Which B.C. Ski Resort Offers The Best Value?
With the early bird cut-off date approaching for many ski resorts in British Columbia, many skiers are having to make a tough decision. With rising inflation rates increasing cost of living — and many season’s pass prices increasing as well — the previously obvious decision to buy a season’s pass has been thrown into muddy water.
I’ve crunched some numbers to compare some of the most popular ski resorts in B.C., including both mega resorts and community ski hills. Of course no metric is perfect, but due to available data I decided that price per hectare of skiable terrain made the most sense when comparing these hills. I also compared both the early bird price and regular price, where available.
Whistler, the largest and best known resort in B.C., surprisingly offers the best early bird value at a shocking 65 cents per hectare. The medium sized resorts of Big White and Revelstoke Mountain offer relatively comparable value, hovering around $1.00 per hectare at the early bird price. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two small community hills I included (Baldy Mountain and Mount Cain) offered comparably poor value at over $2 per hectare. Although their prices are very affordable, their small size dramatically affected the metric. The smaller Whitewater Ski Resort occupies a grey area, being priced similarly to the small community hills per hectare, but with an actual pass cost closer to the medium sized resorts.
All told, one can think of many criticisms of this metric; it doesn’t take into account quality of terrain, lift lineups, quality of snow, community vibe, backcountry access or any number of other factors. To be honest most people don’t live close enough to two resorts to be able to make a choice either. The majority of people are faced with binary decision whether or not to get a pass for their local hill, and with less money in their pockets I wouldn’t be surprised to see more people forgoing a season’s pass in exchange for a purely backcountry winter.