In a world first, the newly formed Australasian Alpine Resorts Collective are tackling both the rising cost of day ski passes and the length of lift lines with a revolutionary new initiative.

With one day lift ticket prices reaching into the hundreds of dollars, at least one resort on either side of the ditch will trial hi tech tolls on select chairlifts for a pay-as-you-go system.

Based on the e-tag system of Australia’s motorways, the idea is you pay only for the runs you choose to ski and snowboard on. Fees are then dependant on the cost, power and speed of the chairlift of choice and the cost of maintaining specific runs.

Word is that one resort in New South Wales alongside two in New Zealand’s South Island are ready to to invite a select number of skiers and boarders to embark on the program for 2024 winter. If it’s successful it could then roll out in 2025 across all Australian and New Zealand commercial resorts.

Skiers and boarders will purchase a one off e-tag to access the toll based skiing and snowboarding. They’ll top up their tag with ski/board money that is then debited upon boarding each chair.

Tolls will be transferable so one family can utilise the same toll tag, meaning one parent can look after the kids while the other skis and then swap over.

In a bid to help those who spend excessively, skiers and boarders can cap their daily spend and once reached then the chair barrier won’t allow the guest to access the chair.

Fees will also fluctuate with peak ski times, when chairlifts are long then prices will increase (akin to Uber’s fluctuating peak time fees) to try to flush skiers and boarders across the mountain to chairs with lesser tolls.

Prices will start from $5.00 a chair and increase or decrease accordingly.

International resorts are already watching closely to see how the new initiative will play out.

The resorts are now accepting registrations for the trial, apply via this link. 

Season recap: so many Aussie firsts + most medals in one FIS WC winter ever!