The costs of skiing seem to increase every year. One cost that almost never goes down is the cost of a daily or weekly ski lift pass.
One way to keep the cost of a ski pass down is to check the increasing number of ski resorts giving substantial reductions on online purchases in advance.
Ski Resorts Network takes a look at the most expensive lift passes at the cash desk in each of the main European countries:
Most expensive lift pass in Austria
The most expensive daily ski pass in Austria is €67. That’s the cost of a high season day ticket to the glacier ski resort of Sölden in the Austrian province of the Tyrol or in the Arlberg region which includes the ski resorts of St Anton and Lech.
The most expensive six-day lift pass is in the same valley as Sölden, where an Ötztal adult pass (which covers Sölden and Obergurgl) in high season will cost €390 if bought at the cash desk in Obergurgl. (Strangely enough the Sölden website is advertising the same pass at €371.50.)
Both the one-day and six-day Sölden and Obergurgl passes can offer substantial reductions the earlier they are purchased as the valley has moved to a dynamic pricing model.
Most expensive lift pass in France
Some of the French ski resort ski pass prices have added an extra wrinkle on top of the reductions for online bookings in advance. The Les Arcs Classic ski pass, for example, is the traditional ski pass limited to that area (without the connected La Plagne area lifts). However the Les Arcs Essential ski pass includes the Paradiski connection to La Plagne and the use of priority lines at ski lifts.
When it comes to lift passes in France, it is really no surprise that what is arguably the top ski area has the top prices. The local Val d’Isère pass clocks in at €60 for a day pass. Local passes are often not available for more than one or two days and here again the Espace Killy connecting Val d’Isère and Tignes comes out on top with a cool €360 for six days.
Most expensive lift pass in Switzerland
Switzerland comes with a big asterisk as the major ski resorts are moving towards ‘dynamic pricing’ (the lift ticket price varies with demand). So, for example, a day ticket in a resort such as Zermatt can vary from 83CHF depending on the season and the number of passes already sold on any given day (with reductions for early online booking and guests staying in Zermatt).
With this in mind the skier will find it almost impossible a) to get an idea of the cost for a week’s ski pass at different periods and b) to compare prices between ski resorts.
Most expensive lift pass in Italy
The ski resorts around the Dolomites have tended to have the more expensive ski passes in Italy and the ‘grande dame’ of the Dolomites, the ski area at Cortina d’Ampezzo, comes out top with a daily lift pass price of €69 and a six-day high season adult ski pass price of €347. (Although the Val Gardena ticket office – the highest in Italy last year – have not yet finalised their winter prices at the time of writing!)
Mind you, Europeans have little to complain about when it comes to ski pass prices if they cast their eyes across the Atlantic. Even going through Epic (a multi-resort ski ticket organisation aimed mainly at season ticket purchases), the Epic day pass will cost $99 for a single day.