Snow is coming! Snow is coming! Winter is finally returning this week to blanket the mountains with the fluffy white. Still, with less than ideal conditions, it seems absurd to pay full price for a lift ticket. The solution? Liftopia.
The San Francisco-based company - its headquarters are on Kearny Street -bills itself as an online lift ticket marketplace, offering up to 80-percent discounts on ticket window rack rates, although most of the savings are in the 20 to 30 percent range.
"We have exclusive access to these rates," said Liftopia COO Ron Schniedermann, who co-founded the company with CEO Evan Reece in late 2006 (both are Hotwire alums). "The resorts can switch demand out of high-peak periods to low-peak periods (to get the discounted rates)."
For instance, through the end of January you can get a two-day adult pass at Squaw Valley and/or Alpine Meadows for $99 to $119, depending on the day of the week, which translate to 33- to 44-percent off the regular rate. Or how about saving 28- to 62-percent off for a day ticket (that's $50 and $26, respectively) at Kirkwood? Or a 30-percent off ticket at Homewood for $35?
What differentiates Liftopia from other local discount ticket brokers is that you don't have to buy a membership card (like snowbomb.com) or go to the sources (like slidingonthecheap.com) to get the discounted prices.
"Our customers book date-specific packages," Schneidermann said. "It's just like booking an airline seat online."
Liftopia, which had seven resorts in its first year, can book lift tickets, rentals, and even lodging at nearly 200 resorts worldwide.
And yes, there's even an app for that (for iPhone and iPod touch).