Lessons Learned: Arapahoe Basin To Limit Pass, Ticket Sales Next Season
Arapahoe Basin has often taken the trail less traveled approach when faced with the challenges of making money while retaining its down-home"vibe" -- and next season's ticket program will keep that going.
The 75-year-old Colorado resort has announced that a cap will be put on the number of both season pass and day tickets sold for the 2021-2022 season -- and all will only be available online and in advance, with no ticket sales at the slope.
The new normal is maintaining a "comfortable" level of skiers and riders each day, with a cheaper weekday tickets to move crowds off the weekends. Season pass sales -- not including seven-day access via Ikon Pass -- will be cut by 10 percent for next season.
"Covid forced us to learn in a few months what would have taken five years to learn," said A-Basin's Alan Henceroth in his blog. "For decades, the strategy was to add more and more skiers. That is no longer the case."
With this announcement, Arapahoe Basin becomes the first major U.S. resort to take some Covid-19 strategies and translate them into the next season, when the virus is expected to be well under control after mass vaccinations.
One of the lessons learned, according to Henceroth, was that by knowing how many people would show up on any given day, managers could adjust and prepare: "We will measure success by reducing parking challenges, keeping lift lines and other service lines short, and by observing smiling skier faces."
The mountain has long attracted Colorado Front Range day skiers and riders who like friendly, party vibe and its challenging terrain. Because of its location along the Continental Divide, its season is always one of the longest in the nation.
Over the years, A-Basin has marched to a different drummer. Last year, it replaced the venerable Pallavicini fixed-grip double with ... another fixed-grip double. Two years ago, it left the Epic Pass system because it was drawing too many people. Back in the day, it was once owned by a dog food company, and was jettisoned by Vail Resorts over anti-trust concerns.