Rising energy costs could mean more expensive lift tickets at state-owned Cannon Mountain

  • Skiers on the Rocket trail on Cannon Mountain in 2019.

New Hampshire Bulletin
Published: 10/11/2022 2:57:26 PM
Modified: 10/11/2022 2:57:16 PM

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 projected to face an additional $825,000 in electricity costs, according to a request that will go before the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee on Friday.

Electricity prices are increasing across all of the state’s four utilities this winter, which led the Legislature to pass an emergency relief measure in September for households that are income eligible. But more expensive energy can drive up other costs as well.

In order to cover the unforeseen cost of electricity, the department proposes “slight increases in fees across our portfolio” as well as a $10 parking charge for weekend and holiday parking in the two primary hiker parking lots in Franconia Notch State Park. It expects that using reloadable RFID cards, or Radio Frequency Identification, instead of paper lift tickets will generate additional revenue that could cover the higher cost of electricity, according to the department’s request. RFID cards are reusable.

In November, the department expects to implement a new ticketing sales system, available both online and at the mountain. It projects 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 sales system vendor. It would also reduce credit card processing fees, according to the department’s request.

Online ticket sales for outdoor recreation have “skyrocketed” since 2020, according to the department, while on-site ticket purchasing has declined. The department proposes to continue offering less expensive advance rates and a higher same-day rate, for both the Aerial Tramway, which operates in the summer, and for Cannon Mountain during the winter.

Last season, a one-day adult ticket cost $89 when purchased online or $99 at the mountain. Advance tickets would cost $94 and same-day tickets would be $104 for 2022-2023 if the department’s request is granted 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.

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