Arapahoe Basin Puts In Plans For Replacement Chair, More Eating Space
Following a spate of improvements in the last two summers -- including opening the new Beavers terrain -- the Summit County resort hopes to continue this summer with upgrades in order to streamline uphill lift flow and safety, expand eating and warming facilities, and upgrade summertime offerings.
The biggest part of the proposal would replace the 20-year-old fixed-grip Lewanee chair with a four or six-seat high-speed detachable lift. In their application, mountain officials said the high-speed chair would not only increase uphill capacity by more than 30%, but it would also improve access to the top half of the mountain and its backside Montezuma Bowl. It also makes it easier for novices to load and unload as detachable chairs slow down at the bottom and top.
In addition, plans call for a 2,100-foot separate building adjacent to the mid-mountain Black Mountain Lodge to be known as the Midway Barbecue. A-Basin loyalists know well the enticing wafts of BBQ fragrance rising from the lodge deck as they pass overhead on the Black Mountain Express. The project would provide a home for the BBQ and add seating.
Finally, the proposal calls for a new upper-mountain warming hut under the Lewanee lift about where the Dercum Gulch trail crosses at the top of Lewanee Parks trail -- and next to the summers via Ferrata rock-climbing setup. To be called Steilhang for its precipitous locale, the 1,000 square-foot hut would have year-round food, indoor seating, and an outdoor deck.
All projects are pending Forest Service review and decision. A-Basin officials hope to start work on the new hut and mid-mountain BBQ expansion this summer -- along with an ancillary project of expansion of the summit-top Il Refugio restaurant.
A popular Front Range day-trip mountain that opened in 1946, Arapahoe Basin's replaced its venerable Pallivicini chair last summer, built an Adventure Park just above the base area, and installed thevia Ferrata.
It’s our long-term vision to not necessarily get bigger here, we want to get better,” A-Basin's Tony Cammarata said.