(Correction: To reflect earlier announcement of the commerce platform)
If you’re anything like me, the idea of escaping to the mountains for a quick winter weekend getaway sounds really appealing. But once you remember the cost of lift tickets, equipment rentals and lodging you may start to think it’d be smarter to stay at home and watch Hot Tub Time Machine again for the 20th time (gotta love John Cusack). If that sounded at all familiar, then you should be very excited to hear about Liftopia.
The San Francisco-based company is a centralized online marketplace for buying advanced lift tickets (at a discount), and accompanying discounts on hotels and lodging. This year, it's looking to push the number of ski resort partners to 220, mainly across North America. And, this is despite the pretty lousy ski season.
"Last season was very challenging for the industry because of all the bad weather, but despite this we actually managed to grow our business. So we're pretty optimistic about the upcoming year," said co-founder Ron Schneidermann, in an interview with VatorNews.
Gearing up for the 2012/2013 season, Liftopia is hoping to get skiiers a super-charged package across a number of the top resorts in the country.
Liftopia launched Tuesday the Mountain Collective. Four of the world’s premier ski locales – Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, and Squaw Valley/ Alpine Meadows - have partnered together to offer a single value-driven pass to allow prospective vacationers access to resorts in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and California.
For $349, The Mountain Collective Pass includes two free days at each of the four destinations, plus a 50% discount on unlimited lift tickets at each of the destinations, once the complimentary days are used. In addition, pass holders will receive exclusive lodging deals throughout the season.
Collectively this pass grants access to eight mountains with more than 16,000 acres of terrain and over 100 lifts. Given that on certain days an all day pass could easily run up to $100, there’s a good chance of a pass like this to very quickly pay for itself. The real savings though, lie in the fifty percent discount on all subsequent tickets. There are no blackout dates and the sale is good for the entire 2012-2013 season so there is a real opportunity for avid skiers and power users to rack up some serious savings. Even without the pass Liftopia is proud to attest that their users enjoy an average of 34% savings compared to walk-up prices.
A little history
Founded in 2005, and starting out with only seven service partners and a mere 900 tickets sold its first year, Litfopia is now entering its seventh season and its success has become anything but humble. With 180 partners, Liftopia was responsible for 1% of all skier days sold last year; sometimes selling tens of thousands of tickets from a single vendor. And things are only looking up from there. While they’re not willing to disclose their upcoming revenue projections, internal expectations are exceedingly optimistic.
Liftopia’s network is based primarily in North America, but they do have deals in place in South America and Europe as well.
For anyone who's smart about savings, Liftopia is worth checking out.
Really my only complaint, if I have any at all, is that being from Los Angeles, I’m waiting for this agreement to include Mammoth and Big Bear. In the meantime I’ve downloaded their app and I’m crossing my fingers for an early winter.
(Image source: telegraph.co.uk)