You don’t know if there’ll be snow, but the co-founders of San Francisco startup Liftopia say they can get you to go skiing anyway. The secret: sell lift tickets like plane tickets.
Evan Reece and Ron Schneidermann met when they both worked at discount travel site Hotwire in the mid-2000s. They saw how hotels and airlines varied their prices to lock in bookings in advance and fill empty seats and rooms at the last minute.
But they were a little stunned to discover that ski resorts not only weren’t trying to do the same thing, but that no one else was trying to help them.
IF you are willing to travel, you can ski all year long, be it at Vail Mountain in Colorado or Treble Cone in New Zealand. And with a little planning, you can do it for less than you might think.
Liftopia.com bills itself as the largest online and mobile platform for ski lift tickets (and some other related costs like ski rentals and lessons).
Last week I got an email from ski lift and mountain resort activity ticket e-retailer Liftopia about a big deal it inked to be the exclusive tech platform for the Mountain Collective, a new partnership of four elite ski resorts: Alta, Aspen/Snowmass, Jackson Hole, and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows.
Liftopia, the startup offering consumers discounts on ski tickets and other snow-related activities, is today launching a new e-commerce platform for the ticket sellers themselves called "Cloud Store by Liftopia." The service will be offered for free to any mountain resort for use on their own websites (including mobile), starting first in North America, then followed by resorts in Europe. Once up-and-running, Cloud Store allows the resort to sell tickets using variable pricing-- similar to how airline tickets, hotel stays and car rentals are sold today.
Skiers and snowboarders can finally rejoice over the season's chill, but the long-delayed snowfall won't make it any easier to traverse the steep cost of winter sports. Here are tips on shopping around and timing your next ski or snowboarding trip to get the best deals on equipment, lift tickets and lodging.
While throngs of tailgaters chug Bud Light and devour Buffalo wings near the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and millions of other football fans gather in front of their TVs to watch the Super Bowl this year, in-the-know travelers will be sitting down to meals at some of the hardest-to-get-into restaurants in the country, skiing down empty slopes and zipping through Disney World without the usual lines.
San Francisco-based Liftopia, an online retailer of lift tickets and mountain resort activities, is launching its iPhone app today. The app's title is quite the mouthful: "Liftopia Ski Reports, Snow Conditions and Ultimate Lift Ticket Deal Engine App." Whoa! So there's the news, I guess-- it's all in the app's name.
Taking a page from the airlines, ski resorts are lowering prices for traditionally sluggish travel dates, charging more for the most popular travel periods and offering discounts to those who book online in advance. It's a major change for the ski industry. Until recently, most skiers had little choice but to buy their lift tickets only after they had arrived at their location.
Finally, there's a way for me to carve up the slopes with my pizza-wedge turns without having to endure the condescending smirks of strangers. That's because Liftopia, the startup gives you steep discounts on ski tickets and other snow-related activities, has just added a new feature: full-mountain rentals. Which means you can keep the slopes to yourself if you're willing to spend enough cash, or, if you wanted to go with a more pragmatic route, you could bring 249 friends or coworkers along with you.
San Francisco-based Liftopia, an online retailer of lift tickets and mountain resort activities, is today announcing it has raised $1.3 million in a round led by First Round Capital. New investors in today's round also include Dave Morin and Chris Sacca, who participated with existing investors Erik Blachford and Sam Shank.
Received $1.3M Venture Round Funding
Participation First Round Capital, Dave Morin, Chris Sacca, Erik Blachford, Sam Shank
Received $1M Seed Funding
Participation Sand Hill Angels, Erik Blachford