Ski resorts in Europe are preparing to save. The pan-European policy on energy conservation and the increase in energy prices force to slow down the speed of elevators or even turn them off, as well as to lower the temperature at tourist infrastructure facilities.According to media reports, due to inflation and the energy crisis, prices for ski passes at alpine resorts will increase this season by 6%-10%.
As a result of the energy crisis, lift tickets in Austrian ski areas are more than 10 percent more expensive in some places. In several regions, before the start of the season, ropeway representatives expect an average increase of around 8 percent for the winter, according to a survey by the Austrian news agency APA emerged from Tuesday. However, this increase is below the current inflation rate, said industry representative Franz Hörl from the Chamber of Commerce. In September, consumer prices in Austria were 10.5 percent higher than in the previous year.
In St. Anton in Tirol, the largest contiguous ski area in Austria, the day ticket will in future cost 67 instead of 61 euros. In the Salzburger Land, ticket prices in the large winter sports resorts will increase by between 6.5 and 11 percent.
“After two pandemic years, the current ones energy costs the next challenge for the ski areas,” said Helmut Holzinger, head of the Hinterstoder and Wurzeralm mountain railways in Upper Austria. However, these higher costs will “not be passed on to customers one-to-one”.
Cableway operators want to save electricity by letting their systems run a little more slowly, for example. However, it is difficult to take measures without spoiling the holiday experience of the guests, said industry representative Hörl. He named switching off seat heating or restrictions on night skiing and the necessary floodlights as steps that were difficult to implement.
Operators have announced increases in the price of ski passes to account for the rising electricity bill from ski lifts. Costs of daily, multi-day and season passes have risen between 6% and 13%, according to news outlet SkyTG24. Across the country, there has been an average increase of 10%.
The consumer rights association Assoutenti has estimated that for ski passes, lodging, restaurants and other services, a week-long ski break will cost vacationers between €1400 and €1600, excluding transport.
The ski slopes of Bormio and Livigno in Valtellina have upped prices the most. In Bormio, a day pass will cost €52 this year, up from €46 last season, while in Livigno it has increased from €52 to €59.
In the popular resort of Courmayeur in Valle d’Aosta, a day pass will rise from €56 to €61, while La Thuile will increase from €47 to €51.
For the Dolomiti Superski day pass, which grants access to 12 different resorts scattered across the Dolomites mountain range, skiers will have to fork out €74 in high season, compared to €67 last year.
One area which is not hiking up prices this season is the north-easterly region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The six ski slopes will maintain their €39.50 day pass and €215 weekly pass for the whole season.
Monterosa, which lies on the border between Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont, will also not increase the price of its €60 day pass.
Skiing in Switzerland will be more expensive this winter. But, due to rising energy costs, many Swiss mountain resorts are raising their prices this winter. The price of ski lift passes will increase in high-altitude areas during the upcoming ski season.
A 9.4 % increase in adult prices was reported by the Bernese resorts of Adelboden-Lenk, Gstaad, Jungfrau, and Meiringen-Hasliberg.
Saas-Fee (VS) ski area spokesperson Yves Audrimont told Swiss media that day passes and multi-day passes would be up to 5 % more expensive. In other words, you will have to pay 78 CHF instead of 75 as last year.
Ticket prices are also increasing at Bergbahnen Wildhaus in the canton of St. Gallen, according to spokesperson Urs Gantenbein. Adult day passes will now cost 58 CHF instead of 55 CHF.
Season tickets for Riederalp, Bettmeralp, and Fiesch-Eggishorn in the Aletsch glacier area will rise from 777 to 850 CHF.
No price increase is expected …
There are, however, some ski areas that will not increase their prices.The price increases are waived in Arosa-Lenzerheide, Laax and Zermatt, Engelberg-Titlis, and Crans-Montana.
“The euro’s current rate and inflation are making it impossible for us to raise our prices”, says Stefan Reichmuth, spokesperson for the Arosa Lenzerheide mountain railway. “If we raised prices, we’d lose our competitiveness” against European ski resorts, where Swiss skiers’ prices are lower due to the franc-euro exchange rate.”
It is clear, however, that rising energy costs will affect pricing if they continue to increase, according to Laurent Vaucher, director of Téléverbier ski lifts.
The most expensive daily ski pass in Austria is €67. That’s the cost of a high season day ticket to the glacier ski resort of Sölden in the Austrian province of the Tyrol or in the Arlberg region which includes the ski resorts of St Anton and Lech.
The local Val d’Isère pass clocks in at €60 for a day pass. Local passes are often not available for more than one or two days and here again the Espace Killy connecting Val d’Isère and Tignes comes out on top with a cool €360 for six days.
A day ticket in Zermatt can vary from 83CHF (dynamic prices) depending on the season and the number of passes already sold on any given day (with reductions for early online booking and guests staying in Zermatt).
The ski resorts around the Dolomites have tended to have the more expensive ski passes in Italy and the ‘grande dame’ of the Dolomites, the ski area at Cortina d’Ampezzo, comes out top with a daily lift pass price of €69eu.