Friday, February 1, 2008

Al’s Blog

Alan Henceroth - COO and Vice President

Greetings from Arapahoe Basin

With all the events and activities going on around Arapahoe Basin the last few years, I thought starting a blog might give the Basin faithful a chance to ask me questions and give me feedback about how we are doing. The last year around here has been extremely exciting. In March we opened Black Mountain Lodge at Midway. More and more skiers and riders are finding their way up there and seem to be enjoying the great food and spectacular views. This season started October 10 when we were the first ski area in the country to open. The biggest news has been opening Montezuma Bowl January 11. The skiing back there has been great and with every inch of snow it will only get better.

The Good News

Our two recent big projects, Montezuma Bowl and Black Mountain Lodge, were designed to provide special opportunities for people and to really spread skiers and riders out and away from the base area. Although we have been extremely busy, the mountain has felt relatively quiet and people can find a table at lunchtime. Our biggest objective is to preserve that special feel people have when skiing and riding at The Basin. Mountain and Base Area wise, I think we are on track to spreading people out and keeping the quality of experience high.

The Bad News

Between 10:00 AM and Noon on Saturdays and Sundays, we have some parking problems. This past summer we added about 100 spots to the High Noon Lot. For next summer we are finalizing a plan to substantially add more parking spots, move pedestrians around more effectively and to get those pedestrians off the highway. For now however, I think we are going to have to deal with the challenges we face. I do have a few ideas you can do to help us deal with the parking issues.

-On Saturdays and Sundays try to avoid arriving between 10:00 AM and Noon. We have been filling the lots on those two days at about 10:30. The morning crowd starts leaving about Noon opening up plenty of spots. If you are not an early riser, enjoy the morning, go out for brunch and then come to the Basin for a great afternoon of un-crowded skiing.

-CARPOOL, CARPOOL, CARPOOL. All of our parking issues would go away with just a little bit of carpooling. Try to avoid one person per vehicle. It is good for the environment, it saves money, it helps I-70, and it frees up a lot of parking at The Basin. Anyone arriving in a vehicle with four or more people can get a $41 lift ticket at the Ticket Office. Go to http://www.skicarpool.com/

-If you are already in Summit County, take the Summit Stage and avoid all kinds of hassles. The Swan Mountain Flyer is a direct bus from Breckenridge, Farmer’s Corner, Summit Cove, and River Run at Keystone. Connections from other Summit County locations are possible. Go to http://www.summitstage.com/ for a detailed schedule.

A Special Thanks

As I find myself halfway through my twentieth year at Arapahoe Basin, I love the place more than ever. What makes it special is the extraordinary mountain setting and the incredible people, both employees and guests, that are here. Thanks to all of you for coming and creating the Arapahoe vibe. I look forward to hearing from you.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice Blog - I will take the bus now!

Anonymous said...

Al,

I just visited your ski area yesterday for the first time in many years. I have to say it was much improved, friendly people, clean facilities and great skiing. The challenges of big mountain skiing and the total sense of freedom definitely created a life altering experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Thanks to you and your staff for making it all happen. I will definitely be back with the rest of my family next year. Thanks!!!!!!!

The GAC said...

Very well done Al. I feel like I am truly reading the sentiments of a man undoubtedly commited to making his mountain the very best it can be.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed about the terrific Legend. It's a great season so far and the improvements/additions to the area have been great.

What's the timetable for opening up the East Wall?

Fast402 said...

Hi Alan: I E-mailed you previously with some comments and even complaints and was going to look you up at the area but haven't done that. I want to commend you and your team for the improvements at A-Basin. I was there a couple of weeks ago and all you did was make the whole thing better without taking anything away. I headed out back, did some hiking, ski'ed some chutes and rode the lift a couple of times. Very nice but I probabably like the front better having enjoyed those runs since 1978. The great news there is the reduced line on Pali plus better snow conditions due to reduced traffic!! Nice! Please don't improve the Pali lift capacity. That is how Mary Jane was ruined. I pretty much don't ski there any more because the snow conditions are usually horrible. Back to the basin - in the afternoon I stopped at your new lodge for a beer and to rest and enjoy the view. Very nice, like a mini - 2 Elk. Thanks again and keep up the great work at the Basin!

Dave Philipps said...

Al,
You should provide incentive for carpoolers, like Aspen does. It gives you free parking with four skiers in a car, I believe. How about a lift ticket discount or free beer or something?

Anonymous said...

I had/have mixed feelings about the opening of Montezuma and the additional crowds it would draw. The terrain is great back there for sure and I am really glad it is lift accessible now. As for the crowds, surprisingly once on mountain it seems to be pretty close to the same old A-basin just bigger, which is great! I BEG YOU NOT TO EXPAND PARKING TOO MUCH! I am confident the lack of convenient parking actually helps maintain the A-basin experience and is what draws people to the mountain in the first place. We all love A-bay, don't change it too much please!

Anonymous said...

Dear Alan,

I have had the honor of working at A-Basin. I am now a season pass holder,and no longer an employee. The improvements over the last few years, tremendous. I wonder how many area mangers get out on the hill every day? Or cheerfully getting a head rub "nuggy" from a liftee. And the Liftee not getting fired. And knowing most if not all of the employees by name. Yet, still maintaining a very professional, personal, business atmosphere and a great place to work.
Looking forward to Spring skiing at A-Basin. I prefer to stay anonymous. Minnesota