Single-Day Lift Ticket on Vail Mountain Hits $1,566

Price is exactly double the cost of a full 2021-22 Epic Pass


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Skiers arriving at Vail’s namesake Colorado resort over the weekend were shocked to find four-digit prices greeting them at the ticket window. Adult one-day lift tickets were listed at $1,566, a nearly 700 percent increase over the previous peak price of $229. A child’s one-day lift ticket rose to $798.

“This is an outrage,” said Abner Stevens, 92, a retired mining engineer who was walking back to the car with his wife and six grandchildren. “Why I remember when you could barter a little squirrel meat and a shotgun shell for a ride on the chairlift. Now these damn kids will just waste the whole day Faceposting on their Nintendos.”

The enormous price increases didn’t seem to bother everyone. “What, is that a lot?” said Steven M. Farnsworth III, 32, a trader from New York who said he had paid for his lift ticket in bitcoin. “I ski here all the time – this will be day nine this season. When you have a house right on the mountain, you tend to use it.”

Asked if he was familiar with the Epic Pass, Farnsworth acknowledged that he was, but said that he doesn’t, “use coupons,” before stepping into a two-story Escalade limousine with license plates that read “SKITRADER.” The vehicle proceeded 150 feet before turning up the pedestrian walkway toward Lionshead.

Reached for comment, a Vail Resorts spokesman said, “By setting a single-day lift ticket at exactly double the price of a 2021-22 Epic Pass, we hope to incentivize passionate skiers and riders to upcircle to a season product. We’ve been crushing people’s souls at the ticket window for years, and the recent historic price drops on our Epic Pass season pass products provided a unique opportunity to really remind people exactly how stupid they are for not purchasing an Epic Pass well in advance.”

Lift tickets at Beaver Creek, Park City, Heavenly, and several other Vail Resorts also reportedly soared over the weekend. Vail confirmed that these price increases were likely permanent.

“Vail Resorts’ long-term vision calls for strategic placement of Epic Passes at point-of-sale locations across the country and online,” said the spokesman. “As we aggressively move customers into our passholder program, envision Epic Passes in vending machines, sold in a 50-pack at Costco, or as an add-on when you’re getting an oil change or checking out at Amazon. We want the Experience of a Lifetime to be accessible to anyone.”

Skiers who didn’t pack their own lunch received an additional shock at the on-mountain restaurants, where the prices of all items had increased to $229, the past top price of a single-day lift ticket at Vail.

“It’s fine,” said Rebecca Shoemaker, 39, a lawyer from Dallas who was eating lunch with her husband and three children at the Two Elk Lodge. “When you’re having the Experience of a Lifetime, you don’t really pay attention to things like money.”

Her family’s meal – five bowls of chili, five sodas, and four brownies - had come to $3,206, but since they were Epic Pass holders, Shoemaker noted, they saved an additional 20 percent through Epic Mountain Rewards. “So it was only $2,564.80,” she said. “Considering how aggressively average this meal is, that seems fair.”

Tanner McDivvey, 19, was bussing tables nearby and seemed unfazed by the price increases. “Look, when you’re a local, like me, you get a free pass and you never eat on the mountain, so skiing doesn’t cost anything. Unlike us locals, tourists are idiots. They don’t even look at the prices because they’re on vacation from their boring lives with their boring jobs with boring benefits and boring bedrooms that they don’t have to share with six other people. They’ll buy a hamburger whether it costs $10 or $1,000. Me and my boys haven’t eaten anything but Funyuns in a year because we’re locals who don’t care about anything but skiing. It’s fun being in Two Elk every day though, because it reminds me of how much cooler my status as a local makes me than everyone else who skis here.”

2021-22 Epic Passes, which provide unlimited access to all 37 Vail Resorts in North America and Australia, are currently on sale for $783, a 20 percent discount from the early-bird 2020-21 price. The Epic Local Pass, which has some restrictions but is still a full season pass to more than two dozen mountains, is $583. Various local iterations and day products are available.

This is a work of satire. April Fools. Current day ticket prices for Vail Mountain can be found here. The quotes and people quoted are fictional.