Good bike 5.000$
    – Good bike equipment 2.000$
    – Bike service in 5 years 1.000$
    – Bike holiday, per week 1.000€ it means in 5 years 5.000€
    All together I have spent less than 15.000$ for biking in 5 years. It means about 15$ for 1 day on my bike.
    Skiing:
    The moats people ski not more then 20 days a year. To do 1.000 skiing days, you need 50 years, or your whole life. With spends from 300$ a day its 300.000$ for skiing.
    But my calculation is:
    – Every 5 years new ski equipment – about 2.000$
    – Travel to the ski resort (I do 2 weeks in the year and 6-7 one day skiing) – 500$ per year
    – Accommodation (Italy) about 750$ week, included HB in 4* Hotels
    – Ski pass coasts, per day 40-50$
    – Lunch and drinks on the slopes – 30$ day
    2.000+2.500+1.500×5+50×100+30×100=
    It means, if I ski 5 years and 100 day in that time, I spend all together about 20.000$ or 200$ per skiing day.
    But anyway, I love SKIING.

    1. Thanks for the comparison Sascha. Actually, it’s really interesting to hear how skiing compares to similar activities. I believe that many people who do not love the sport of skiing still choose to take ski holidays. This is less the case with mountain biking, which has (dare I say) remained more pure in some respects.

      Either way, we all love skiing and i’m sure we will all find a way to ski at all costs!

  3. We know how to ski inexpensively. We choose not to. When skiing started lodging was our own bed because the only travel necessary was “up”. We choose to travel to bigger colder places and stay in comfortable lodging. We choose to ride up the hill, in style. We choose to cut down trees and bulldoze a path in order to ski. We choose to make snow. We choose to have medics on standby. We know how to build ski equipment out of wood and leather at a fraction of the cost. Our parents could teach us how to ski.

    In many ways it is still possible today to ski “essentially for free”. It’s simply a tradeoff of time versus money. If you think you’re not getting the quality of experience that you’re paying for, there is a skier who has already solved that problem. Choose your ski friends wisely and you’ll get more than your money’s worth.

    1. Great point Rusty. I think the perception of what’s required during a ski trip has changed dramatically over the years. Actually, many ski holiday ‘expenses’ are not essential. Additionally, if people begin to cut down on their spending, maybe resorts will begin to lower prices as well…(maybe?!).

  4. Once you get your own gear and don’t need lessons then the cost comes down quite a bit. Reasonable priced ski clothing and equipment that is perfectly adequate for most people is easily available these days eg Decathelon where I finally got a pair of boots that were decent quality (I could tell, having skied over 30 years) and comfortable for £75, they should last me quite a few years as a once a year skier or twice if I’m lucky! Lidl and Aldi also useful sources. We are after all talking about new people to the sport or once a year skiers here not experts requiring different quality stuff and not people who think they are alot better than they are! Also think which resort you are going to, if you have skied 2 weeks in 2 years then you don’t need expensive all area passes in say Espace Killy or Dolomite Superski etc. Yes I agree, do not have big lunches and drinks like beer and wine at mountain restaurants, fill up at breakfast and take a snack, soup and bread or a bratwurst in Austria was fine for me with a coffee, avoid France and Switzerland where prices are eyewatering! I Chalets are a good bet for families or groups especially groups with a few beginners as many include free ski guiding and free lessons on technique for intermediate skiers or good advice where to get lessons for beginners together with breakfast, evening meal, wine, afternoon tea are all in together with a happy hour usually. I can usually do a weeks skiing for about £600, travel incl my own equipment, ski pass, transfer, B&B or self cartering accomodation, evening meals out in the resorts and a bit of apres ski. Its not bad if you know what you are doing and mind a weeks golfing can be just as expensive especially in places like Spain Portugal and the Canary Islands where prices can be £50 to £100 for a round!

    1. It sounds like you have perfected the art of skiing on a budget over the last 30 years! Thanks for the useful insight Allan. You make some great points here about equipment, resorts and food. I think it’s a lot easier to stick to a budget if you accept that you’re a holiday skier, not a professional. Far too many skiers are paying extortionate prices for huge lift tickets, but only using 20% of the terrain on offer. If you love skiing, you will always be happy on slopes – no matter what perceived ‘sacrifices’ you need to make.

  5. Probably worthwhile to look at the “why” of all this at least briefly from the supply side. Driving the cost of delivering skiing is what’s driving the retail cost to the consumer. In order to produce a quality skiing product with the reliability that consumers demand, even small resorts are required to invest millions of dollars in; snowmaking systems and equipment, grooming equipment (a single snow cat is more than $300k), high-speed chairlifts ($6 million+ each), rising energy costs, a huge spike in the cost of liability insurance (that started after 9/11/2001 and continues today), and an increasing wage cost for for seasonal staff that consistently outstrips inflation (according to CPI figures) on a year-to-year basis.

    These pieces of the puzzle have brought skiing very close to being a strictly “economy of scale” service – where a smaller operator can no longer consistently produce a reasonable (or even measureable…) profit margin. The giants of the industry – Vail, Alterra, Powdr – are able to add to their revenue stream with lodging, restaurants, and a long list of non-skiing amenities with better profit margins.

    Brings me back to the joke that gets less funny every year: “how do you make a small fortune with a ski resort?”

    “Start with a large fortune!”

    1. Appreciate your prospective Ed. The costs involved with the construction and maintenance of a ski resort are astronomical – which is clearly driving the huge prices we see in major resorts today. However, the consumer demand for ‘bigger and better’ is also driving the resorts to keep updating their lift systems, snow making capabilities etc. I think the ‘giants’ of the industry could continue to strengthen their position this century – just like many other industries.

  6. Great article, James. I’m fortunate to have been born and brought up in a skiing family in New England, USA. I had much opportunity to ski growing up at small, local mountains, as well as the larger ones in Vermont. Climate change and evolving economics have gutted the inventory of those small, locally areas, but a few do remain interspersed throughout the Northeast. And I would assume, throughout wherever there are hills and cold weather here in the U.S. However, media, electronic, print, and social certainly portrays the sport as an economically exclusive activity. Socially, as well, though hopefully the industry is slowly waking up to that.
    For continuation of the sport, I believe broader public access is necessary. Many smaller areas offer day lift tickets for as much as 1/5 of the day rate of major areas. Also, some ski shops offer seasonal rentals of equipment. This is certainly an attractive option for children, who can outgrow boots and skis every year or so. The focal point of the industry in the U.S. is season pass sales. It is a financial linchpin for resort owners, as it provides cash for off season and pre season investment, and a foundation for an operating budget. The sticker shock, however, is sure to give pause to many who are contemplating entering the sport, either solely or as a family.
    My conclusion, support the smaller areas, particularly those that are independently owned. Somehow, they need to get their message out as well. I know that its difficult for the small guy to compete with NYSE corporations. But, the fun should be available to everyone.
    Rick Payer

    1. Thanks Rick! I am also a big advocate of skiing in smaller resorts. Actually, many people are skiing in resorts that are too big for their requirements. If you stick to the ‘lesser-known’ resorts, you will save a fortune and (sometimes) beat the lift lines as well. Hopefully discussion like this will continue to promote skiing in smaller and more economical resorts.

  7. not to mention that this year you need a reservation, ski areas are limited in the number of skiers due to covid that means the day skier bares the brunt of the increase! members plus 1000 additional skiers means higher prices to the daily purchasers!

    1. I’m sure the supply and demand has been pushed further in favour of the resorts this season – which it sounds like they’re trying to cash in on. Thanks for your input Tim!

  8. Lift ticket prices you have posted here are a deal! I seen prices $150.00 plus and heard one resort charging $200.00 on a holiday!

    1. Hi Mike, we try to cut a balance between the big and small resort prices. For sure, I fully believe prices can get to these crazy numbers! Hopefully, we don’t see $200 becoming a common theme any time soon!

  9. You might want to revise some of your cost estimates. For example, a daily lift ticket at America’s top destination such as Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler, will cost between $100-$125. A 6 hour Private Ski Lesson for 1 – 6 people will run $700 – $850. A Apres Ski drink, $6 – $12, and so on. I feel your estimate for the cost of buying ski equipment close however if the person want higher quality the costs go dramatically,, ski’s $700 – $1300, boots $350 – $1000.

    Thanks, I enjoyed your article.
    Daniel Shefchik
    PSIA. Level. III
    Rocky Mountain
    Since 1966

    1. Thanks so much for your input Daniel. It’s great to hear some realistic estimates from someone who has great experience working in mountain resorts. We will certainly take these into account and continue to update and revise as things progress. Finding the ‘average’ is always challenging with so many different options costing such a wide variety of prices. Thanks for your help!

  10. I live in Whistler, Canada and went on a ski vacation to 3 Vallees, France in March of 2019. Didn’t find the food prices to be very high at all. If my Epic pass didn’t give me free lift tickets there, I still would have been happy to pay the very cheap lift ticket rates being offered at these resorts.

    1. It sounds like France has got the edge of Whistler when it comes to current day prices?! 3 Vallees and Whistler are both premium resorts and are good equivalents to compare Europe and Canada. Thanks for the info Beric!

  11. How old is this article and how were these costs researched? The prices where I live and ski are way, way higher than what is posted. It is interesting to see the responses on facebook to this article. We all look through our own lenses and come up with our own theories on what is going on. I see a lot of stuff differently that many others, and similar to some others. Your lift ticket prices are hilarious. If a ski area has a high speed lift, the daily price is ALWAYS well over $100. Yeah, there ae a few areas that you can ski for $80 to $100, but they are small and ‘incomplete’. Those are actually where I aim most of the time anyway! I have skied over 80 areas in the US and Canada as well as 70 + in Europe. Cost comparison to other activities is valid, but I can’t imagine how any other individual non motorized activity is higher…… The premise of the article is good, but the listed core costs (where I live) are very different (and much higher),

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for your input. Budget lift ticket prices are for sure hard to come by, with your experience and knowledge showing that it’s now almost impossible to find! We always try to balance the prices of America, Europe, Asia and Oceana to provide the most well-rounded information we can. However, based in solid information for sources like yourself, we will continue to revise and update to improve accuracy moving forward!

  12. I think the one of thingsmissing is the liability insurance that the resort incurs. The other major expense for the resort are the lifts. Because of the high costs, the lift tickets have gone thru the roof. I skied Flagstaff on an all day ticket for $5 in 1961 and in 1964 the tickets in Michigan at Boyne Mountain were $15.

    1. Hi Jon, I think you’re think you raise some great points here. Of course, the costs incurred by the resorts will hit the consumers (I really hate calling skiers ‘consumers’!). Anyway, the resorts believe ‘bigger is better’ when it comes to lifts, so these prices could continue to climb further.

  13. The cost of ski holidays in school holidays is very expensive however if you go self catering and book it all yourself it is considerably cheaper. We went to the Massif Central when the kids were young but you can’t unfortunately guarantee snow however this is a much cheaper option.

    1. Hi Kate, I agree and believe it’s still possible to find some budget deals, providing you’re willing to compromise! However, ski holidays do have a massive impact on ski resorts, both in terms of prices and lift lines! If you have kids, it can be harder to find a budget deal, but good to hear it’s still possible!

  14. I started skiing when I was 7, I am now 57 years old. The ski industry spent the sixties and seventies bringing skiing to the masses. Since then they have done nothing but take it away. I would rather pay less and ride an old double chair, than pay $100. To ride a high speed six pack. I could care less about grooming and a fancy lodge. I am there to ski. The rich people care about all the amenities that make it so expensive. If the ski industry stopped catering to the soft fluffy rich people who can barely ski, and catered to skiing, the price would not be so high. In 1971 a weekend lift ticket was about $6 at Breckinridge. What is it now? $120. I love to ski, but at those prices I will ski my little nonprofit Mt Ashland in Southern Oregon or earn my turns. Thanks for creating this space and discussion. 👍🏽❤️⛷🙏🏼❄️

    1. Thanks for the valuable insight Bill. Actually, I think most people in the ski industry share your view. The major resorts focus a lot of attention on being ‘more than just skiing’. Well actually, many of us only want skiing – so we don’t need to pay a premium for additional facilities. Nonprofit and earn your turns are solid options for any real skier. As long as you’ve got skis on your feet, nothing else really matters!

  15. Frederick P Certano

    Interesting article. Maybe we should go back to wooden skis, bear trap bindings, leather boots and rope tows? Then build them close to population centers where land prices would probably make it impractical? The reality is we got what we asked for, better equipment, better grooming, faster lifts, all cost money, lots of it. The reality in the US is that the number of US skiers & borders has been the same for 20 years. Please see above, it’s what we asked for! Shout out to Dan Shefchek from Ashland,Wis. Im Originally from Bessemer, Indian head day 1 1959, still 100 days per year, Sandpoint

    1. Hey Frederick, we always demand bigger, better, faster – not just in skiing but in most products. Hopefully, we see the costs rising at a rate closer to that of inflation moving forward…although that is certainly no guaranteed!

  16. James, great breakdown. Honestly, like any activity you can always find ways to ski on a budget. It’s like buying a car sure we all want that Maserati and Lamborghini but can you afford it? For most of us that’s not possible. Skiing is one of the few sports you can feel “wealthy” even if you aren’t. Even a middle class person can visit Vail or Aspen and hob knob with the elite. Just think how expensive it is to travel to Ibiza.

    Personally, we now avoid corporate owned resorts and even independently owned mega-resorts. We keep going to smaller and smaller resorts some with only one lift (example: Turner Mountain in Montana or Pomerelle in Idaho). We want the slow fixed-grips. We want that funky vibe… but I know I’m one of the few that feels that way. 🙂

    1. Thanks Alex! You know, the conversation around this article is enough to give us hope that there are skiers who still love visiting the smaller resorts. Prioritising skiing over selfies is hopefully the message we take forward as a community this year!

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