If you want to ski at Arapahoe Basin whenever you choose next season, you might want to snap up a season pass while you still can. They may not be available for much longer.
Arapahoe Basin officials have taken the unusual step of limiting season-pass sales for next year, and while they aren’t revealing the actual number, they have said it will be 10% less than what was sold this year. They’ve already sold 75% of the passes that they intend to sell.
That matters for fans of A-Basin because there will be only two other ways to ski there next season, and both will have limitations. Ikon Pass-holders will be limited to five or seven days, depending on which Ikon pass they have, and daily lift-ticket sales will be limited to keep numbers in check as well.
The reason for limiting numbers below what the market might bear, chief operating officer Alan Henceroth said, is to prevent overcrowding on the slopes, in dining areas and parking lots. Being small and old-school is part of A-Basin’s charm.
“There is a point where there are just too many people,” Henceroth said. “We’re really focused on parking. We’d like our parking lots to be just full, not overflowing. A few lift lines here or there, that’s OK, I think people expect it. And on the busiest of days, maybe you’ve got to wait a little bit to get some food, but we don’t want people waiting too much. We’re just trying to be honest with ourselves about what our capacity is. We’re going to try to manage our numbers to come as close to that as we can, without going over.”
Ikon Pass-holders were required to make reservations this season. That won’t be the case next season, but single-day lift tickets will be sold only in advance, and only online.
“Capacity at a ski area is not as precise a thing as some people might think,” Henceroth said. “It’s not like you have a 16-ounce bottle and you put 16 ounces of fluid in it. The Christmas crowd puts one kind of strain the capacity, and an April powder day crowd might put a different kind of strain on capacity. It’s not a pure number; it’s trying to make things work nicely for the guest.”