By David Schissler
(March 2013) I confess. When I was a student I and many of my friends would buy and sell our lift tickets in the parking lot. We’d pay full price to ski in the morning and sell our tickets to afternoon arrivals. There were always buyers since most ski areas’ half-day discount was a joke (and in many instances, still is). It was a way to get in some early runs, make it to an afternoon class, and still keep the cost of skiing down.
Recently, an entrepreneurial type in the Denver area took the concept way too far. He set up a web site called slopexchange.com complete with mobile functionality to hook up coming and going riders so they could sell the unused time on their lift tickets to each other. The intent was to “share” day and multi-day passes.
Enter the Ski Areas of New York (SANY). When they got wind of the site they sent their complaint to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). Since lift tickets are “universally non-transferrable” the NSAA hit the site owner with a “cease and desist” order February 8th explaining the practice broke several laws; namely, theft of services, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices and fraud. They threatened legal action and demanded the site shut down immediately. It shut down February 24.