Ski season is rapidly approaching, and resorts will soon be releasing their lift ticket prices (if they haven’t already). But this year, some skiers will have a new option when it comes to buying their tickets: discounted pricing for off-peak days, thanks to a startup called Liftopia. Today the company has annouced that it closed a $1 million Series B funding round led by Erik Blachford (CEO of Terrapass, Former CEO of Expedia) and Amicus Capital, with a number of investors from the company’s Series A round also participating.
Liftopia allows ski resorts to offer variable pricing for tickets based on much how traffic they anticipate seeing on the slopes — in other words, resorts can lower their prices if they think they’re going to have a slow day the same way an airline does if a flight might not fill up. Some resorts have been able to do this to a limited extent with ‘peak season’ tickets (a ticket for Christmas time would cost more than one a month or two later), but up until now they haven’t had a good way to adjust their pricing on a daily basis. Liftopia gives them this option.
From the consumer’s standpoint using Liftopia is easy, and will be familiar to anyone who has ever purchased a plane ticket online. Pick a region, a resort to look at, and a date range, and the site will present a list of tickets, some of which are discounted as much as 60% (there’s also a flexible date option).
The site launched back in 2006, but initially saw slow growth due to industry skepticism. Since then things have been picking up — by last spring the site had grown to include around 65 resort partners, and Liftopia will have over 120 in time for this season.
Among the new resorts to sign on this year:
- Whistler/Blackcomb, BC
- Killington, VT
- Mammoth, CA
- Winter Park, CO
- Copper Mountain, CO
- Stowe, VT
Liftopia seems to be really picking up steam, and it’s a win/win for skiers who get to save money as well as for resorts, who can boost sales when they need too. There’s one small caveat for now though: because few resorts have finalized their pricing for this year, Liftopia’s inventory will be limited for the next few weeks, so you may need to check back later to book your tickets.