City Hall to discuss law to thwart lift ticket scalpers
The busy three-day Presidents Day weekend in Park City had essentially started when someone posted an online classified advertisement selling Park City Mountain Resort lift tickets at a steep discount.
The person, who posted the advertisement , offered a pack of five full-day lift tickets for $375. The price averaged out to $75 per lift ticket, well below what someone would have paid had they purchased five lift tickets from the resort that day. The person said in the posting they were in Park City and could meet a buyer.
On Feb. 13, meanwhile, someone chose another website to attempt to sell what apparently were two coupons redeemable for two Deer Valley Resort lift tickets. The person offered the two for $150 — $75 each, essentially. The person who posted the advertisement indicated they were Christmas presents that were unused.
There have been at least eight similar online advertisements on the two sites in recent weeks offering lift tickets to PCMR or Deer Valley at rates deeply undercutting what the resorts charge someone who walks up to the ticket window the day they want to ski.
City Hall is now considering creating a law that would prohibit the practice of reselling lift tickets, something that would be seen as a pro-industry move. Attorneys for City Hall in recent weeks have drafted a law and provided the language to PCMR and Deer Valley. The language has not been made public and likely will not be until the week it is presented to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, possibly at a meeting scheduled on Feb. 28.
Thomas A. Daley Sr., the deputy Park City attorney, said recently a law would be meant to stop people from selling lift tickets on the secondary market in close proximity to the resorts’ ticket windows, such as in the parking lots. He said online postings for lift tickets are not the target.
It seems that a law like the one under consideration at City Hall would have limited success in stopping people from undercutting the resorts. A law approved by the Park City Council would be in effect only within the municipal boundaries. Someone reselling lift tickets elsewhere would not be prohibited from doing so unless a similar law existed there.
If someone wanted to sell a lift ticket to PCMR or Deer Valley and made arrangements to meet a buyer in Salt Lake City or the Snyderville Basin, the transaction would not be regulated by a Park City law. Summit County does not have such a law.
Both of the resorts on Tuesday were charging $102 for a full-day adult lift ticket. The resorts have long said many people do not pay the full price and instead receive discounts through multi-day lift tickets or other promotions.
In recent interviews an official at Deer Valley said the practice of reselling lift tickets is something that needs to be paid attention to while a PCMR representative said there is concern that someone buying a lift ticket on the secondary market might not realize what on-the-slopes privileges come with the ticket.
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It was an important decision since the rest of the talks will be heavily influenced by the processing option selected by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.