For those skiers and snowboarders that have used the, "Skiing is too expensive" excuse to stay away from the slopes, one Colorado ski hill is calling your bluff.
Last week, Steamboat Springs city officials announced that they are “strongly considering” offering $1 lift tickets at the city-owned Howelsen Hill ski area this season. That's right, just one buck for a whole day of lift-access skiing and snowboarding minutes from downtown.
According to Denver’s CBS4, if a proposal is passed by the Colorado town’s city leaders, Howelsen Hill will start offering the discounted tickets this season in hopes of propping up the small local ski hill.
“I just want more skiers out there,” said City Council President Walter Magill, for a report in Steamboat Today. “More people using the park.”
The offer stands in stark contrast to an industry that has seen day passes at fellow Colorado resort Vail rise to $189. Howlesen Hill’s better-known neighbor, Steamboat Resort, will charge $120 a day at ticket windows this year as the nationwide average is almost $90.
But unlike Steamboat and Vail, Howelsen is a community ski hill that aims to generate $185,000 in annual revenue rather than the millions like its Colorado neighbors. The area is also spending $750,000 to repair a damaged waterline in its snowmaking system.
Cheap lift tickets likely won’t pay that bill, but city officials are hopeful that the $1 ticket offer will attract families that otherwise would have driven past Howelsen in search of bigger mountains. They also hope that concessions will pick up some of the slack left behind by the low price of admission, making the longest continually run ski area in Colorado a viable ski option for the future.
For now, the final verdict on dollar skiing hangs in the halls of Steamboat City Council, but if all goes to plan skiers and boarders could enjoy over five months of skiing for the price of a single day lift ticket at Vail.
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