Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO: “Next Season We Are Going to Continue to Restrict Our Pass and Ticket Visits”

Martin Kuprianowicz | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Arapahoe Basin, colorado
Big changes are coming to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colo., next season. | Photo courtesy Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Changes are coming to A-Basin next season. The premier Colorado ski area says that COVID-19 has taught it many valuable lessons, that it’s listening to its season pass holders, and that it’ll be making a few big changes next season to “preserve our culture and vibe,” according to Arapahoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth.

Those changes include but are currently not limited to:

  • Decreasing season pass sales by 10%
  • Limiting day pass sales
  • No more in-person ticket sales—online only
  • Ticket pricing will reward midweek skiing over weekend skiing

A-Basin’s COO Alan Henceroth wrote in a blog that the ski area’s “target will be to have a ‘comfortable’ level of skiers each day.”

To read the full press release regarding these changes for next season at Arapahoe Basin, just keep scrolling.

2021-22 Season – What To Expect

We have experienced a tumultuous and uproarious few years at Arapahoe Basin. From major expansions to pass partner changes to 4th of July skiing to the pandemic, we have not slowed down for a second. It has been challenging, fun, difficult, crazy and weird all at the same time.

Throughout it all, we have focused on making the A-Basin experience the best it could possibly be. While we are constantly changing the “stuff” at The Legend, we strive to preserve our culture and vibe. Our first major step was to design, construct and implement The Beavers / Steep Gullies expansion. We added a big chairlift and nearly 500 acres of exciting groomers, gladed runs and dramatic chutes. We offered more terrain and spread the crowd out even further. We left the Epic Pass. The Basin simply wasn’t big enough to handle that many pass holders. We joined the Ikon Pass. The spirit of A-Basin was in sync with Ikon resorts and they had fewer pass holders and days were restricted.

Moving forward to the 2021-22 season, we are taking more major steps to preserve the culture and vibe. COVID forced us to learn in a few months what probably would have taken us five years to learn otherwise. Next season we are going to continue to restrict our pass and ticket visits. While reservations will not be required for our season pass holders, we are going to limit the number of passes that we sell. In fact, we are going to sell 10% fewer unrestricted passes next season than we did this season. On top of that, we will continue to limit the number of lift tickets sold each day and all tickets must be purchased online and in advance. No lift tickets will be sold on site. We anticipate selling out of weekend lift tickets on a regular basis.

So why are we doing this? There are many factors, like a friendly and knowledgeable staff, a spectacular mountain and excellent facilities, that go into to making Arapahoe Basin special. We also think a critical factor for a successful day is keeping crowd size down and skiers and riders spread out. For decades, a key strategy for us was to keep adding more and more skiers. That is no longer the case. We are actively working to reduce the number of skiers on weekends and holidays. We have learned so much since COVID forced us to hit a daily target of skier numbers. Next season we will continue a similar strategy. Our target will be to have a “comfortable” level of skiers each day. Our ticket inventories and pricing will directly reward midweek skiing over weekend skiing. By knowing how many people to expect each day, we can do a better job running the place. We will measure success by reducing parking challenges, keeping lift lines and other service lines short and by observing smiling skier faces.

This is a big, big change. We are ready for this change. We know our skiers and riders want to preserve the A-Basin culture and vibe. We know they want to cherish and enjoy this stunning place. There are many great resorts in the world, but there is no place quite like Arapahoe Basin. By making these changes we plan on keeping it that way.

– Alan Henceroth, Arapahoe Basin Chief Operating Officer

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4 thoughts on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, CO: “Next Season We Are Going to Continue to Restrict Our Pass and Ticket Visits”

  1. Great to hear A-basin will be an Ikon resort…have avoided the epics and it’s crowds. Looking forward to next winter…we’ll be there!

  2. Kudos! Great plan to cut costs and hold margin by cutting peak operations and smoothing out the load. Win win for skiers and mountain.

  3. When do you think Alta Ski Area will catch on? They have the most loyal and devoted skiers going. Certainly, those skiers would be glad to hear that “the Alta Way” and “The Alta Experience” necessitate fewer people on the slopes. It’s funny.
    There is all this talk about how to get more people up Little Cottonwood Canyon without traffic jams. If everything goes the way of the maximizers the traffic jams won’t start until you get to the chairlifts.

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