Steamboat Resort lift ticket price hits record high, officials say it’s to keep patrons safe

Longtime Steamboat Springs resident Jamie Letson crests the top of Christie Peak Express at Steamboat Resort in March. Letson was one of hundreds of people who have found their own ways to ski and snowboard despite the resort's operations being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (File Photo)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Single-day lift ticket prices at Steamboat Resort have hit an all-time high.

For a single ticket, a buyer can expect to pay over $199 with a peak of $225 around holiday weekends. While that may come as a disappointment to skiers and riders, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. spokesperson Loryn Duke said it’s to keep patrons safe and limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Having that ticket price a little high over holidays, which are the periods we know are more popular, helps us reach our capacity limitation measure,” she said. “Pricing according to capacity expectations is a part of that whole plan to allow pass holders and package holders to ski and ride without reservation.”

Lift tickets hit record highs in 2019, at $199 for a day pass.

Duke said Steamboat is unique from other Colorado resorts in that it does not require reservations for Ikon Pass holders, who have options to ski around the world.

“We’re trying to make the mountain accessible to any Ikon pass holder or Steamboat package guest,” Duke said.

After closing early due to COVID-19 last spring, Ski Corp. unveiled a long list of safety protocols in fall 2020 to limit spread of the virus while people around the world travel to Steamboat for resort access.

“We do not take this responsibility lightly and are working hard to adjust our resort operations to do our best to minimize the risk for our community, employees and guests,” the resort said.

Duke said most years, even before COVID-19, most visitors are not seeking just a single-day lift ticket.

“Even in a non-COVID year, walk-up lift tickets are always infinitely less than packages, pre-purchases or passes,” Duke said. “For years, it’s been the same example of no one really walks up to the airport counter and buys a ticket that day.”

Ski Corp. has also seen a large profit loss in the 2021 season. Rob Perlman, Ski Corp. president and COO, told Steamboat Springs City Council the resort’s revenue is down 30%, 10% more than what was anticipated.

“Things went from bad to worse,” Perlman told council.

Duke said the resort updates its prices every year and compares itself to other Colorado resorts as well as external factors, such as a pandemic, in deciding prices.

“Steamboat takes market share of what other resorts are at and how we fall into the pricing of everything,” she said. “There’s always a fluctuation in different prices.”

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