How Much Does It Cost To Ride A Ski Lift?

If you’re a skier, then you know that skiing is one of the most expensive sports out there. But even if you don’t ski, there’s still no need for it to be expensive. 

Skiing can be affordable, especially when you plan ahead! In this article we’ll show you how much it costs to ride a lift at your favorite ski resort – from the cheapest day to visit up through multi-day tickets and discounts for locals and military personnel alike.

The cost of riding a ski lift varies across the world. In the U.S., you could pay as much as $200 per day, while in Europe it costs around €65 (depending on whether you go to France or Switzerland).

The Following Determines the ski Lift Price…

Ski lift costs can vary depending on various factors such as location, type of lift, and additional infrastructure.
Factors influencing ski lift costs include the length of the lift, terrain, capacity, and desired features.
The cost of building a ski lift can range from several million dollars to tens of millions.
Operational costs for ski lifts include maintenance, staffing, energy consumption, and ongoing repairs.
Ski lifts are a significant revenue source for ski resorts through ticket sales, season passes, and associated services.


You can find the cost of lift tickets at different resorts, as well as other important information such as the operating hours and whether or not they offer rentals. 

You can also see what days are considered peak season and what days are considered off-peak season. 

If you’re looking to save money, consider going during off-peak times (for example: a Monday morning instead of on Friday night). This will make it so that you don’t have to pay as much for your lift ticket.

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When it comes to the cost of lift tickets, location matters. The price of a lift ticket is dependent on the resort and its location. 

Resorts in the north tend to be more expensive than those in the south; this is because they have fewer slopes and therefore need higher prices to cover their costs. 

Resorts with extensive slopes will have higher rates as well, but these rates can vary widely depending on which resort you visit.

Time of Year

The time of year that you visit the resort can also affect how much your lift ticket costs. The peak season for ski resorts is typically December through March, so that’s when prices for everything are highest. If you want to save some money, plan your trip during the off-peak seasons: late spring and summertime.

The cheapest days to go are usually midweek and/or on weekends, since fewer people will be there then (and therefore fewer employees need to be paid). 

However, keep in mind that some resorts have their own unique pricing schedules; if they do not adhere to standard weekday/weekend pricing plans at all times throughout the year, it’ll be worth checking with them before booking a trip just because it seems cheaper than usual!

Time of YearDescription
WinterCold, snowy weather; perfect for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding
SpringMild temperatures; nature begins to bloom; ideal for outdoor activities
SummerWarm to hot weather; great for swimming, hiking, and beach vacations
AutumnCool and crisp weather; vibrant fall foliage; popular for scenic drives and hiking

Time of Day

There are a few things to consider when choosing your time of day. The more crowded it is, the more expensive it will be. 

The less crowded it is, the more expensive it will be. You might want to go in the afternoon if you want some quiet time on the slopes and don’t mind paying top dollar for that luxury. 

But if you’re feeling bold and want to ski while everyone else is sitting inside eating leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, then morning is your friend!

The other thing to think about when deciding your timing is how long you’ll have to wait in line for tickets or a lift pass at each resort (they won’t let you just walk up without one). 

If there’s only one ticket window open during peak hours and hundreds of skiers trying to get in on those sweet deals from online sales sites like Groupon or LivingSocial®, then getting into that lift line could take awhile… which means spending even more money per hour than usual because hey—you’ve been waiting forever already!

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Peak Days

Peak days are usually weekend days, but can also be special events like President’s Day or New Year’s Eve. 

You’ll want to do your research to figure out what the most popular ski resorts are, and plan your trip accordingly. 

If you’re determined not to pay peak day prices (and who wouldn’t want to save money on their skiing getaway?), try staying at an affordable lodging close by and driving in.

  • How much more expensive is it?

The difference in cost between a regular ticket and a “peak” ticket can be big—$20-$30 per person! 

A few bucks may not seem like much if you’re traveling with a large group of friends or family members, but if it’s just you and your significant other, then that extra $40 could go toward dinner or drinks when you get back from the slopes.

Type of Lift Ticket

The type of lift ticket you buy will determine how long you can ride the ski lift. A full-day lift ticket allows you to do just that: ride the lifts for the entire day, from opening time until closing time. 

An afternoon lift ticket is only good for a specific amount of time usually between noon and 4 p.m., or 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and there are often blackout dates during which afternoon tickets cannot be used on certain days or weekends (e.g., Mon–Fri except holidays).

A child’s lift ticket is for skiers aged 6–12 years old, whereas youth are 13–17 years old as defined by each resort’s policy; check with your specific resort before purchasing any type of pass to see what their age requirements are for each category.

Type of Lift TicketDescription
Single-Day TicketProvides access to the ski resort for a single day
Multi-Day TicketAllows multiple days of skiing within a specified timeframe
Season PassOffers unlimited access throughout the entire ski season
Half-Day TicketGrants access to the ski resort for a portion of the day
Beginner TicketDesigned for beginners, includes limited access to beginner slopes

Multi-Day Tickets

In addition to daily tickets, you can also buy multi-day tickets. These are a great way to save money if you’re skiing with friends or family, because it can be cheaper than buying each day individually. 

For example, the price of a multi-day ticket for five days is usually less than buying five individual days in advance. We’ve seen these kind of ski passes advertised online and they’re sometimes even sold at local ski shops near the mountain where you’ll be skiing.

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Early Bird Deals

We know what you’re thinking: “I’m going to buy my lift ticket right now! I’ll be there in a few hours and ready to hit the slopes!” 

That’s a great idea, but if you wait until the last minute, there’s a good chance that an early bird deal will have already passed. In fact, many ski resorts offer special discounts on lift tickets simply because they know people are going to procrastinate.

Early bird deals are typically available for multi-day tickets purchased online or through an app like Liftopia (available on Android and iOS), so check your device before heading out the door at home. 

If there are no early bird deals available yet when you get on the mountain, don’t worry you can always go back later during your trip and search for new specials as well as check for any updates about existing offers that may have been added since purchase time (for example: “We’ve just received another batch of $20 off all-day passes”).

Lift Ticket Discounts for Local Residents

If you live in the area, ski resorts offer discounts on their lift tickets. For residents of a municipality that is within a “ski zone,” these discounts are often up to 50% off the regular price of these tickets. 

The amount of savings that’s available varies depending on which mountain you’re visiting, but some resorts will offer as much as $30 off for adults and children over 6 years old.

How do locals get this discount? They purchase a season pass—which often costs hundreds of dollars more than just buying individual lift tickets or they purchase an annual pass (usually around $50) from their local city or county government office and show proof of residency when purchasing lift tickets at ski areas. 

Some ski areas also offer discounts to members of certain organizations like AAA or AARP; other times they just accept school IDs as proof since most students live close enough to drive home after skiing rather than staying overnight in accommodations provided by the resort itself.

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Group Discounts and Special Programs for Children and Youth

Some resorts offer discounted lift tickets for groups of 10 or more, and some even have special programs for children and youth.

Also, if you are a senior or military member, you can usually receive a discount when purchasing your lift ticket.

If you’re thinking of taking up skiing as a sport and would like to take lessons, there may be discounts available for beginners who enroll in snow school at the same time they purchase their lift pass.

Group Discounts and Special ProgramsDescription
Family PackagesDiscounted rates and offers for families skiing together
Group DiscountsSpecial pricing for large groups, such as school trips or corporate outings
Youth ProgramsSkiing programs and lessons designed specifically for children and youth
Ski SchoolProfessional instruction and training programs for all ages and skill levels
Seasonal ProgramsSpecial programs and activities for children and youth during the ski season

Military Discounts and Other Ways to Save Money on Your Ski Vacation

There are a few ways that you can save money on your ski vacation, including military discounts, group discounts and other special programs for children and youth. 

In addition, some resorts offer early bird deals which are ideal for travelers who don’t mind paying more than they would if they waited until the last minute.

Military Discounts: Most resorts offer discounted rates to military personnel and their families. You’ll need to present proof of service when checking in at the lift ticket window or rental shop so make sure you bring it along!

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Ski lifts are an important part of the skiing experience, but they can also get expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money on your lift ticket. 

Whether you’re looking for early bird deals or group discounts for youth, there are many opportunities out there for skiers and snowboarders alike. 

We hope this article helped you learn more about what goes into pricing a lift ticket at a ski resort!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the cost of ski lifts:


How much does it cost to build a ski lift?

The cost of building a ski lift can vary depending on factors such as the type of lift, length, terrain, location, and additional infrastructure. It typically involves significant investment and can range from several million dollars to tens of millions.

What factors contribute to the cost of a ski lift?

The cost of a ski lift is influenced by factors such as the length of the lift, the type (e.g., chairlift, gondola, surface lift), the capacity it can handle, the terrain it needs to cover, the required infrastructure, and any customization or special features desired.

How much does it cost to operate a ski lift?

The operational costs of a ski lift include expenses for maintenance, staffing, energy consumption, insurance, inspections, and ongoing repairs. These costs can vary depending on the size of the ski resort, the length of the ski season, and the overall demand and usage of the lift.

Are there any ongoing maintenance costs for ski lifts?

Yes, ski lifts require regular maintenance to ensure their safe and reliable operation. This includes routine inspections, lubrication, replacement of worn-out components, and compliance with industry standards. Ongoing maintenance costs are an essential consideration for ski resort operators.

Can ski lifts generate revenue?

Ski lifts are a vital revenue source for ski resorts, as they provide access to the slopes and contribute to the overall skiing experience. Revenue can be generated through ticket sales, season passes, rentals, and other associated services offered to skiers and snowboarders.