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Arapahoe Basin Goes It Alone, Cuts Ties With Epic Pass

Arapahoe-Basin Arapahoe Basin has decided that pass ties with Vail aren't worth it. (Arapahoe Basin/Facebook)

Sometimes rapid growth isn't all it's cracked up to be. Arapahoe Basin has found that to be true and, because of it, announced it will no longer be part of Vail Resort's season pass portfolio next season.

Citing a “pinch on parking and facility space,” A-Basin's Alan Henceroth said the Summit County mountain will break with Vail Resorts and attempt to provide more “easy access” for skiers and riders.

“Our goal is to minimize waiting and crowding and maximize experiences and fun,” Henceroth said. “These actions are designed to preserve that special culture and vibe people expect when they choose to spend a day at The Basin.”

The popularity of one of the closest mountains to Denver has grown. (Arapahoe Basin/Facebook)

Ending a 20-year run, the 2018-2019 Epic Pass will be honored at Arapahoe Basin through the end of this season but will not apply to the 2019-2020 year. In addition, the Keystone A-Basin Pass – a limited version in the Epic program – will run out this season and be replaced by a Keystone-only pass next season. Keystone is owned by Vail Resorts.

Originally, Vail sought to purchase Arapahoe Basin in the mid-1990s when the Eagle County resort also bought Breckenridge and Keystone from Ralston Purina Corp. However, a federal court ruling labeled the purchase as a monopoly in Summit County, so Vail sold the venerable mountain to Dundee Realty Corp. of Canada -- but maintained a season pass relationship.

Parking has always been tight up the canyon where A-Basin sits. (Arapahoe Basin/Facebook)

During the next 15 years, Dundee poured some $40 million into A-Basin, including high-speed lifts, facility facelifts and new lift-served on the backside and in extreme Beavers area.

The implication of Hencreroth's statements is that these improvements and the link with Vail's multi-resort Epic Pass put a crimp on the mountain's ability to handle steadily increasing skier-visits.

Henceroth also said that the mountain will look for other partners for reciprocity in the future.

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