Posted: 10/11/2022 2:57:26 PM
Modified: 11/10/2022 14:57:16
Soaring energy costs could mean more expensive lift tickets for Cannon Mountain skiers this winter, if a request from the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is granted.
The ski area is expected to face additional electricity costs of $825,000, according to a request to be presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on Taxation on Friday.
Electricity prices are rising at all four state utilities this winter, leading the Legislature to pass an emergency relief measure in September for income-eligible households. But more expensive energy can also drive up other costs.
To cover the unforeseen cost of electricity, the department is proposing “small fee increases in our portfolio” as well as a $10 parking fee for weekend and holiday parking at the two main parking lots for hikers at Franconia Notch State Park. He expects the use of rechargeable RFID, or radio-frequency identification, cards instead of paper lift tickets to generate additional revenue that could cover the higher cost of electricity, depending on demand from the ministry. RFID cards are reusable.
In November, the department plans to implement a new ticket sales system, available both online and at the mountain. He predicts that by using RFID cards, this system would generate $700,000 in net revenue and save $160,000 in sales commissions previously paid to the vending system vendor. It would also reduce credit card processing fees, according to the ministry’s request.
Online ticket sales for outdoor recreation have “skyrocketed” since 2020, according to the department, while on-site ticket purchases have declined. The ministry proposes to continue offering cheaper advance fares and a higher same-day fare for both the Aerial Tramway, which operates in the summer, and Cannon Mountain during the winter.
Last season, an adult one-day ticket was $89 when purchased online or $99 at the mountain. Advance tickets would cost $94 and same-day tickets would be $104 for 2022-23 if the ministry’s request is granted on Friday. That’s less than a handful of other local mountains: Attitash charges $109 for an advance ticket and $115 for a window ticket, while Loon charges $108 and $124, respectively.