Liftopia’s pricing engine gives skiers more options

Liftopia, which operates the largest consumer marketplace and resort technology platform for ski lift tickets and other mountain activities, has introduced the industry’s first tiered dynamic pricing system for lift tickets featuring Value,Value Plus and Flexible options – now available for purchase for the 2014/2015 ski season.

The new ticket options feature a range of savings and flexibility to meet the needs of any type of skier or snowboarder, whether they are traveling to their destination or hitting the slopes closer to home:

  • Value lift tickets are date-specific, non-refundable and non-changeable, offering the deepest discounts with savings up to 85 percent off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. These are ideal for consumers who know the exact dates they will be skiing or riding.
  • Value Plus lift tickets offer added flexibility, allowing a one-time date change during the season.
  • Flexible lift tickets offer the ultimate flexibility with unlimited date changes during the season.

 If Value Plus and Flexible tickets are changed to dates that are more expensive, customers will just pay the difference in price.  Customers will never be charged separate change fees.

“At Liftopia, we work hard to make it easier for people to ski more often in ways that are also beneficial for ski areas, and these new options provide a range of flexibility to give consumers a choice of what is best for their needs,” said Evan Reece, co-founder and CEO of Liftopia. “Since prices move up over time, consumers can have confidence that the farther they buy in advance the more they will be rewarded for their commitment.”

 Some examples of Value, Value Plus and Flexible lift tickets now available for purchase include:

 Mount Snow, VT – Purchase lift tickets in advance for the week of Christmas (Dec. 22-26) and get a Value ticket starting at $46.99, or 48 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $55.59, or 38 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $60.59, or 33 percent off the walk-up rate.

  • Arapahoe Basin, CO – Purchase lift tickets in advance for the last week in December (Dec. 29-Jan. 2) and get a Value ticket starting at $58.99, or 35 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $64.99, or 27 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $69.99, or 21 percent off the walk-up rate.
  • Mad River Glen, VT – Purchase lift tickets in advance for New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) and get a Value ticket starting at $39.99, or 49 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $47.79, or 40 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $52.79, or 33 percent off the walk-up rate.
  • Killington, VT – Purchase lift tickets in advance for President’s Weekend (Feb. 14-16) and get a Value ticket starting at $76.99, or 16 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $81.99, or 11 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $86.99, or 5 percent off the walk-up rate.
  • Snowbird, UT - Purchase lift tickets in advance for the last week in January (Jan. 26-30) and get a Value ticket starting at $56.99, or 40 percent off the walk-up rate; Value Plus starting at $64.59, or 32 percent off the walk-up rate; or Flexible starting at $69.59, or 27% off the walk-up rate.

All prices are based on availability and will change dynamically.

 In addition to Value, Value Plus and Flexible tickets, skiers and snowboarders can also purchase rentals, lessons, meal vouchers, and more through Liftopia.com and the Liftopia mobile app.

The flexible tiered pricing options are also being introduced by several resorts which utilize the cloud-based Liftopia Platform to implement advance-purchase commerce and the industry’s most advanced dynamic pricing models on the resorts’ own websites and mobile channels.  The Liftopia Platform also provides resorts access to sophisticated business intelligence and customer analytics.

For more information on Value, Value Plus and Flexible tickets as well as Liftopia and the Liftopia Platform, visit www.liftopia.com.

On the Snow editors pick their favorite skis

2015 Editors’ Choice: Our 41 Favorite Skis

The top men’s and women’s skis for the 2014/15 season. From Frontside carvers and All-Mountain Front/All-Mountain Back versatility machines to Powder slayers, this is the best of what your favorite ski brands have to offer.

Frontside Faves

1
The 7 Best Men’s Frontside Skis for 2015
These seven pairs of men’s Frontside carvers topped our list for 2015. Read on to find out why. Full Article

4 Top 2015 Women’s Frontside Skis

All-Mountain Front Standouts

2
2015′s Top 6 Men’s All-Mountain Front Skis
Ski testers dubbed these six standout pairs of men’s All-Mountain Front skis worthy of our 2015 Editors’ Choice. Full Article

The 4 Best Women’s All-Mountain Front Skis for 2015

The Best of All-Mountain Back

3
7 Top-Scoring Skis: 2015 Men’s All-Mountain Back
These seven pairs of men’s All-Mountain Back Skis impressed testers most, now among the ranks of our 2015 Editors’ Choice skis. Full Article

4 Winning Women’s 2015 All-Mountain Back Skis

Most Popular Powder Planks

4
Our 5 Favorite Men’s Powder Skis for 2015
Five pairs of men’s powder skis floated to the top of the 2015 lineup and onto our Editors’ Choice list. Full Article

4 Women’s Powder Ski Standouts for 2015

Josh Daiek battles Mt. Ruapehu in New Zealand

As ski season down under winds down, here’s an interesting story by Josh Daiek at www.joshdaiek.com:

“I powered down the table saw and took a seat for my lunch break when I noticed a missed call from Mike Douglas. His voicemail informed me of an upcoming ski trip to New Zealand, I frantically called back eager to hear the details. The trip was for a Salomon Freeski TV project, the plan, explore and expose some of the less popular skiing on the northern island. I was thrilled, I’ve always wanted to ski New Zealand. I tried not to sound overly excited or anxious as I confirmed with Douglas “I’m in!” I hung up the phone and began dancing around the room like an idiot.

My first instinct was to research and gather as much info as possible about the mountains and conditions on the north island, but as I began typing into the Google search I simply stopped. What does it matter? I thought. I’m going to get on a plane, fly half way around the world and go skiing during summer! That’s all that matters anyway. It seemed like the right thing to do, maybe a little more spontaneous, no expectations, no schedule, no worries.

After an airport rendezvous in Auckland, the crew assembled of 3 skiers; Mike Douglas, Chris Rubens, myself, 2 cinematographers; Anthony Bonello, Ben Knight and 1 photographer; Bruno Long. We crammed all gear and people into two cars and rolled out. We merged onto the highway and I unfolded a road map asking Mike “Where are we going?” It was then that he began to reveal the story of the natives, the Maori Tribe, and their sacred volcanoes. We were out to explore, document and ski these historical volcanoes.

Our first day we headed to Mt. Ruapehu to explore the ski resort Whakapapa. As we drove to the mountain I sat in the back seat, my eyes glued to the window, anxiously awaiting the sight of the mountains. Mother nature had other plans though, with dense cloud cover, rain and nearly nonexistent visibility we weren’t afforded a real view of the mountain. The first week we struggled to tough out the elements, battling in the rain and seeing how long are goretex would last. A combination of bullet proof crust and the gnarliest flat light I’ve ever seen (or not seen) made for some tough skiing too.

After a long day of strife at the resort we made our way home when all of the sudden, the clouds began to part. For the first time on our trip we actually saw Mt Ruapehu! I think we were all pretty excited to finally see the mountain and as the sunset behind the horizon I was pumped for the next day.

Read more in RUAPEHU

Australia has best season in decades

By HENRY BELOT
Ski resorts on the Snowy Mountains are preparing for the final week of the ski season in what has been described as one of the best seasons in almost a decade.

With the season officially coming to an end, Thredbo spokeswoman Susie Diver described the year as a healthy result for the entire industry despite the doom and gloom felt when ski-fields were only dusted with snow for the Queens birthday.

“It really comes down to an amazing snowfall of two metres within just a couple of days in July and a very cold and dry August that meant the snow cover remained,” she said.

Read more Bumper ski season heads for the finish line – http://www.theage.com.au/act-news/bumper-ski-season-heads-for-the-finish-line-20140926-10la9a.html via @theage

Lou’s travels in Chile: Lonquimay to Baños Morales

Here’s a fun story by Lou Dawson on www.wildsnow.com

“During spring of 1981 I was in Chile with my friend and climbing partner Rich Jack. So going back there several weeks ago was a nostalgia hit along with a fun dose of adventure travel. Our 1981 trip lasted three months. After nearly four weeks of skiing at Portillo (and before that failing on a couple of big Andes alpine climbs in Peru), we bypassed the closer Santiago region and headed farther south for the town of Osorno, where we planned on skiing a few volcanoes. Due to weather and transportation issues we only got up Villarica Volcano (fun back then, and still popular.) Honestly, I never thought I’d be back. I like Chile, but my home mountains in Colorado and the European Alps seem to be the ranges that call me.

Chile is huge, 2,610 miles north/south. Extending for much of those miles something like 4,000 volcanoes and the Andes mountains result in one of the most prolific collection of peaks in the world; when combined with Peru and Argentina, way more mountains than the Alps, perhaps even exceeding the North American northern-west coast ranges. Much of the Andes range is roadless. Even though parts of Chile are more roaded than most people assume, very little access is as easy as you get in western Europe. Thus, as happens in the North America, the places with road access to the alpine do become popular. Those are the areas I focused on during this trip, though “popular” is a relative term. (If you go outside those zones you’re looking at overnight trips supported by pack animals or your own back.)

Our new Chilean friend Casey Earle picked me up at Las Trancas after the Marker Kingpin tech binding event. We’d had terrible weather: scouring winds in the highlands and torrential rain at lower elevations. As optimists, Casey and I stayed a few more nights in Las Trancas thinking we could get up on the Nevados Chillan volcanoes for some touring. We were totally shut down.

My luxury stay during the Marker press event at Rocanegra was impressive, but wasn’t the real Chile you get if you’re a middle to low budget adventure traveler. Moving to Chil-in at Las Trancas gave me a soft re-entry into the world of less costly lodging that’s one of the more interesting aspects of South American ski travel.

What makes it “interesting” is you simply don’t know what you’re going to get. For example, the showers at Chil-in were hot and powerful, in bathrooms down the hall. At Rocanegra you had a bathroom in your room, but the shower stayed cool unless you ran it forever. Chil-in served good solid food but it wasn’t fancy. Rocanegra served the cuisine of a luxury European hotel. The great equalizer is Chilean wine. I was quaffing complimentary wine at Rocanegra that tasted like a $50 bottle from Napa; later we were buying that same wine for $5.00 USD a bottle in quaint regional mercados. In either case, who cares how the showers perform?

Read more of Lou’s story at CHILE

Intrawest Passport returns and goes on sale

Passport - Join the Ski Revolution
THE INTRAWEST PASSPORT IS BACK!
EARLY SEASON PRICING GUARANTEED
NOW THROUGH OCT. 20
Intrawest - Passport: Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe, Blue Mountain
It’s that time of year to begin planning for your ski or snowboard vacation with friends and family! Great news for you, the revolutionary Intrawest Passport is BACK and on SALE! The Intrawest Passport™ will allow guests to ski/ride for six days during the 2014-2015 ski season at Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Blue Mountain in Ontario; Mont Tremblant in Quebec; Stratton Mountain in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.
HOW PASSPORT WORKS
1 Primary Adult Passport $589 (required) + Additional Adults $449 (Up to 5 Passports) + Teen Ages 12-20 (Up to 5 Passports) + Children FREE (Up to 5 Passports)
THE MORE YOU ADD, THE MORE YOU SAVE.
Watch this video to learn more.
Click Here to Watch a Fun Video on Passport
Let's Go! - Click here to learn more

Powderhounds.com sums up Craigieburn ski field in New Zealand

Craigieburn ski field rope tow in New Zealand (Photo courtesy of Powderhounds.com)

Craigieburn ski field rope tow in New Zealand (Photo courtesy of Powderhounds.com)

Powderhounds.com delivers this analysis of Craigieburn ski field in New Zealand:

Steep, deep and cheap sums up Craigieburn ski field in New Zealand. The club field in the Southern Alps (about 1.5 hours north-west of Christchurch) is definitely not a “resort” as there are no frills and definitely no glitz or glamour. You won’t find any of the Prada wearing set here, as it’s reserved for hard-core ski enthusiasts and powderhounds. The famous mohawked skier Glen Plake loved the Craigieburn ski area so much that he joined the club. A run has now been named after him – “Plake’s Mistake”. If Glen Plake made a mistake, then it gives you a bit of an idea about the difficulty of the terrain at Craigieburn Valley.

Craigieburn Ski and Snowboard TerrainCraigieburn Valley (or Craigieburn for short) has some of New Zealand’s most challenging patrolled terrain. The Craigieburn ski terrain varies from steep narrow chutes to wide open powder bowls. There is no grooming except for the grooming that Mother Nature performs, so the ski area is all “off-piste”. Long runs resemble heli-ski runs when there is fresh powder. Heli-skiing at the price of a $60 lift ticket – choice eh?

Of course Craigieburn doesn’t have the luxury of a helicopter, but rather a fairly primitive lift system. There are three nutcracker ropetows to transport skiers up steep pitches to cover 500 metres of vertical. The lifts are pretty fast, but the basic nature of them is great for keeping the crowds away. The major benefit of course is that there are more fresh tracks for those who are super keen (and super-fit).

If the steep nutcrackers on the way up don’t humble you, then the terrain on the way down might. This is not a ski area for families or beginners. Even strong intermediates would struggle with the terrain unless the snow conditions were absolutely perfect. Sixty percent of the terrain is under-rated as blue, but perhaps these runs are considered easy in comparison to the triple black runs which are described as “suicidal”.

Officially the resort has around 400 hectares of skiable area, but Craigieburn is a gateway to many more acres of back-country terrain. A bit of trekking is involved to get the best snow, but it is definitely worth the effort. Craigieburn and Broken River ski areas are “interconnected” via a hike of about 15 minutes, which opens up even more terrain.

Read much more in CRAIGIEBURN.

Say it isn’t so, closing dates for ski resorts in New Zealand

Snow.co.nz has listed the closing dates for ski resorts in New Zealand

Sun, 28th Sep Treble Cone 2014 Closing Date Treble Cone Opening / Closing Dates
Sun, 28th Sep Remarkables Scheduled Closing Day The Remarkables Opening / Closing Dates
Sun, 5th Oct Coronet Scheduled Closing Day Coronet Peak Opening / Closing Dates
Sun, 5th Oct Ohau Closing Day Ohau Opening / Closing Dates
Sun, 5th Oct Rainbow Closing Day Rainbow Opening / Closing Dates
Sun, 12th Oct Tukino Closing Date Tukino Opening / Closing Dates
Mon, 13th Oct Hutt Scheduled Closing Day Mt Hutt Opening / Closing Dates

Please note: this calendar is a guide only and these dates are subject to change. 

Vail plans nightclub experience on mountain

High elevation energy, world-class DJ entertainment and the ultimate mountaintop nightclub experience returns to Vail Mountain, one of the largest ski resortsin the world, as the resort welcomes back Décimo for six exclusive nights during the 2014-2015 winter season.

Last winter, Vail Mountain re-imagined the nightclub experience in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Décimo when it debuted in March to a sold-out crowd. Located at 10,250 feet above sea level on Vail Mountain, Décimo featured three-time Grammy nominee, DJ, producer and artist Paul Oakenfold in an event that matched the legendary reputation of the mountain and resort.

This winter, let Gondola One in Vail Village take you to new heights for Décimo’s one-of-a-kind mountaintop dance party on Vail Mountain. Currently scheduled Décimo dates for the upcoming winter season include:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014
  • Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015
  • Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
  • Friday, Feb. 13, 2015
  • Friday, March 6, 2015
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015

“The hugely successful debut of Décimo last March confirmed our belief that this is what our discerning guests from around the world are looking for to complete their experience in Vail,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “We’re thrilled to be sharing Décimo this season and giving our guests even more reason to return to Vail.”
 
Décimo will continue to blend exceptional service and renowned entertainment with the excitement of a world-class nightspot set amongst the iconic backdrop of Vail Mountain. Each unique event will begin at the base of Gondola One in Vail Village.

From there, guests will be carried to mid-mountain in the gondola’s state-of-the-art cabins, complete with heated seats and Wi-Fi access. Just steps away from the top of the gondola, guests will enter a space that has undergone a carefully orchestrated transformation into the chic, dynamic nightspot that is Décimo, an exclusive nightclub experience complete with VIP tables and bottle service.
 
For information on Décimo events for the 2014-2015 winter season, FAQs and ticketing or VIP package details, visit www.DecimoVail.com or call (970) 754-CIMO (2466).
 
The Décimo experience is designed by Vail Resorts in conjunction with Las Vegas-based hospitality consulting firm Macro Management Group, known for providing a variety of expertise and services to events and ventures in Las Vegas, Nev. and Los Angeles, Calif.

Promo Video: http://vimeo.com/88457180