Skiing in Alberta, Canadian Rockies. Photo by Margie Goldsmith.
Liftopia: the Secret to Saving on the Slopes
By Elle Rahilly
With winter just around the corner, several skiers and snowboarders devoted to the slopes are already dreaming of the first snowfall. They envision the snow-capped mountains, trails buzzing with traffic, tricksters carving up the terrain park, and racers swooshing through slalom gates, gliding swiftly down the mountain to a comforting lodge where several reside for rest, laughs and beverages.
Coming from the Northeast, I understand the fatal attraction to winter sports: thrilling, satisfying, and comforting all at once. Trips to the mountains can create some of the best memories: whether it be an unforgettable week with close friends, a traditional family outing post-holidays, or for students an incredible Wednesday getaway when trying to blow off some steam during midterms.
So what’s the issue? Well, at times it can seem to cost an arm and a leg for lift tickets, creating a drawback for some eager goers who simply cannot foot the bill anymore.
Allow me to introduce Evan Reece and Ron Schneidermann: two men with a passion for winter sports, and a strong urge to inspire that passion within others. While planning a trip to Tahoe in 2005, they realized there are too many variables that keep people from hitting the slopes everyday: accommodations, car and equipment rental, and of course lift ticket prices.
Evan and Ron soon became intent on creating an outlet that would allow a great value for consumers, while also keeping in mind the best interest of ski resorts, allowing them to extend their outreach nation-wide.
The device: Liftopia.com, a website dedicated to acquiring unique inventory at the lowest price, whose success is booming. As the largest online retailer of lift tickets, Liftopia provides insights into trends in lift ticket pricing for the upcoming season and the best deals available.
Last year Liftopia sold over 1% of all tickets sold throughout the United States, with resorts currently loading more inventories on Liftopia than in the first three seasons combined (250 partners in their seventh season as compared to seven partners in their first season.)
The website is a winter haven for locals, out-of-towners and all those in between. With accessibility to a vast amount of resorts, the options are conveniently categorized by region, with a great search engine tailored to match your specific requests, listing a precise number of specials available each day.
On the homepage is featured the hottest recent deals, and upon exploring the site more you will come across a series of blogs providing educated advice, noting on topics from independent ski manufacturers to the most favored ski town beers.
With over seventeen habitual bloggers, you will come across sound advice on winter sports, tourism, and hospitality. Liftopia’s success comes from the trusting relationship Ron and Evan have created with both their customers and partners.
By creating an online outlet for marketing, the two are creating a great change in the ski industry, one that is working with the boom in technology.
Ron Schneidermann states, “Shifting toward a focus for online distribution, resorts have real time control as well as the data to control crises.”
At the same time, the site provides organized and accessible outlets for skiiers across the U.S, inspiring action amongst all those apprehensive to book that deal. Ron continues, “If we can inspire people to try a new resort, well that’s half the fun and nature of our work.” Sounds like a win/win to me.
Liftopia is kicking off the season with a boom, featuring their largest-ever “Red Hot End of Summer” Sale. The sale features more than 32,700 deals with up to 86% off ticket prices at more than 60 ski resorts across North America. Here is a glimpse at the types of sales Liftopia has to offer:
60% off single day lift tickets at Monarch, starting at $23.99
39% off single day lift tickets at Arapahoe Basin, starting at $47.99
86% off single day lift tickets at Wildcat (N.H.), starting at $9
63% off single day lift tickets at Burke Mountain (V.T.), starting at $25
57% off single day lift tickets at Mt. Baldy, starting at $22.99
48% off single day lift tickets at Sierra-at-Tahoe, starting at $40
New York and New Jersey:
70% off single day lift tickets at Plattekill (N.Y.), starting at $16.99
51% off single day lift tickets at Mountain Creek (N.J.), starting at $25
65% off single day lift tickets at Hoodoo (Ore.), starting at $16.99
50% off single day lift tickets at Stevens Pass (Wash.), starting at $32.50
80% off single day lift tickets at Crystal Mountain (Mich.), starting at $10
54% off single day lfit tickets at Tamarack (Idaho), starting at $25
51% off three-day pass at Red Mountain (British Columbia), starting at $98.53
*Please Note: These are representative examples; more deals are available on Liftopia.com. All prices are based on availability and may sell out.
Ron and Evan continue to highlight the best values on ski resorts across North America all year long, working hard to please the customer and enhance the business of their partners.
As Ron puts it, “The beauty is that people don’t identify themselves as being a car or hotel renter, but they can define themselves by skiing or snowboarding. Whether a beginner or an expert, anyone who identifies with it are inspired to push their self to do more. It’s neat when you can inspire people to become more involved in something they can define themselves by.”
Elle Rahilly is a former editorial assistant at GoNOMAD and a student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.