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PCMR to cap ticket sales this weekend

PCMR Crowds
Lines over the holiday period were as long as many locals had seen them. PCMR limited the number of lift tickets it sold Dec. 25 to Jan. 2, a policy it is renewing this weekend, Jan. 14-17.

PCMR is limiting lift ticket sales this weekend — as it did over Christmas week —a new policy Vail Resorts implemented this year for peak tourist season.

Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts announced in its quarterly earnings report last month that it expected 2.1 million people would use its Epic passes this season.

That’s 900,000 more skiers and riders across its resorts than in the 2019/2020 season, and 700,000 more than last year.

Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said in a corporate earnings call last month that the increase was driven at least in part by the 20% price reduction for pass products this season.

“We are very pleased with the results of our season pass sales, which continue to demonstrate the strength of our data analytics capabilities and the compelling value proposition of our pass products,” Lynch said.

Some locals, though, have decried how busy the slopes have gotten. One way Vail is attempting to counteract crowds is to limit lift ticket sales in three peak holiday times: Dec. 25 to Jan. 2, Jan. 14-17 and Feb. 18-27.

PCMR spokesperson Jessica Miller said the policy was new this season, but declined to say whether anybody had been prevented from buying a lift ticket at PCMR during Christmas week.

PCMR neighbor Deer Valley Resort has long capped the number of skiers it allows on its slopes.

Lynch said in the earnings call that Vail wants guests to purchase tickets in advance.

One questioner on that call, Patrick Scholes from Truist Securities, asked Lynch how the policy would work. He said it could go horribly wrong if people on an expensive ski vacation weren’t able to buy lift tickets.

Lynch said the website would show no tickets available if the cap had been hit, and that Vail had tried to communicate the new policy to visitors. As of Wednesday evening, the information is prominently displayed on the resort’s website. Lift tickets were still available for Saturday the 15th for $232.

Those with Epic Local passes have blackout days at PCMR on holidays, including this Saturday and the weekend before Presidents’ Day in February.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.