Prices are ridiculous, but I worked at a shop part time and always seemed to find a way to get a cheap pass or ticket or know someone who worked at a resort. Now that I have a "real job" the discounts are over and most of my friends don't work at resorts anymore, I must suffer full price of a pass or ticket. I think it the prices are ridiculous, but certainly worth it.
I don't understand why more resorts don't have better discounts for high school, college, and grad school students. If you hook them for a few years, they will be coming back for the next 30+ years with their families. Additionally, these are the people who are scamming the resorts since they have no money to begin with.
As I thought more about it, I thought it would be interesting to look at Vail Resorts Financials ( publicly traded MTN)
Vail Resorts Financials for last year:
Revenue: 1.2 Billion
Profit: 34.5 Million
Profit Margin: 2.96% which basically means for every 100 dollar lift ticket you buy, they only profit $2.96
That is a tremendous operating cost and when it comes down to it, and not a lot of wiggle room on the lift tickets unfortunately. I feel many resorts are overstaffed and more extravagant than they have to be, but then again, they are not catering to people like myself.