Saving money on lift tickets is almost as much fun as skiing and riding for a growing number of San Diego skiers and snowboarders using Liftopia.com, a web-based ski marketplace offering up to 80% off regularly priced lift tickets, as well as discounts on rentals, lessons, dining and other mountain-related activities and products. Liftopia reports the average savings is 33 percent.
Founded in 2005, Liftopia has thousands of deals to hundreds of ski resorts around the world, including Southern California's Mt. Baldy, Snow Valley, Mountain High, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, among others.
Skiers' and snowboarders' commitment must be date-specific, and most lift tickets must be purchased one day prior to use, with some resorts requiring two or three day advance purchase. This allows time to have the tickets ready for pickup; once purchased, all lift tickets are obtained at respective resort “Will Call” ticket counters, where purchasers present their printed Liftopia Confirmation e-mails, along with valid picture IDs. Tickets and services must be used only on the day for which it was bought. They are non-refundable tickets and services. If resort is closed for the entire date, "Liftopia Customer Support will be happy to work with you and the resort to determine an appropriate resolution," according to Liftopia's website FAQ.
Liftopia offers special savings for San Diego skiers and snowboarders not too interested in watching the Super Bowl.
"Super Bowl Sunday brings some of the best deals of the year," says Liftopia public relations representative, Mia Sachs, who notes Mt. Baldy, Snow Valley and Mountain High all have great Super Bowl deals.
Other tips from Liftopia: "Mondays of holiday weekends (Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day) usually have better online deals than Saturday or Sunday," notes Sachs. "Also, be sure to check the Friday before the holiday weekends as well, since many resorts don't list those dates at holiday rates. Also, midweek dates before and after the holidays typically have good deals."
Consistent with resort ticket window pricing, Sachs says Liftopia usually has better prices on multi-day passes over single-day and even lower prices if lift tickets are bundled with rentals, lessons or lunch.
The idea for Liftopia originated with two former Hotwire employees, Ron Schneidermann, who worked in business development, and Evan Reece, who worked in revenue maximization and pricing strategies for mountain destination hotels. They saw an opportunity "to help mountain resorts sell ancillary activities and products as part of the ski vacation."