U.S. Resort Tops World Lift Ticket Price Survey

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SAM Magazine-The U.S. has the world's most expensive six-day lift pass, priced at more than $500, according to the 2005-06 World Lift Ticket Price Survey. The survey, the fifth annual such report from Snow Hunter Ltd., presents a broad review of six-day lift ticket prices from more than 300 ski areas in 30 countries.

For bargain-hunters, Iran is believed to have the cheapest six-day lift ticket in the world, with a pass for the resort of Dizin (which has a good selection of chair and gondola lifts) priced at $32. That's about fifteen times less than the price of the top U.S. fare.

Switzerland was also the only major skiing nation in the Alps where prices dropped (on average by 2.5 percent) in comparison to average Euro prices. Prices to North America were up around 10 percent for travellers from Europe as the dollar gained strength.

Children's tickets generate some of the widest disparities, according to the survey. The U.S. offers both the cheapest and most expensive tickets for children in the world, depending on which resort you choose (and how old your kids are). Norway is marginally the most expensive destination in Europe for children, although kids don't pay at all until age seven, and pay child rates until age 15-the oldest child-price age in the world. The average age at which children have to pay for lift tickets is six years, one month. French resorts begin charging kids at the youngest average age, four years, seven months.

Canada and Switzerland have the best value children's lift ticket pricing, typically a third to a half of the adult price. In Switzerland the low prices continue through age 14 and a half, the second-oldest average child-price age in the world. The average age at which children have to pay adult prices is 13. North American resorts often offer a separate teen rate, but this is rare in Europe.

The 2005-6 World Lift Ticket Price Survey ($90) is divided into three main sections-children, adult pricing for individual resorts and adult pricing for multi-resort passes. It's available from snowhunter@tiscali.co.uk, www.snow24.com.



Does the Iran ticket include the cost of the ransom for western citizens?