Doug Robinson: Cost of lift tickets not fun for locals

Published: Monday, Nov. 29 2010 10:03 p.m. MST

As your local curmudgeonly columnist, I have only one thing to say about all that snow out there.

Hope the tourists are enjoying it.

By that, I mean I hope the out-of-staters are having fun up there on the mountain skiing our Greatest Snow on Earth.

Because the rest of us aren't.

The locals.

Can you afford to ski more than a couple of times a year? Unless you're a teenager whose parents are footing the bill, are you treating yourself to a day of skiing on a regular basis? Ask yourself: How much have you really skied since college?

Have you seen the price of a lift ticket — sheesh (or should I say shoosh?). For locals, the Greatest Snow on Earth means mostly icy roads, snow shovels and water in the summer.

Skiing is expensive even assuming that you already own the equipment, which, if prices are any indication, are apparently made of ground-up gold nuggets. Not that you need much equipment to ski, just a hat, gloves, parka, goggles, skis, bindings, poles, boots, waterproof pants, boots.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, I was ranting about lift ticket costs.

For the price of a lift ticket to The Canyons ($89)*, you could go to SeaWorld ($69.99) and still have enough money for a good dinner. You could almost afford a round-trip airfare from Salt Lake City to Denver, but you'd be about $10 short after airport taxes, and it wouldn't be worth it after the TSA feel-up.

For the price of a lift ticket to Alta ($69), you could buy a pair of Kenneth Cole loafers, now on sale at Macy's for the same price.

But you couldn't buy a pair of True Religion Blue Jeans. Sorry.

For the price of one lift ticket to Snowbird ($74 for the tram, $66 for the chairs), you could just about go to Disneyland ($76), and you'd be a lot warmer.

For the price of two lift tickets to Park City Mountain Resort ($55 each), you could take your spouse to La Caille and order roasted rack of red deer with venison cabernet sauvignon glace. I have no idea what most of that is, but it sounds good and it costs "only" $58 apiece.

Or you could ski down the street from the Park City resort to Adolph's and order the rack of lamb for $41 and have money left over for the mint jelly, dessert and whatever it is you're drinking.

For the price of one ticket to Brian Head ($40 weekends, $30 weekdays) you could buy a ticket to the Kurt Bestor Christmas concert ($32-$37).

For the price of a lift ticket to Beaver ($40), you could buy eight movie tickets to go see "127 Hours," which is not the length of the movie, but almost.

Or you could buy nine double bacon cheeseburgers at Astro Burger.

For the price of a lift ticket to Deer Valley ($90), you could buy a lift ticket to The Canyons. Or pay for membership at a Gold's Gym that would cover almost four months.

Or you could buy a week's worth of groceries for one person, according to the best estimates.

For the price of a lift ticket to Solitude ($68), you could buy a lower-bowl ticket to see the Jazz play the Pacers Wednesday night. Or you could buy two tickets and sit in the Upper Bowl and pretend you're on top of Park City Mountain Resort looking down into Jupiter Bowl.

For the price of a lift ticket to Snowbasin ($66), you could take three people to the Momentum Climbing Wall in Sandy and have enough for shoe and harness rentals.

For the price of a lift ticket to Powder Mountain ($59), you could fill my Toyota Sequoia with gas (and don't think I wouldn't appreciate it, either).

For the price of a lift ticket to Deer Valley or The Canyons, you could sit on Row 26 on the 50-yard line to watch the University of Utah play in the Las Vegas Bowl.

For the price of tickets to almost any ski resort, you could play a round of golf at Old Mill. But wait till the snow is gone.

Memo to visitors: Enjoy our snow. We're happy for you. Honest.

* Lift prices may vary if you can hunt down special deals. Offer only good on the second Tuesday of each month following a full moon. Void where prohibited, whatever.

Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesdays. Send e-mail to drob@desnews.com

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