Skier Visits to Arapahoe Basin, CO, Up 9% in 22/23

Anton Lengyel | | Industry NewsIndustry News
The Steep Gullies at Arapahoe Basin with the East Wall in the background. | Credit: Arapahoe Basin

Skier visits to Arapahoe Basin, CO, went up 9% for the 22/23 season compared to last season. However, they remain 25% lower than when they were partnered with Vail Resorts, according to Arapahoe Basin Chief Operations Officer Alan Henceroth. These numbers are a good sign for the resort, as they aim to keep crowds low and end the parking problems they faced while on the Epic Pass. This season also marks the first since the COVID-19 pandemic, where COVID did not significantly impact operations.

Arapahoe Basin, commonly known as A-Basin, left the Epic Pass in 2019 and ended its relationship with Vail Resorts, citing overcrowding and parking issues as a significant reason for its departure. In an official statement, it stated the separation was essential for the betterment of visitors and “to minimize waiting and crowding and maximize experiences and fun.” A-Basin later partnered with Alterra for the 19/20 season and became a member of the Ikon Pass but continues to offer limited days for pass holders to keep crowds at a minimum.

The brand-new 6-pack Lenawee Express opened this season. | Credit: Arapahoe Basin

This year, A-Basin had nine out of 204 days where it faced parking issues, according to Henceroth, as of April 30, 2023. A primary goal they have next season is reducing that number further. A-Basin has stated it will continue limiting the number of daily tickets and season passes sold to achieve that goal. It will work towards keeping the number of visitors within A-Basin’s Comfortable Carrying Capacity (‘CCC’). Defined by Henceroth as the comfortable number of visitors that they can handle, based on their infrastructure and parking, the resort seeks to ensure that the CCC is never exceeded even on the busiest of powder days. Those days are the hardest for the resort to manage parking due to decreases in those who carpool, causing parking lots to fill quickly. A-Basin encourages visitors to pick up some friends before heading to the mountain.

A-Basin has received plenty of praise for its switch to a more self-sustaining path. Riders appreciate the resort’s transparency and willingness to listen to its community, and it is a step back to a local feel that many enjoy. A-Basin will continue to work towards ensuring an optimal skiing experience for the next season and beyond.

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