As more and more resorts are being gobbled up by either Epic or Ikon, this news out of Colorado yesterday came as a bit of a surprise! Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced it will not continue its pass partnership program with Vail Resorts next season.
In a statement announcing the news on its website, officials with A-Basin said they believe ‘its staff can take better care of its guests by separating from Vail Resorts’.
“With diverse ski runs including some of the most intense terrain in North America and a culinary operation that is regularly listed among the top 10 in the country, the ski area has developed a very special community that feels like home,” A-Basin chief operating officer Alan Henceroth wrote. “In order to continue to build on this spirit and the experience we have created, Arapahoe Basin and Vail Resorts will not be renewing their pass partnership for the 2019/2020 season.”
The announcement cited the growth both in popularity and skier visitation the ski area has seen after investing 40 million dollars over the last 15 years. On his A-Basin blog, COO Alan Henceroth provided more explanation behind A-Basin’s perspective on the end of the partnership, and also said although there is that pinch on parking and facility space, the mountain “still has plenty of room for skiers and riders.”
“Looking forward,” Henceroth wrote, “we strive to provide ready and easy access for our guests. Our goal is to minimize waiting and crowding and maximize experiences and fun.”
The COO added that currently, the ski area has no new partnerships to announce, however, in the coming months A-Basin will be discussing opportunities with several resorts and resort groups.
“Skiers and riders that call A-Basin home can feel good knowing the resort will still offer tremendous value and exceptional mountain experiences,” Henceroth continued on his blog. “These actions are designed to preserve that special culture and vibe people expect when they choose to spend a day at The Basin. The future for Arapahoe Basin is very bright.”
Vail Resorts sent a news release shortly after the announcement.
“We want to thank Arapahoe Basin for their partnership for over 20 years,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer for Vail Resorts, in the statement. “We are disappointed, but given the success, they have had and their recent investments into the resort, we respect that this is the right time for them to move in a different direction.”
In place of the former Keystone A-Basin Pass, Vail Resorts will create a Keystone Plus Pass that will include unlimited spring skiing at Breckenridge. Breckenridge has traditionally closed in April, but last month, resort officials announced that it would stay open until Memorial Day. Breckenridge plans to offer skiing through Memorial Day in future years as well.
2018-19 Vail Resorts season passes that are currently valid at A-Basin will continue to be valid for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.