well, its not quite a double in price, but the colorado newspapers had a story this weekend about Vail increasing this years peak season ticket rates from $77 to $85 in order to stay ahead of Aspen ($82) as most expensive. i haven't seen this on any financial news sites, but here's a link:
ALthough overhead drives much of the ocsts, Vail is definitely milking as much coin as it can. Most of Vail's visitors are high society types. The locals get seaosn passes with their jobs.
90% of Colorado born skiiers avoid Vail likee the plague do to its pompous ass high society types.
I lived in Vail for a season, and my budy still lives their. the only way I will ever be able to afford to goto vail is if my buddy gets me free lift tickets, and a place to stay, otherwise the vacation is completewly out of my reach finacially.
As long as the rich folks keep exploiting Vail as thier personal ski areas Vail can charge these rediculous lift ticket prices. However if we hit a recession, expect Vail to get hit hard.
If Vail is guilty of gouging, so is the whole Colorado ski industry. Vail does offer good deals for people who can pick up a pass in Colorado during October -- mainly intended for Colorado residents. It basically gives you a season pass at the cost of about a week of skiing at the normal rates. So for people who love to ski and can arrange to get the pass, it gives them a very good deal to do something that they love. As for the high lift ticket prices, I think the great skiing at Vail and their other areas -- Breckenridge and Keystone -- is not too high to get people who love skiing to spend the dollars they have saved for their vacation.
I don't own the stock, but I have skied at Vail and Breckenridge -- and I have profound and great feelings come up when I recall the experiences I have had there. I really can't recall such great feelings resulting from any other dollars I have spent.
As for the stock -- I don't know about their business plan. But I do know that the Rockies are not expected to be affected much by global warning -- they may in effect become even more attractive as compared to the other regions that are affected by global warming. Thus the real estate becomes even more attractive (for rich types and developers of rentals and timeshares, I agree). The ticket buyers help support the ski operations that make the real estate attractive.
Yes, while lift tickets are expensive, they are still a better value than a round of golf ($100+) or a concert ($100+) or a night at the theatre ($100+) or dinner at a good restaurant ($100+). How much does it cost for a family to go to a professional football or baseball game ($300+)? Nowadays, everything is over-priced, so lift tickets are just keeping up.