Thursday, August 30, 2012


Thanks to everyone that came to last night's Open House about our proposed Master Development Plan.  Below is a map that displays planned projects over the next decade.  It might be a little hard to read in the blog format.  You may be able to see the map more clearly at:

As soon as the written version of the full MDP is complete, we will be posting it on our website.


Craig said...

Thanks Al,
The more that I look this over the more that I like it. I was selfishly worried about the gullies being skied out but I am a fan of the hike back terrain.

A couple questions:

Is it planned that the "Access to the Rock Pile" is a BC Gate? My assumption is yes but just checking.

Do you happen to have a timetable for the upgrades. Even if there isn't a time table, do you have a prioritization list (e.g. open beavers first, replace pali, then zipline). I obviously made that up but do you have a release schedule.

As always, thanks for keeping us in the loop and I am definitely excited. I get the A-basin pass every year and this is just more reason to continue :)


Alan Henceroth - COO and Vice President said...

Hey Craig,

Thanks for coming last night. That was a good session. The "Access to the Rock Pile" would be a Backcountry Access Point. As far as timetable goes, we do not have an order set yet with the exception of the Surface Lift to Zuma. We would like to do that as soon as we could.

Scott said...

The surface lift to Zuma seems like a waste. Is it really that big of a deal for people to walk for 5 minutes? With all the hike-to and hike-back terrain, seems like it fits the A-Basin feel to NOT have that surface lift. Seems like those resources could be better used elsewhere.

Thanks for the info.

Will said...

I completely agree with what Scott said, except for the 5 minutes part, that's probably a stretch. It's a 2.5 to 3 minute walk, tops...

I don't think that the proposed surface lift is an "enhancement" that is going to get anyone excited about coming to the mountain or draw new visitors, wheras something like the Beavers expansion would certainly fire people up, both current customers and people who have never visited before. I realize it's a much bigger project, but likely one to see a greater ROI as well.

Mike B said...

Wow! That actually looks like a really good plan. Nice to have the steep gullies in the hike back area (to keep the undesirables out). I was afraid the lift would be below them.

Like the gate for the Rock Pile.

Any idea what Pali would be replaced with. Hopefully it remains a 2 person fixed grip. Don't want too many people over there if we can avoid it.

Nice work Al. You guys are awesome

Joe said...

You're right Scott, we should just get rid of all the lifts....

Scott said...

I wasn't proposing getting rid of any lifts - simply not adding an unnecessary one.

Alan Henceroth - COO and Vice President said...


I appreciate your comments. It was never our intention to make the blue trails in Zuma hiking terrain. We think this is a good upgrade to help all skiers. The feedback I get on this proposal is completely divided, either people say "no way" or they say "awesome". We are proposing a pretty cool hiking piece with The Steep Gullies.


We plan on replacing Pali with a fixed grip double chair in 5-10 years.


Sorry man, the lifts are staying.


Matt said...

Sad to see Norway go

I prefer that half of the upper mountain and strongly dislike the long traverse to get to Lenawee.

I wish there was a way to keep it.

Lenwee gets crowded too quickly, and the line when it gets out of the maze is just frustrating

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great plan. Really hoping for an epic season this year - would be nice if the East Wall could open.

Also hope your plan gets efficient consideration by the Forest Service ... Taos Ski Valley had their November 2010 MDP approved yesterday, almost 2 years later!

Pete said...

Hey Al,

Just curious...would the beavers happen within the next 3-6 years? or more like 15 years? I can understand the surface lift but personally am not a big fan of the idea...any reasons why zuma was done before the beavers?...fixed grip quad for the beavers?

Very excited about this expansion, you guys will do it right and I'm excited, keep up the good work and pray for snow! :)


Alan Henceroth - COO and Vice President said...

Hey Pete,

Great questions. I hope 3-6 years is the time frame. There are many variables and issues to work through still. Regarding the surface lift, it seems as though people feel strongly one way or the other about it. The surface lift will really help some blue skiers, particular those my age and older. We never meant to make the blue skiing in Zuma Bowl hiking terrain.

For both Zuma and The Beavers, diversity of terrain (blue, black, and double black) is important. At the time we did Zuma, no one had a good plan for blue skiing in The Beavers. Now we do. The proposed lift is 1800 people per hour and probably a fixed quad although that is not in stone.

I am excited about the project. It would be an extraordinary addition to the ski area. The blue groomers will be cool. The tree skiing surrounding Beaver Bowl will be unbelievable. The Double Black skiing in the Steep Gullies will be just amazing.

Anonymous said...

WOW! that project looks impressive. Not trying to be mean Alan but that tiny walk out back towards zuma hasnt stopped ANYONE from going there. Your funds would seem wasted by building a chairlift to nowhere. maybe a ropetow if you must avoid that short easy walk. The beavers area looks AMAZING! granted its skiable now so obviously it would be interesting with a quad going up the middle, but these blue and beyond trails are what made abasin the LEGEND..dont forget your extreme skiing friends! love the blog! eric

Joshua said...

Hey al. I like the plan. I wonder why you would remove norway, however. Looking at the map, it looks like lenawee would be the only way to access the majority of the terrain in the beavers. This means that lenawee, a triple lift, would be providing access to all of the upper mountain, as well as access to 2 bowls (zuma and beavers) both of which will have quad chairlifts. In my opinion, the lines for lenawee will become tremendous.

Matt said...

The more I think about it the more I think having Norway as a backup lift is important.

Too much pressure will be placed on Lenawee to access that pod, the Beavers, and Montezuma.

Think crowding, and if a maintenance issue occurs

Stevefrench said...

So with this zuma surface lift, how abused is the liftie going to get standing outside st the summit and do you think it is going to cause even more congestion at the top of Len with people queuing to get dragged across? I've also seen a big cornice above that road some days, would that affect operations of that lift?

Blair said...

Thanks Al,

Those look like some exciting plans for the Basin. I am all for expansion but please consider using high-speed lifts in future lifts and replacements. For those of us that like to make day trips to the basin, it really helps us get a better return on the trip, like ROI, when we dont have to spend as much time on lifts. I always enjoy the basin and think that high speed lifts would really improve the guest experience from start to finish.

Thanks in advance,


Alan Henceroth - COO and Vice President said...

Thanks Blair. Great point. Obviously, we put in one high speed (detachable) lift. I have a question for you. Should all lifts be detachable or are you OK with a mixture of detachable and fixed grip (not high speed) lifts?


Chris W. said...

I should have known you were still going to make me walk back from the gullies ;) It looks like a great plan, though- I can't wait until it's a reality!

Blair said...

Hi Alen,

Thanks for responding. As far as how many of the High-speed? I would think that you install/replace as many as possible with a high speed lift. Of course it does not make sense to do so in every instance, but it's something to take into consideration with the future plans. Two main positives to look at. 1) Less time on the lift means more time on the snow. 2) In my experience, the detachable lifts have much fewer on/off loading issues with guests as they slow down for on/off loading, and therefore do not have to stop as frequently to move guests to saftey. Which brings me back to point 1, the guests that are on the lifts spend less time on the lift and more on the snow. :) And with the recent and early snowfall, I am sure that there are many folks out there that want more time on the snow! Either way, I am looking forward to many seasons at the Legend!

Thanks again, Blair