Liftopia: Because You’ve Always Wanted To Rent A Mountain

Finally, there’s a way for me to carve up the slopes with my pizza-wedge turns without having to endure the condescending smirks of strangers.

That’s because Liftopia, the startup gives you steep discounts on ski tickets and other snow-related activities, has just added a new feature: full-mountain rentals. Which means you can keep the slopes to yourself if you’re willing to spend enough cash, or, if you wanted to go with a more pragmatic route, you could bring 249 friends or coworkers along with you.

Depending on the resort, you’ll be able to rent an entire mountain beginning at $3,000. And if you don’t need to accommodate so many people, some resorts will let you rent out portions thereof (one venue will even let you rent a dedicated tubing hill). Liftopia is positioning the feature as a great idea for company off-sites or club snow days, which probably make more sense than my lone pizza-wedger fantasy.

So far available rentals include Plattekill Mountain Resort (NY), Mt. Abram (Maine), Whaleback Mountain (New Hampshire), and Camden Snowbowl (Maine), and more will be coming soon.

Liftopia, for those who haven’t used it, lets you order ski lift tickets ahead of time online, often with steep discounts (you can save up to 80% off the walk-up ticket fees at some resorts). It’s a largely win-win situation: consumers save money, and resorts can adjust their prices to suit demand, so they have fewer off-days.

The company launched back in 2006, but because of initial industry skepticism it wasn’t until 2008/9 that things started to take off. It closed a $1.3 million funding round last month, and the roster is now full of well-known ski resorts. In fact, the company is also announcing today that it’s added the four famous Aspen/Snowmass mountains to its catalog.

Here’s a breakdown on the pricing from the initial resorts for the full-mountain rentals, and more will be coming in the near future:

Plattekill Mountain Resort:
· Full-Mountain Rental for up to 250 people for $3,000

· Private Tubing Hill Rental for 75 people for $900

· Or a Full Mountain and Tubing Hill Rental for $3,600.

The full-mountain rentals are offered Mondays through Thursdays (non holidays) for the moths of January, February and March and is based on availability.

Mt. Abram:
· The Private Mountain Rental is available for $4,600 for up to 250 people

· Or exclusive private access tointermediate and expert terrain for 250 people with the Private Mountain Rental, Intermediate and Expert Terrain Only package for $2,800.

· The packages are offered Mondays through Thursdays (non holidays), based on availability.

Whaleback Mountain:
· Private Mountain Rental for 200individuals is $3,000

· Available any non-holiday Monday between 9AM and 4PM. Excluded Holidays are: Dec 26, 2011, January 16, and Feb 20, 2012. Reservations require 2 weeks advance notice, based on availability.

Camden Snow Bowl
· Private Full Mountain Rental for 250 participants for $5,000

· Available for four hours on Mondays and Tuesdays during non-holidays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., based on availability

Image by Rod Cook on Flickr