5 Most Expensive Ski Resorts in America

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While many people just want to bundle up and stay inside come winter, snowy season means something entirely different to skiing lovers. For them, it’s time to break out the skis and hit the slopes, soaking in a weekend of outdoor activity coupled with cozy time in a lodge.

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While the average American is probably not able to ski in luxury, for those who want the most high-end experience possible, GOBankingRates collected details on the top five most expensive ski resorts in the U.S., most of which are located in the snow-dense and ski-friendly states of Colorado and Utah. Check them out below.

5. Alta Ski Area, Utah

Alta Ski Area in Utah was one of the very first ski areas that opened in the U.S. in 1938, in what was originally a silver mining town that had been sorely neglected. No surprise that it was a Norwegian skier, Alf Engen, who saw the area’s potential and helped select the slopes, according to Alta’s website, along with help from the Forest Service, which saw a chance at creating jobs and making something out of the abandoned area.

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This now sought-after resort in the Wasatch Mountains is known for some of the steepest slopes, but also has numerous runs for beginner and intermediate skiers. However, guests are going to pay handsomely for the privilege of skiing here. According to Forbes, it’s around $242 per person per night to sleep at one of the nearby lodges, and $154 per person for an adult lift ticket. That’s a total of $383.93 per person daily.

4. Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Colorado’s Vail Ski Resort is not only one of the most expensive American ski resorts, but one of the most well-known. According to Ski Magazine, it captures skiers’ hearts due to an incredible amount of beautiful terrain — over 5,100 acres.

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Expert skiers go there for its “bowls” such as China Bowl, Siberia Bowl and Blue Sky Basin, on the backside of Vail. Despite its attraction to seasoned skiers, with the scope of offerings there’s a slope for every skier, and a lift system that Ski Magazine describes as “second to none.”

Visitors will spend an average of $197 per person per night, and almost $200 for an average lift ticket, according to Forbes, for a total of about $497, though inflation may have pushed these prices even higher. An “Epic Pass” — which gives the user unlimited access to Vail and dozens of other local resorts around the U.S. — is $899.

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3. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado

Aspen Snowmass in the town of Aspen, Colorado, offers four equally enticing mountains to ski: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Highland Bowl. Aspen Snowmass is a big attraction due to its impeccable skiing, according to Ski Magazine, which offers everything from family-friendly and first-timer slopes to intermediate and advanced slopes.

It’s also known for its incredible after-ski amenities, from cafes and restaurants to lodges and hotels that include a bustling nightlife. For the privilege of skiing here, adults will pay an average of $295 per person per night and around $194 for a lift ticket, or a total of about $489.

2. Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado

The second most expensive ski resort on this list is Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado, which Ski Magazine extols as “known for its long, winding, sun-soaked cruisers and its staff of blue coats willing to help you with everything from carrying your skis to offering you a tissue.” Slopes include the delightfully named Birds of Prey, Royal Elk Glade and Stone Creek Chutes.

Beaver Creek serves up double diamonds on a silver platter (along with free cookies at the end of the day). Despite being so popular, Ski Magazine said that at the right time, there can be very short lift lines (and escalators to make the journey easier.) Ski Magazine ranks their “stellar” lift system at No. 3.

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While this resort is also great for skiers of all levels, it comes at a cost. A total of about $512 per person per night — $313 for lodging and lift tickets at a minimum of $199 per adult, according to Forbes.

1. Deer Valley Resort, Utah

The most expensive ski resort on our list is Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, which is conveniently located just a bit more than a half hour’s drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. Deer Valley has been around a long time, first constructed in 1937. It emphasizes focused visitor attention and luxury, according to The Travel, which writes, “From the moment a guest walks in the door, they’re greeted with the utmost attention.”

Ski.com calls Deer Valley “a skier’s paradise, plain and simple,” adding that skiers can generally find a lack of crowds and a whole heck of a lot of wonderful ski terrain. It’s also known for having one of the best ski schools in the U.S., and is often the top choice for Olympic skiers to visit.

The resort also comes with incredible free amenities, such as curbside ski valet, hosted tours and a car service. To ski here will run around $515 per night, about $286 of that for accommodation and around $229 for a lift ticket, according to Forbes.

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About the Author

Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a B.A. from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. Her articles and essays about finances and other topics has appeared in a wide range of publications and clients, including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times, Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for numerous business clients. As someone who had to learn many of her lessons about money the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and live a better quality of life.

 
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