Thursday, August 8, 2019

3 Days at Monarch Mountain

Arapahoe Basin Season Pass Holders will now get 3 free days of skiing at one of Colorado's coolest resorts, Monarch Mountain.  It has a classic, laid back atmosphere with awesome snow and terrain. Hiking and skiing Mirkwood Bowl is my favorite there.

When The Basin decided to make our change last season, we took off on an extraordinary challenge. We wanted to make the business work better for our guests, our employees, our community and the environment. It would have been cool to make one simple February announcement. That was impossible. We were working with many, many different people and organizations. We had obligations and time constraints. We looked for good new partners that fit with The Legend, but we could not and did not make a deal back then. As soon as we could make good, new partnerships, we did. And as soon as we made those partnerships, we announced those partnerships to you. Along the way we shared what we knew. For example, we announced the only way to ski unlimited days at A-Basin is to buy an A-Basin season pass. It is the only product that will offer unlimited and unrestricted skiing at The Basin.

We are committed to a significant reduction in weekend and holiday crowds. We are committed to keeping the A-Basin culture and vibe strong and alive. We are committed to improving the already awesome Arapahoe Basin mountain experience. We have chosen our exciting, new partners - Monarch Mountain, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective - to meet those commitments.

All that said, following today's Monarch Mountain announcement, we have nothing else brewing. We have put together an extraordinary set of pass and ticket opportunities to ski Arapahoe Basin. I hope you will join us this season. The experience will be better than ever. I am so excited to partner with our friends at Monarch Mountain.

These are some of the ways to ski Arapahoe Basin for the 2019-20 season.

Arapahoe Basin Season Pass
-Unlimited, unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-3 free days at Monarch Mountain
-3 free days at Taos
-50% off window price lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts

Arapahoe Basin Double Down Pass
-Two seasons of unlimited, unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-3 free days at Monarch Mountain (guaranteed for 2019-20 season only)
-3 free days at Taos  (guaranteed for 2019-20 season only)
-50% off window price lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts

Arapahoe Basin Midweek Pass
-Unlimited skiing Monday through Friday at A-Basin
-No blackout days (other than Saturdays and Sundays)

Arapahoe Basin Elevation Any Day Pack
-Choose from 2-5 days of unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-No blackout days

Ikon Pass
-7 days of unrestricted skiing at A-Basin

Ikon Base Pass
-5 days of restricted skiing at A-Basin
-10 blackout days during Christmas, Martin Luther King weekend and Presidents weekend

Mountain Collective
-2 days of unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-50% off window price lift tickets at A-Basin once the 2 free days are used


Dave C said...

Sweet!!! Thanks Al.

Mike Jones said...

Al - A Monarch season pass gets 3 days at a bunch of areas, namely Copper and Loveland. Any chance the full season Abasin pass would offer this too?

Anonymous said...

Happy to see this add instead of not. How long is the agreement with Ikon? Is it 1 year, is it 10 years? Really, really hope the Basin gets some relief on crowds. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Nice! I'm stoked to hear that the Ikon Base Pass will be blacked out at The Basin over their normal blackout days for the other resorts. I thought that ALL Ikon Base Pass holders that would be blacked out at Copper/Winter Park would be skiing the Basin during their blackout days. Can't wait to get my 3 days at Monarch too! MIB

"Ikon Base Pass

-5 days of restricted skiing at A-Basin

-10 blackout days during Christmas, Martin Luther King weekend and Presidents weekend"

Anonymous said...

This is an A-mazing perk! Thanks Alan.

Randy said...

Thanks Al for all that you do.

Glad to be back at A-Basin full-time.
Looking forward to a great year of skiing with family and friends.

bleachlpb said...

Definitely great to hear that Monarch has been added. I skied 3 days there on my Loveland pass last year and instantly fell in love with the place. Nice steeps, great trees, etc. The green chili at the lodge is the real deal. Ran into the brewers from Elevation there one day. Definitely not a corporate feel at all. Speaking of brewers - they feature and support the local craft beer scene (Elevation, Eddyline, etc). Staying in nearby Salida is a great treat too. Looking forward to visiting again (and, getting back to Taos).

Was really hoping for a similar agreement with Loveland. Was sort of hoping A Basin's pass would more closely resemble Loveland's - with 3 days at lots of smaller, like-minded ski mountains. But it is what it is.

I'm looking forward to another year on A Basin pass!

Anonymous said...

Ikon Base Pass doesn't blackout Copper/WP, it's fully unlimited.

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

Loveland would be cool, but there are no other pass agreements to announce.

Lionel Messi said...

Hey Al - for those of us who stick with the Double Down, should the relationships with Monarch and Taos change, will you guys be looking for other mountains to try to get those 3 reciprocal days at? Just wanna check before pulling the trigger, thanks! And also, thanks for this move away from Epic - a lot of the criticism seems to miss the point that the max days a full IKON pass gets are 7. The benefits on the A Basin only pass seem great to me - the days at Taos and now Monarch, plus that 50% discount at all Mtn Collective spots - bravo. I'll be getting my Basin days in this upcoming season, and then some!

Anonymous said...

Can you give any details on the length of all these agreements? Will this change yearly or are you partnered with Ikon/Mountain collective/Monarch for multiple years?

Love this partnership. Hoping one day this is all you do and no big pass partnerships are needed.


Unknown said...

Please bury Ikon in the irrigation ditch asap and join Powder Alliance. Too much negative press with Ikon and the Powder Alliance areas align better with A-Basins "mom-and-pop" and "locals" type of vibe. We want to share with "ski area" people and not "resort" people. That would be more "getting back to our roots" than the current agreement.

Anonymous said...

I have been an A Basin season pass holder for years now and I want to thank Al and the whole staff for putting together a really great package for us for the upcoming year. I can't wait to ski all year at A. Basin and 3 days at Taos and 3 days at Monarch and who knows maybe we'll go to Jackson Hole or Big Sky this year with the discounted mountain collective tickets. Last year I had an A. Basin season pass and Ikon Base Pass and we went to Alta, Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper on the Ikon Pass. I know that there are locals everywhere that love to say that Ikon has ruined their mountain, and I did see a "Stop Ikonisizing Aspen" sticker at the highlands, but I never once had an unreasonable lift line at any of these places. I think that we all need to think about who is saying what, before we consider it to be fact. Sure there will be more people on the mountain with Ikon/Mtn Collective than if A. Basin was a total island, but there should be far less than last year on the Epic pass. That said, I thought last year was a major improvement at A. Basin too, since people tended to spread out over the mountain, into the Beavers etc. All that said, can't wait for the snow! Let's have some fun!

Anonymous said...

So mideeek passes get nothing? Just more potential fills on the hill for us? How about midweek days at those other resorts?

Unknown said...

Excellent news! Now just find us a way to get some days at Powderhorn. Classic spot and as far from crowded front range as possible. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'll attempt again. Maybe this one will be approved. :-)

A-Basin should really go above and beyond to their core passholders. The ones that specifically invested in A-Basin passes by extending low-cost but high-value benefits to them.


1. Designated Parking in Early-Riser reserved for Passholders.
2. Priority or Preferred Access the First-Come/First-Served Beach Spots
3. Expanded Discounts 25-30% on Food and Shop at certain hours (possibly before 11am or after 2pm) for food)
4. Dedicated Lanes similar to the "Secret Pass" at Copper
5. Possible Early Access on certain lifts (1/2 hour before General Public) on Weekdays
6. Drink of the Day specials to A-Basin Pass Holders - maybe a cocktail or Beer special in the $5 range (cocktail) $4 Beer

These are a few examples but the gist of it is give the A-Basin passholders a premium experience for putting all their eggs with A-Basin. Make people want the pass and give it more value than the IKONers coming in to burn their 5 or 7 days.

I think the above is respectful and constructive feedback. In Al's earlier posts he noted that he wanted to get back to that "local" feel. Everything above is little to no cost but a lot of value to a Passholder.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. The season pass is $449!! That's a deal in itself. I used to ski back east and a season pass was $2,000 with no perks. A season pass for $449 is a steal. I'd pay north of $2,000 for all the perks you just mentioned.

Unknown said...

Why would Arapahoe Basin do that? AB makes way more money off of "outsider" pass holders than AB only pass holders and there are way more people with Ikon or Mountain Collective passes that will ski less and spend more, ie bar, restaurant, gift shop, than the average AB pass holder. It's a business and business is all about the money. Just an example... 10,000 AB pass holders buy 1 beer, 1 cheeseburger, 1 hat. All at discounted prices versus 100,000 Ikon pass holders buying the same at full price. Who would you rather have filling your parking lot?

Unknown said...

Hello Al, are you planning on offering the Molly to Mountain program again this year? My wife will need this, and I thought it was such a great value last year. That is what I have been waiting for before I buy the Abasin pass. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

In response to: "Why would Arapahoe Basin do that? "

I'm not certain I understand. You aren't cutting the others out but rather giving benefits to your most loyal, dedicated customers.

The IKONers
1) Still fill the parking lots - they just don't have access to best spots
2) Still buy beer and food - but at the regular prices. A-Basin still pockets the $$$ and more of it.
3) Still ruin all the snow - they just get access to it later and laps (assuming a 'secret' pass lane or early access was granted to A-Basin passholders)

I had heard at one point that on Epic Pass that A-Basin only derived $10 per visit. It may yield slightly more for IKON. Let's assume $25 for sake of argument. If that is the case if a IKONer used all of his/her days A-Basin would make $125-$175 for a season just off that skiers visits. Whereas they pocket the whole $449 from the A-Basin passholder.

Again, the IKONer still skis, still fills the lots, still buys the beer and food. But the core A-Basin passholder just gets more of the 'local' experience and there are true-blue benefits to them to hold the core A-Basin pass.

My question is why would you want the 100,000 IKON passholders to buy the food and beer at a discount? Why not charge them full price?

Plus, giving the discount to the A-Basin Passholding Ham and Eggers may convince them to not brownbag it that day or spring for that extra beer or drink of the day.

When the break from EPIC was announced the assumption was that A-Basin was going to go it on its own and not partner with a bigger pass. A lot of those A-Basin only buyers truly thought they were getting more of what Loveland delivers. They still can by getting A-Basin passholder-only benefits. I don't see it being much different than a loyalty reward program with an airline or hotel. Or Hertz Gold, etc. If you are part of the inner circle you get more benefits than Joe Schmo.

But maybe I'm missing something in your logic?

Unknown said...

I think you need to re read my post.

Anonymous said...

Copper does some of this but they do charge a premium on top of the regular pass. Free parking in best lots, skip the lift lines on 6 chairs, access to the mountain 30 minutes early, access to Copper Athletic Club after skiing to soak.

Unknown said...

Do the Math. My number of 10,000 is likely high and number of 100,000 is likely very low and are only an example. The AB pass holder is munching a sandwich and chugging a PBR at their car or on the chair lift and not even stepping inside one of the facilities except to use a bathroom no matter how much of a deal you give. We don't have the time to go in the lodge and sit down for food and drink. Maybe on a day off but better deals are available in town. Ski ski ski and off to work. AB stands to make way more money from Ikon and MC guests. That's why the deal is made with these pass companies. It's truly all about the money. Hertz Gold? More like Bob's rent a wreck.

Anonymous said...

Copper does do some of this extra stuff but it is at a premium price. About the same price of an A Basin pass.

SFed said...

I would like to give you an outsiders perspective. I live in Indiana and have skied pretty much my entire life. I am lucky to have the opportunity to ski 20-30 days a year out west. I wish I was lucky enough to live there, but that has to wait for a later time in life (hopefully sooner rather than later). While I understand the "locals" desire to have their own mountain, you might just want to count yourself so lucky to be able to ski 100 plus days a year at a great mountain. I get to look at the webcam every day and dream of being there on the hill.

The Basin is a for profit company. If they felt they could make enough based on annual passes and day passes they would do so, but that is not reality. Multi-mountain passes are here to stay.

Copper Mountain has been my home base for 15 years and I was probably the only annual pass holder in Indiana. I have not skied the Basin since I was a teenager, but loved the place and have always wanted to ski it again. That being said, since I already paid for my Copper pass it seemed silly to drive, park, etc. and then pay for a day pass. The IKON pass with unlimited at Copper has been amazing. I ski Big Sky every year as well so that is basically a free trip. The pass itself would not impact the days I would pay to ski but it does offer the benefit to try new places. So you will have to suffer through my one day at the Basin this year, but trust me I will make the most of it and cannot wait to see the Beavers and Steep Gullies.

Anonymous said...

Yea, when a pass was 2k, there were a lot less bodies on the hill...
More volume, lower cost. McDonald's anyone?

Anonymous said...

Real great.

Bob Campbell said...

All that said, following today's Monarch Mountain announcement, we have nothing else brewing.

Too bad, I was hoping for the announcement that a mountain brewery was opening up!!
Otherwise the Taos/Monarch connection are great.