By and large fixed rates have always applied to lift tickets. There’s the preseason ticket, peak season ticket, and then regular season ticket prices. You go in knowing that at resort X you will pay price Y and it’s been that way consistently. Well earlier this month Mammoth Mountain in Southern California has started the long process of introducing dynamic pricing to their lift tickets.
What is “dynamic pricing” you might be asking yourself? In an article in the Mammoth Times they described it as this:
Generally speaking, dynamic pricing is a strategy in which businesses set highly flexible prices for products or services based on current market demands. Businesses are able to stay competitive by changing prices based on algorithms that take into account competitor pricing, supply and demand, and other external factors. Dynamic pricing is a common practice in several industries such as hospitality, travel, entertainment, and retail.
With mega resorts charging over one hundred dollars a day currently, is dynamic pricing the answer? It seems like it could be a step in the right direction for attracting people that have previously been deterred by the high cost of entry and for getting tourists into destination resort towns like Mammoth during non peak times.
Traditionally as mentioned in the beginning of this article there’s been the discounted preseason tickets, the higher priced peak season tickets (i.e. Christmas and major holidays), and then the regular season prices. Surge pricing has been utilized by sites like Liftopia to lock customers in to certain dates or to do a flash sale of discounted tickets.
The problem as mentioned in the article is that it could come as a shock to those that aren’t prepared for a shifting price. This also opens the doors of would a resort raise its prices if the snow was plentiful, but lower them if they weren’t fairing as well?
The real question is, is this a paradigm shift in how customers buy lift tickets? Or is it just a simple marketing strategy for Mammoth that if not implemented perfectly will fail?