Friday, August 2, 2019

A-Basin Joins The Ikon Pass



As you know, back in February we announced that there would be some changes to make the skier experience at A-Basin even better. Over the last 15 years, Arapahoe Basin has expanded the ski area twice adding The Beavers and The Steep Gullies and Montezuma Bowl. We added Black Mountain Lodge, the Kids Center, Black Mountain Express and more, all to improve our guest experience. With these improvements we have seen substantial visitation growth and have, at times, had trouble maintaining the quality of experience that we aspire to. We realized, as many of you have, that changes were necessary.

Our focus has always been to provide extraordinary mountain experiences and we already have the terrain and staff to make that happen. Staying true to our guests, our employees, our business, our community and the environment, we searched for the best path forward for The Basin. We have targeted a substantial reduction in ski and snowboard visits on weekends and holidays next season to improve our ability to provide the services and experiences we are known for.

Today we are proud to announce that we have entered into a partnership with the Ikon Pass. Skiers and riders will have 7-day access with no blackout dates on the Ikon Pass, and 5-day access with selected blackout dates (Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King weekend, President’s weekend) on the Ikon Base Pass. These restrictions and blackout dates will make our already busy periods more manageable.

We know that many of our guests want a multi-resort pass. We believe this pass solution will provide the ideal access to Arapahoe Basin while joining a team of excellent resorts and providing us better control of our business. With this addition, we will only be part of two limited passes (Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass) and we will no longer be part of very low-priced multi-resort passes.

Lastly, as I look at the Ikon Pass partner destinations—Alta, Snowbird, Jackson, Big Sky, Revelstoke, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Aspen Snowmass, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain and more—I realize that most of my ski vacations have been to these resorts (Yes, I still go on ski vacations). We are pleased to partner with these destinations whose brands are so in sync with ours.

I am very excited for the next chapter in A-Basin’s history. The Ikon Pass will be a fantastic new partner. As skiers and riders, all of you will have even more exciting ways to enjoy The Basin. The new partnership is designed to preserve that culture and vibe we all love. Those of us who call Arapahoe Basin home will have that same great feeling upon arrival, except now … we will have a fair bit more “elbow room.”

177 comments:

Dave C. said...

Al - Is this effective for the 19/20 winter season?

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

Yes, for the 19/20 season.

Bob Campbell said...

Decision must have been based on comments this summer on where the better skiers go??!!
Al, I agree as to the places we've gone on vacation.
Good deal!

Unknown said...

Hi Al, this is great news but you did make quite clear in the spring that there would be no partnership for the upcoming season. Based on that some of us have already paid in full for both passes (Ikon and Abasin) as we thought Abasin would be a stand alone for this season. Will you offer refunds on our Abasin pass if we can show we have Ikon? I feel like I wasted $400 on bad information. Thanks! Can't wait for next season!

Anonymous said...

Stinks for the people that bought season passes - this will be the same parking shitshow all over again.

David D'Angelo said...

Well - there goes the season. . . . Will be 10 times worse than epic. Epic has so many options and ikon went from 2 to 3. Oh well. Would have been nice for them to keep it by itself for at least one season to see what would happen. Or did then get so few bites on their raised price season pass they had to get a partner. Bummer for those who bought a season pass - only a few hundred more and you get ikon.

Tricia Pugliese said...

I think this is a great direction. Going with a partner pass like IKON gives limited days but won't overwhelm Arapahoe Basin with unlimited skiing.

Anonymous said...

Can people who bought an A Basin pass get a refund if an Epic-like experience persists?

Cj said...

Aspen, eldora, winter park, copper, and abay. My count is 5 in colorado.

Al, did Ikon offer any capital improvements for the partnership? I.e. increased parking?

COski said...

Al - This is very disappointing news for A Basin season pass holders and feels like a real bait and switch. As someone mentioned in an earlier comment, you made it very clear this spring that there would be no major partnerships for the upcoming season. This was the only reason we decided to leave the Ikon pass and purchase the A Basin season pass for our family next year. We were excited to rediscover the A Basin we used to love without the crowds. Now we have already paid for the A Basin pass, with the crowds we were excited to avoid, but without the benefits of a multi-resort pass that we could have purchased for just a little more money. Will there be any opportunity for us to upgrade our A Basin only season passes to the Ikon Pass?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean A-Basin pass holders will get discounts at Ikon destinations?

RaflW said...

What I remember Al saying was that no ‘19-‘20 multi-resort pass would offer unlimited Abasin. These Ikon options offer 5 or 7 total days at The Basin.
Now, with the number of Ikon passes sold, that may still be a LOT of total ski/ride days per season, but Al seems to think it’ll work better than the unlimited Epic.
Y’all will have to see. I think I’m gonna sit this next season out (headed to Loveland for my non-Breck days this coming winter, for a change of pace after 17 years).

Mark Bergman said...

Did you consider a similar limited day option with the Epic Pass before joining Ikon? VR seems to have shown real loyalty to A Basin during the years that you needed revenue for growth.

Anonymous said...

Do you still have the basin only pass? Not surprising but it still sucks.

Anonymous said...

This is great news for me, as I live nearby and already buy both Epic and Ikon. I thought July 4 might be my last day for quite awhile at A-basin. I hope you do the right thing for those who bought season passes based on your previous stance that you would likely go it alone this year.

john said...

I agree. i hope we are. how disappointing thinking abasin would be quite again.

Mandy said...

And Steamboat

Mandy said...

And Steamboat

Ashley said...

Guys, it's only five or seven days it's not going to be like Epic. I do agree though thatthe IKON and Abasin need to talk about the people who've already purchased one pass or the other.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Given the Ikon Base only allows 5-days and has holiday restrictions and even the full Ikon will only allow 7-days I am certain the impact will be much less than the previous Epic agreement. Even the Epic Local was giving UNLIMITED days at ABasin so there's just no way Ikon will have the same impact. On first blush sure seems like a good compromise between going fully alone with a much higher priced ABasin-only pass versus going unlimited with either Ikon or Epic.

Having said that I would say that last year on Epic truly did suck. The early-season was a fiasco. I'm there to ski not to stand in line halfway up the hill. During peak-season weekends the mountain was also overrun. Obviously, the crowds meant not everyone was unhappy but if it had continued I was personally not going to keep renewing. As it was I spent weeks less time at the basin than the previous year even though the snow was twice as good. It got to the point that I scouted around for a new mountain. Glad to see I can back-burner that because that's a change I never wanted to make. I know nothing is certain but I think the moves you're making have a good chance of being win-win for the resort and visitors alike. Good luck! ... CM

Anonymous said...

I purchased the full ABasin 19/20 pass. Will this pass be good for free days at some of the IKON resorts?

Mtnmanmike said...

Al,

We have all appreciated your leadership and positive changes over the past few years, but you should have partnered with loveland, monarch, Wolf Creek..

you just sold your soul to Aspen ski co.

Bob said...

This is completely contrary to your previous comments and reasoning on why A Basin left the Epic pass. I was extremely excited for an A Basin only pass which would highly restrict the crowds and make the mountain true to your previous statements. You have proven that you are just like Vail Resorts and you only care about $$$. The skiing and crowds are secondary to your greed. Shame on you.

Vicg12 said...

I already purchased an abasin season pass and an icon pass. Will I be able to get refunded for my abasin pass now?

ST said...

COSki...

"In the coming months the ski area will be discussing opportunities with several resorts and resort groups."

http://arapahoebasin.blogspot.com/2019/02/arapahoe-basin-vail-resorts-end.html

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

Throughout the past several months, we have reiterated that we have been looking for a good partnership. Look at the blog posts from February 18, 2019, "Arapahoe Basin / Vail Resorts Ends Partnership" and April 10, 2019, "VERY IMPORTANT SEASON PASS MESSAGE." At no time have we said, there would be no partnerships. I know the rumor mill, at times, said otherwise, but we have stuck to our message that we were looking for a good partnership. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you want to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Seems very disingenuous, past and current statements. The parking lot will be the same disaster. You tripled the skiing area without changing the parking lot - seems foolish. Then implied you were going alone. Deceptive. Then made your announcement too late to be of use to those of us who love skiing and made our selections months ago, already excited for the next season. Yes, Abasin feels small and old school, but only in its incompetent management.

Roger said...

If I remember correctly Al said in the spring that the A-Basin season pass would be the only way to get UNLIMITED skiing at A-Basin. The Ikon pass does not provide that. For those commenting up above ^^^

Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to support A Basin when I bought season passes as an independent resort, but I feel tricked into a bad investment. It would be nice if there was a way to pay the difference to upgrade or if you could give some options for your most loyal customers to reevaluate things now.

Laidlaw said...

You guys do what you need to do to keep the lifts running Al! I enjoyed every day I’ve ever spent at abasin with an Epic pass, and I’m sure it will still be great with Ikon!

Anonymous said...

Great question!

Doug said...

No reasons to complain.
April 2019 All's blog
"VERY IMPORTANT SEASON PASS MESSAGE
Dear Arapahoe Basin Friends,

We are having a great Spring at The Basin with seven feet of snow in March and a good storm pattern forecast for April. The ski season has at least a couple of strong months to go.

Thanks to all of you that expressed your thoughts to us about leaving Vail. We are continuing to work closely with potential resort partners. Finalizing new partnerships is still going to take a few more months. While there is a lot we do not know, there are some things we do know.

The Arapahoe Basin Season Pass, currently on sale for $399, will be the only unlimited season pass product for A-Basin in the 2019-20 season. If you would like to ski 8 or more days at The Basin, this is the only pass that will offer that option. We are still looking at opportunities to join other resort programs, but none of those programs will include unlimited access at A-Basin.

The Arapahoe Basin Season Pass will be on sale for $399 through April 30, 2019. On May 1, 2019, the price goes up to $449. If you want an unlimited Arapahoe Basin season pass, this is your only option and this is absolutely the lowest price you will see.

Look Closely At Our Website for all the season pass options. There are some especially good products for kids. I hope you will seriously consider buying a pass with us. We have lots of exciting times in store for you at The Basin. Thanks.

Alan"

harkin said...

Couldn't be happier :) Great decision Al. -Basin only pass-holder.

john said...

Bait and switch. In the spring before prices went up it seemed like Abasin wasnt going on a larger pass. To avoid price increases, people bought there passes long ago. Also the overcrowding problem will not go away. Very disappointing. my guess is you all didnt sell enough solo passes

bleachlpb said...

Great news! I wish I held off on buying my pass but I'm happily committed to my A Basin season pass for 19-20. Hopefully there will be some partner/additions for those of us who ponied up already for the 19-20 A Basin pass.

Looking forward to Ikon in 20-21 season. There are some really great hills on their list.

Keep up the good work.

Jason C said...

Very disappointing. I purchased the pass based upon this very blog under the understanding that there would be no partnerships. So what is to become of our season passes? Will you transfer them to full ikons so at least we can join the hordes at their local hills too? I have no clue how all this got this far so quickly but I do feel like I was mislead. And by someone I perceived as one of our own at that. Fill us in Al. We invested in you now it’s your turn.

Tricia Pugliese said...

To everyone who is complaining about a bait and switch, Al posted back in April that, "If you plan on skiing 8 or more days at Arapahoe basin, it was in your best interest to get an A-Basin pass"
That was the biggest hint imaginable. I'm more surprised that so many people are surprised.

Anonymous said...

Similar to the comments COski made above, this feels like a complete bait and switch. Abasin has been my favorite mountain for the 15 years that I have been here, and I have had the Epic pass (or some version) almost every year. Like many, my experience at Abasin has degraded significantly over the past 3-5 years, and the decision to leave the partnership with Vail, and most importantly - the reasons given for leaving the partnership, convinced me that purchasing only the Abasin full season pass and leaving behind the Epic pass would be the best decision for me. The idea of going back to Abasin without crowds again was exciting. But now, I'm faced with a season at one mountain, who is partnered with a pass that does not interest me, and the looming threat of crowds again. Abasin has lost my loyalty with this move, and I fear this will be my last season riding here.

Unknown said...

Assuming guests can still purchase A basin's independent pass, this will not result in saturation from Ikon skiers. Seven Ikon punches will likely be used as early or late season skiing not mid season/holidays when everyone has their best snow.

Please verify the Abasin Indy pass is still available for $399

ScurrtMcgurrt said...

I think a lot of you are confused. Al never said Abasin would be on its own exclusively. He said they would be looking to find a good partnership AND that whoever they partner with won't get more than 7 days on the partner pass. I immediately thought to myself, they will be working with Ikon. He did say the only way to get unlimited skiing is to purchase the Abasin season pass. Seems like a lot of you are picking and choosing what to read and believe. Feel free to read the past blog posts. I think this is a great thing for Abasin. It gives them to opportunity to open the mountain to not just season pass holders, but keep it limited by partnering with some GREAT other mountains. There is NO WAY parking will be as tight as previous years. In the past, if you had an Epic, Local, or Key/Abasin pass, you had unlimited skiing with maybe a few blackout dates. Nothing was limited to 7 days. This will dramatically reduce the amount of folks coming to park. In general folks need to be better about car pooling as well, which Abasin continually reminds all about. I think this is a great move by Abasin and I'm excited for this upcoming season. I have already switched from Epic to IKON earlier this year, but still fully intend to buy a full season mid week pass from Abasin. Enjoy skiing on the weekends everyone, they just ain't for me.

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

The A-Basin full season is available on the website for $449

COsouthpaw said...

Technically, Al said there would be no unlimited/unrestricted partnerships happening for the upcoming season. Reading in between the lines, I took that as there could be a pass partnership coming with limited days, like Ikon or even back to Epic. (Back to Epic with five days only available on full Epic like Telluride.)

sfuva21 said...

Ok fine, there were some hints that this might happen. But it is still completely contrary to the stated reasons for leaving Epic for you to join Ikon. Partner with literally anybody else, sure. But Ikon will mean just as crowded - keep in mind that last year many skiers were simply turned away for lack of parking, so a minor reduction in users will not reduce the crowding on the mountain. As a long time Epic Pass holder who misses the old A Basin I was happy to shell out an extra $400 for the vision that Al sold in the spring. But now I feel duped. I would have rather paid up for Ikon. Having a $400 pass to a resort that you can't ski unless you arrive by 9am is the worst of all worlds.

Anonymous said...

As someone who reads every blog posts it was apparent that a partnership with other ski resorts was certainly an option for the upcoming season. Limiting the number of ski days Ikon pass holders will have, compared to unlimited EPIC skiing, should certainly result in less traffic through the course of the year while allowing Abasin to earn enough revenue to operate successfully. Considering expanding parking is not an option due to the terrain this partnership seems to be a reasonable middle ground. Personally, I can't wait to be ripping the East Wall again with friends and family. The more, the merrier!

COski said...

Al - Thank you for your reply addressing my earlier comment. After re-reading the old post you referenced from April I must concede that while this was not the true bait and switch my knee-jerk reaction to this news told me it was, I unfortunately read what I wanted to hear back then.

The original announcement was carefully worded to allow for something like this to happen. You must have been working on this partnership long before the announcement was even made as an agreement of this magnitude does not come together overnight and you knew what to say and how to say it to both get people like me excited, but also absolve yourself of any responsibility when we were disappointed at the news since we had already made our purchase.

It would have been nice as the consumer to have had complete information with which to make my purchasing decision, but apparently I let my excitement overrule my reading comprehension.

Paul W said...

Wow. Pretty disappointing after your comments this past spring. Many of us (particularly all of us that went and purchased the ABasin only pass based on your recommendations) feel like we got the bait and switch. How is this going to improve your parking situation? Going forward at least be honest with us as it really is all about the business and not the local ski culture you sold us on. Stop treating us all like fools.

Anonymous said...

ScurrtMcgurrt - Great post. Apparently there are a lot of people with reading comprehension issues. Al clearly stated in earlier blogs that they were actively working with resorts/resort groups on a new partnership. Everyone crying about bait and switch needs to go back and refresh their memory. It was clear from Al's earlier comments that there would likely be some sort of limited partnership. I think this move makes perfect sense for the Basin.

Anonymous said...

As someone who reads every blog posts it was apparent that a partnership with other ski resorts was certainly an option for the upcoming season. Limiting the number of ski days Ikon pass holders will have, compared to unlimited EPIC skiing, should certainly result in less traffic through the course of the year while allowing Abasin to earn enough revenue to operate successfully. Considering expanding parking is not an option due to the terrain this partnership seems to be a reasonable middle ground. Personally, I can't wait to be ripping the East Wall again with friends and family. The more, the merrier!

David said...

Al, will our A Basin season passes get us any partner days at ikon resorts?

Joe said...

This is great news!! People are misinformed if they think Ikon's 5-7 days days at The Basin will be anything comparable to the unlimited days Vail Epic passers got the last several years. As a proud A-Basin ticket holder (fresh off Epic), I am excited to see potential added benefits that were not expected when I purchased my pass.

Anonymous said...

Big fan of Abasin and you, Al. This news really disappoints me. I completely bought into the hype that you were going to be solo and were about keeping this resort for the true customers. Ikon has less options in this area and the crowds will be just as bad, if not worse. 5/7 days is a lot considering most people only ski 10-15 a year. This will create the exact same problem you had on epic and claimed to be trying to fix by leaving epic.

I am an Ikon pass holder but had full intentions of buying your pass and supporting you as a solo resort. I am glad I had held off on buying your pass as that would have been a waste now. I hope you do the right thing and refund anyone who bought your pass and would rather move to Ikon now.

See you in April when the crowds die down.


sfuva21 said...

A friend of mine who works in PR called this in the spring. Not that A-Basin *would* join Ikon, but that if they *did*, then the messaging in the spring was way off, and people were going to be upset. Had you just said in the spring, "hey we're changing teams", then nobody would be upset today. But instead you sold a vision of a return to the bygone days when one could actually park in the parking lot or not stand in a full maze. You specifically highlighted crowding as a reason for the change. And from this thread, its obvious that you got a lot of people excited about that prospect.

If you knew back then that there was even a chance of joining Ikon, you shouldn't have beat that drum. This was a huge unforced error, an absolute PR fail...and those of us who bought into the vision have every right to be upset today, even if there were hints that perhaps we shouldn't believe the hype.

Unknown said...

The Arapahoe Basin Season Pass, currently on sale for $399, will be the only unlimited season pass product for A-Basin in the 2019-20 season.

This is what Al said in the spring

Anonymous said...

5/7 days does not equal unlimited. I don't know why commenters hear can't understand that.

D_westall said...

No he did not. He made it clear that the only way to ski more than 7 days at Abasin was to buy an Abasin only pass. That was a dead giveaway that this was coming. That being daid, I wish they hadn't done this as I think it will only marginally reduce crowds.

COski said...

I guess my question to you now Al, since I realize it is my own fault for not reading between the lines before I made my purchasing decision, is that while there is a section on your Ikon Pass page describing the "A-Basin Benefits for Ikon Pass Holders" I can't seem to find the section describing any "benefits to A-Basin Pass holders." Could you help me understand that?

sfuva21 said...

THIS. Exactly this. "You must have been working on this partnership long before the announcement was even made as an agreement of this magnitude does not come together overnight and you knew what to say and how to say it to both get people like me excited, but also absolve yourself of any responsibility when we were disappointed at the news since we had already made our purchase. "

As a corporate lawyer, I know well-crafted "deceptive but not technically untrue" language when I see it, and this is nice work. But I also know how people feel about corporate lawyers...

I hope the short term gains from season pass sales this spring were worth all of the disappointment you have caused.

Myles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myles said...

Come on people, 5/7 days on Ikon is nothing like UNLIMITED days with the multitude of people on any of 4 Epic passes; Keystone/A-Basin (some blackout dates); Summit; Local, Epic. No comparison.

It would be fair to have the option of an upgrade to an Ikon pass for those of us who purchased an A-Basin only pass, not that I would. I want unlimited days at the basin.

Hey Al, do you have numbers you can share about the average number of visits per Epic pass holder and total Epic visitors as a percentage of visitors to quiet all this chatter??

lukegould7 said...

Super disappointed. I was stoked when a basin split from epic in an effort to maintain its local, less than mega crowded vibe. This saddens me.

Luke said...

This news really sucks. And ruins my hope of an awesome a basin season with only a basin pass holders. A lot of ikon members are terrible skiers and it doesn’t help the family and kid problem at the basin. (A basin is not a good beginner mountain. Period) Why couldn’t you of just tried one season without selling out? So ridiculous

Anonymous said...

'Come on people, 5/7 days on Ikon is nothing like UNLIMITED days with the multitude of people on any of 4 Epic passes; Keystone/A-Basin (some blackout dates); Summit; Local, Epic. No comparison.'

I would disagree. I bet that the vast majority of Epic Pass holders didn't ski more than 5-7 days at Abasin each winter - thus any reduction in crowds will be negligible. Add to this the people that will have both Epic and Abasin passes (as evidenced by the number of people commenting here that already bought Abasin and Ikon) and I think you're likely to see things be just as busy next year.

Anonymous said...

To all the A-Basin loyalist, we all have been screwed, no kisses. Al has been selling snake oil and he has been grabbing the money all along. Look back at the financial history and expansion permits (and what entities acquired them) and you will understand. Do your own research. He always sold out when he needed something. So now we are at a crossroads. No more land for permits in the future for expanding parking. No more riparian impacts. No additional snow making. Higher lift costs. Longer lift lines. Parking nightmare. Shuttle in skiers . . . Most of you drank his Koolaid because he is a smooth talking salesman. Sustainability was such a Utopian unicorn.

Tribefan226 said...

This sucks. Maybe the crowds won't be quite as bad as on epic but I doubt it, most epic pass holders probably skied the basin less than 7 days already and look how that went. My wife and I had been buying epic locals for the past 4 years but found ourselves spending >80% of our days at the basin anyway so we were so excited to buy Abasin only this year thinking it would be independent. I know it was never explicitly stated that there wouldn't be a mega partnership but it sure felt implied. If Abasin couldn't get by as an independent selling $400 season passes we would have gladly paid more. Please explain how this benefits your most loyal customers, the ones who decided Abasin was all they need and already put their money down to buy your pass

David D'Angelo said...

3 front range . . . Really. Denver folks won’t be doing steamboat and eldora really

Anonymous said...

Very disappointing indeed. Those who think the 5/7 days has significant meaning should see what happened at Aspen, Jackson and other Ikon "limited" resorts last season. The bait and switch is about he quality of the product not the number of days you can get on an alternative pass. I bought a-basin season pass knowing I don't have to get to the parking lot by 7:30 am.

David D'Angelo said...

Hmm - I re-read. 7 days isn’t too crazy. A little relieved

Anonymous said...

I'd like to make a suggestion to parking. Rather than charge $30 a day or whatever it is for the early riser lot. Why not fill it with season pass holders vehicles as a nice little benefit to them paying $400-500 for you pass? I'm not a season passholder, I have an Ikon base and was going to buy a 4 pack which i no longer need, but that seems like the fair thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I should clarify. My hope wasn't so much that you would be "solo" but that you wouldn't partner with a big pass. Instead partner with other smaller mountains like wolf, loveland, monarch, etc. That was how I had been reading your post over the year. This would have kept the crowds down, as you said was your goal, but given great options to people looking to support the smaller non resort mountains.

Anonymous said...

2 to 3? A-Bay, Winter Park, Copper, Steamboat, and Eldora (great to get your ski legs on or a weekday). I'll just miss all the spring skiing with only 5 days.

Anonymous said...

Al - when you modeled this out financially, did you consider how many people would not be buying your full price season pass because of this partnership? I will be one of those people and I'm sure there are many others. Had you remained independent, I would have been an Abasin season pass holder - not now.

I hope that the money you are getting from the Ikon partnership is enough to offset all of the $400+ season passes you will not be selling (which also includes all of the people that now will be buying Ikon instead of your season pass). Something tells me this will not be a winning proposition.

Anonymous said...

This essentially means that weekend powder days will be just as busy with people and parking as they ever were with Vail. That's when the Front Range people on Ikon will head to A Basin and use their 5-7 days. But if you're a weekday skier or enjoy non powder weekends, expect more room on the slopes and in the lots.

Chris Van Eldik said...

Dear Al,

I have been skiing your mountain for 25 years. I make it my first and last day of skiing every season. I climb the east wall any time it is open. I have seen the traffic increase over the years, the parking get worse. You announced earlier this year that you would be ending your partnership with Vail Resorts due to the increased traffic and parking problems associated with being on a big pass. I accepted that at face value and understood. Today you announced you will be joining the IKON Pass, making your previous statements fake and misleading. It is clear to all that it was NEVER about the SKIER EXPERIENCE, but simply greed. You weren’t getting enough money from Vail, and instead of being transparent, you pretended to care about us, the skiers and riders. This is dishonorable and YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!



I am sad to say that I will never be visiting your mountain, my once favorite mountain ever again.



Goodbye forever, A-Basin.

Goodbye forever, East Wall.





-Chris Van Eldik

Lifelong Skier

Unknown said...

If we had known, our family would have bought the IKON pass at its early spring price but now it is way too expensive for a family of 4. The changes won't make a difference to the crowds on weekends and will just increase the price for local families to ski at the Basin. Maybe for the 20/21 season we will be able to do it but looks like the Basin will be missing our business next year.

LeftyG said...

Guys/gals,

This is *not* a major pass partnership. The Ikon pass options only offer up to 7 days or 5 days at Abasin. This is not unlimited skiing/riding. This announcement does not contradict the prior announcement amount no major pass partnership. A major pass partnership would be unlimited skiing/riding with no blackout dates, OR, a Monday through Friday pass partnership with blackout dates, which this is not. Furthermore, this addition to the Ikon family of passes would be beneficial to vacationers, people coming to Colorado to check out the options. It would also benefit skiers/riders from Colorado that would buy dialy lift tickets anyway. So basically, both sets are pools of people that would be at Abasin anyway. It's not going to be like an Epic Pass experience where you have unlimited access.

I think a lot of people commenting were reading it wrong the announcement (I hope!). If you bought an Abasin and a second non-Ikon season pass, then you are not missing out, you are still in the green. If you did do an Abasin pass and Ikon pass, there is some small overlap (if you look at the 24 day option mountains, abasin is 1/24). The refund/price break question really should go to Ikon brand representative. A very generous response from Ikon Management would be to give Abasin pass holders the option of moving (read "adding") their 5 or 7 days to a mountain of equal or lesser value. They may also feel that if they do this for Abasin pass holders then they would also have extend the same courtesy to local pass holders for the other mountains on the pass.

Have fun and lets look forward to next season!

Anonymous said...

Al,

It seems most people are posting that they're worried about crowding. How many days did Epic pass holders average at A-Basin last season?

Anonymous said...

That 8 days statement I read here for the first time makes everything even more upsetting. That they sold those season passes when they knew all along the parking situation will not improve like they led us to believe with the original epic separation press release.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the comments being left here. Deceptive but not technically untrue lawyer speak? What? Again, this is what Al posted on his blog:

"Thanks to all of you that expressed your thoughts to us about leaving Vail. We are continuing to work closely with potential resort partners. Finalizing new partnerships is still going to take a few more months. While there is a lot we do not know, there are some things we do know.

The Arapahoe Basin Season Pass, currently on sale for $399, will be the only unlimited season pass product for A-Basin in the 2019-20 season. If you would like to ski 8 or more days at The Basin, this is the only pass that will offer that option. We are still looking at opportunities to join other resort programs, but none of those programs will include unlimited access at A-Basin."

That is VERY clear about what was going on, no reading between the lines required. He flat out said they're working with partners but the ABasin pass will be the only unlimited option. That's exactly what happened. What are you all talking about?

aaron said...

To everyone who cries bait and switch - you clearly did not read Al's posts. He in no way said there would be no partnerships. He said the only way you could get more than 7 days at abasin for the 19/20 season would be to buy the abasin season pass. He was clearly alluding to a partnership brewing. Both Epic and Ikon have 7 day resort options, so I assumed it would be one of those. And since they just dumped Epic, I guessed Ikon.

Thanks Al. I'm so happy to be able to enjoy the basin without the mobs of budget pass skiers clogging up the parking lots and lift lines. Abasin is so much closer in experience to Alta / Snowbird than Keystone. Kudos on the brilliant brand realignment.

Tribefan226 said...

As an extremely dissapointed Abasin pass holder this would alleviate some the "screwed over" feelings I'm having this morning

Anonymous said...

^^^ This. You guys kinda screwed people on all ends of this deal. Missing out on spring sales was just another example of how this was handled poorly.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reciprocal agreement with Copper for Copper and A-Basin season pass holders only? We love skiing the Basin but a few years ago switched to the Copper season pass. It would be fantastic if our family could visit the Basin a few days a winter. We miss it.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reciprocal agreement with Copper for Copper and A-Basin season pass holders only? We love skiing the Basin but a few years ago switched to the Copper season pass. It would be fantastic if our family could visit the Basin a few days a winter. We miss it.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reciprocal agreement with Copper for Copper and A-Basin season pass holders only? We love skiing the Basin but a few years ago switched to the Copper season pass. It would be fantastic if our family could visit the Basin a few days a winter. We miss it.

Brian D. said...

I feel sorry for the folks that bought A-Basin 2019/20 passes already and also bought Ikon Passes, or now want to switch to the Ikon Pass. It would be a big goodwill gesture if A-Basin allowed people to provide proof of having an Ikon Pass and get a refund for their A-Basin pass. This would not solve the concerns of the folks who wanted A-Basin to themselves, but at least it resets the clock -- and everyone's bank accounts -- back to when passes when on sale.

Gator steve said...

Alan my friend.
Abasin Always Delivers! Thx. Steve

Alferd Packer said...

Al,

How many days per season did epic pass holders use?

Anonymous said...

For those of you stating that parking won't be any better, it's worth looking at last years pass sales. Epic: 925k passes sold. Ikon: 250k (source: Colorado Sun - Jason Blevins). Lower passes sold + restrictions would indicate that parking should be much improved this year.

Tribefan226 said...

It would be the right thing to do. So naturally they wont do it

bluegopher said...

I understand the move and agree with it. The thing that is most disappointing is that I did not renew my Ikon pass this year and stuck with Epic. If I had known Abasin was going to be joining Ikon I would have renewed at the steeply discounted rate of $619 for the base pass and enjoyed some days at Copper, Winter Park, and Steamboat. Now it will cost me $749. Total bummer.

Luke said...

I'm not shocked, but definitely disappointed with this news. I was really, really excited for at least one season with the Basin on it's own.

I know 5-7 days isn't the same as unlimited, and there are fewer Ikon passes out there than Epic (though I don't know the saturation levels in Summit & the Front Range). But it is undeniable that the impact will be noticeable. Like many people have already said: most people don't ski much more than 7-10 days anyway. But with only Winter Park & Copper as viable alternatives, pretty much every Ikon passholder on the front range will use all their a-basin days.

I'm holding on to a thread of hope that it won't be too bad, but it sure won't be like it could have been with the Basin flying solo & proud.

Anonymous said...

Wooho! So excited. Some of you need to RELAX. This is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

You are literally describing the Ikon Base Pass

Jason said...

It'a more than 1.5 million additional potential skier days.

Stop saying it's not that many.

I know not all +1.5m days will be used, but it's significant.

How many Epic pass holders skied at least 1 day, and how many skied 8 or more days?

deckrider said...

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

It means 7 days per season.

Myles said...

Al, do you have numbers you can share about the average number of visits per Epic pass holder and total Epic visitors as a percentage of visitors? Reassure me, your A-Basin pass holder, that it's not going to be as bad as everyone is saying it will.

Ben M said...

Next step, selling the Basin and high end Condo’s and Time Shares from Montezuma to Keystone just like Winter Park. Sure a Gondola will follow for the jeans and fur crowd!

Paul said...

Here’s my take as an Ikon Pass holder, former epic local. And Super Pass holder.
Arapahoe will attract former Copper and Winter Park skiers who previously owned the Super Pass.
They will only receive 5 or 7 at Arapahoe.
Even the lower priced ikon option offers unlimited at Copper and Winter Park.
I just don’t see ikon holders waisting their visits early season or crowded weekends at A Basin.
As great an experience Arapahoe is , this news will not lead to an influx of skiers to Summit County.
As for crowds, Keystone and Breckenridge announcements regarding extending their seasons should alleviate that concern.
As for crowds in Summit County, Vails announcement that it bought 17 resorts back east will have an affect..
A season Pass for 450 foot Ski Roundtop in Pennsylvania cost about $600. Those Passes will be able to be upgraded to say and epic local for a few dollars.
Who knows, some of the holders of all area Peaks Resorts season Passes might get a refund.

Anonymous said...

Al, it's all good man. Stoked for next season. You let us know a long time ago that your pass was the only option if you wanted more than 7 days at The Basin.

People, a tip to cut down on frustration levels next season is to NOT ski The Basin during the Ikon Base Pass blackout dates (Dec. 26-31, Jan 18-19, and Feb 15-16).

The Man in Black

Chase K. said...

All these hurt people have really poor reading comprehension! The Basin's own pass is still the only unlimited option for the '19-'20 season. Furthermore, Ikon as a whole is much smaller than Epic, and limited days should allow the ski area to still bring in enough/out-of-state/new guests without over-saturating the base area. The Basin will never have more parking (there's no land, and the cost of a structure is totally unfeasible), so this move seems like a great solution. It'll be nothing like the hoards of unlimited Epic pass holders that became a problem in recent years! The Keystone-Arapahoe pass alone was a nightmare and provided very little revenue for the ski area. This way the skiers who love A-Basin (more than on a limited-basis) will still have to commit to your own product. Well done Al! While I would have preferred a partnership with the likes of Loveland, Monarch, Wolf Creek, etc (and a rebuff of both mega-passes entirely), you've positioned the Basin well to continue to thrive as an independent ski area without the negative influence of Vail Resorts. Overall improvement!

Anonymous said...

Don't be surprised, ABasin is a business who is motivated to maximize profits by balancing many factors, just like the rest of the ski areas.

ABasin is still one of the funnest places to ski and hang out! With Ikon pass holders limited to 5 or 7 days depending on the pass they buy ... October will be very busy from many Ikon pass holders finally able to ski very early on their pass. November and December will be noticeably less busy, then once the expert terrain opens, even though there are less Ikon pass holders than Epic pass holders in CO, the crowds will be very similar to last season for January through the end of the season.

Here is what I posted the following on this blog on February 20, 2019 at 2:07 PM ...

"ABasin is a business that is striving to increase profits (that is what businesses do) and this is part of a plan to increase profits. If it they wanted to make less money (business don’t do that an purpose) or have less “environmental impact” they would simply limit number of daily skiers and/or parking."

"Very likely, they have been offered a more attractive package will be on the IKON Pass next season."

"The typical IKON pass holder, who generally has higher skiing/riding ability than your typical EPIC pass holder, more closely aligns with the more advanced terrain that ABasin has to offer. The IKON pass is much more heavily weighted with the most challenging resorts in the US, which also is probably more attractive to ABasin."

"A higher percentage of IKON passholders have the ability to enjoy ABasin’s advanced/expert terrain. Also, there are many who have bought passes other than the EPIC pass for years now and are now on a pass that may finally include ABasin. Both are reasons to expect similar if not, increased skier visits next year, with parking still being the biggest limiting factor."

"I hate to say it, but I expect next season that most or all parking at ABasin will not be free anymore if you show up by yourself or one other person. Ski areas who move in this direction will claim that the reasoning is to reduce the impact on the environment, while in reality it is a business decision to get both more parking revenue AND at the same time getting a higher people per car average. Again, if it was really about the environment, they would prohibit cars with 1 or 2 people instead of somehow it magically being OK for the environment if you pay for parking."

"Copy and paste this and email it to yourself next fall and tell me if all of this is not true next season."

I hope what I said about parking holds off for one more season.

I am excited to see new faces at The Basin next season!

Anonymous said...

We should start talking about parking now.

Anonymous said...

Mike:
Disappointing. I'm from Chicago and have limited opportunities to get out West to ski, but I love A Basin and bought an A Basin Season Pass for next Winter expecting the crowds to be down,more parking, etc. I am also planning a trip to Jackson Hole,but I'm told my A Basin Pass will have no value there- no reciprocity. I hope Al's right about the crowds being down. Would I have been better off just buying the Icon pass?
In my humble opinion the Basin should have negotiated some benefit from Icon for the existing A Basin pass holders who are now a little blindsided by this news.

Jackball said...

Glad I've got Loveland's pass this year. It's like Abay, but without the li(n)es. Your double speak is worthy of a Russian novel, Alan. You think the skiers and riders of Colorado will forget this deception? When the lots are full and pow stomped? Was it really worth the $400 you scammed from your own base of supporters? That's some low down, dirty corporate moves, brutha.

Anonymous said...

WACK!!!! Getting pictures taken and passes secured at the A-Basin ticket office in the Spring was one of the happier days of my season...5 days per IKON goon is more than enough to ruin the vibe I signed up for when purchasing $1,000 of A-Basin passes this Spring. This is NO BETTER than the arrangement from last year. Why does the CO ski/board industry continue to punch us locals in the gut when we are not looking???

2019/2020 Season = Fresh Faces same Turd Sandwich

Anonymous said...

How about making sure A Basin ( not Ikon) season pass holders can secure a parking spot next season. I was aced out on a Sunday last year. If everything Al says is accurate that should not be a problem.

Anonymous said...

....well I wish I did not buy a A Basin pass for my wife and 3 kids..

Shame that this news was not available to the public 2 weeks ago...

I know readers of this post will talk trash, but it's a real shame.

Anonymous said...

Can I get a refund? I just bought 4 weeks ago, if i were informed, I would have not committed to a basin...

Anonymous said...

The most sour thing about this to me is that Al and A-Basin pretended leaving the Epic Pass was about reducing crowds to make A-Basin a better place to ski. Joining IKON proves that they don't really care about the crowds, they just wanted a better deal than what Vail was giving them (probably screwing them tbh). I can't blame them for joining a mega pass, but at least don't be so disingenuous about your reasons for doing so.

Anonymous said...

I've been an Epic pass holder for years, and reading these comments all over the place about how terrible Epic was/is, etc. Tell me how Ikon is any better? It's not. I've gone to Winter Park a bunch of times and the crowds are crazy there, just like Epic crowds can be. Eldora is a minor mountain, who cares about it. Steamboat is far away-even Beaver Creek is closer than Steamboat, and much less crowded in my experience. You've essentially got 2 mountains going to 3, instead of the 4->5 mountains on the Epic. I went to A-Basin probably 5 days last year, there's lots of EPIC folks that went 7 days or less and contributed to the crowds. The people that want to ski ulimited A-Basin most likely already bought the season pass that was advertised - those that were on Epic last year and really want to ski unlimited there. And now you ALSO get Ikon 5-7day crowds which will work out to a ton of people, virtually the same as Epic. The crowds will not be slightly less at all with this Ikon association, in fact, I think they will be worse due to the switch. I've had fun at A-Basin over the years, but this won't help.

phacade admin said...

7 days total

Cj said...

Everyone complaining should stop skiing. YOU SUCK. This is great for skiers. How do you think Abay paid for the montezuma lift? The beavers? the rope tow? etc etc.....

Anonymous said...

A Basin Season Pass Holders should get guaranteed access the A Basin parking lot. I was aced out one day last spring.

Unknown said...

Beyond disappointed 😟. I'm going to request a refund.

Anonymous said...

People....chill out! First World Problems. Puhleeze, what a bunch of whiners you are.

FreshPow said...




Trading EPIC for ICON partnership completely goes against all the reasons Al listed on dissolving the partnership with vail: Parking, user experience, Weekend crowds....



----------------------

Regressive, I like it!

Ryan said...

After Al's blog post last April how did people not see this coming? "If you want to ski or ride more than 8 days at Arapahoe Basin, then the Arapahoe Basin Season pass is your best option."

That was about as much of a dead giveaway as I've ever seen. Sure, we did not know if it was going to be the Ikon Pass, Powder Alliance, or Mountain Collective, but we (A-Basin locals) had to know that something was being cooked up.

As for those of us who committed and bought the Arapahoe Basin Season pass, stay tuned.....

Anonymous said...

Thrilled. I will use my five days during the week. I would have thought A Basin would have beefed up infrastructure in advance but I guess not. First world problems :)

Jonathan said...

Initially surprised, but somewhat relieved upon reading the details of the IKON partnership (I bought the mid-week season A-Ba pass when it was released this past season). I have a few questions, however, which were submitted earlier by others:

1. Will A-Ba season passes get us any partner days at IKON resorts? (Even 2 days at just Colorado's IKON ski areas would be fantastic)

2. I agree with others on this (which may help or hinder your decision to join IKON): How many days did the 4 assorted Epic pass holders (Full Epic, Epic Local, etc.), which had offered unlimited skiing, average at A-Ba last season?

3. And, relatedly, what were the total Epic visitors as a percentage of total visitors?

I don't regret buying my A-Ba season pass at all; the Beavers alone sold me on it (and the BMX bbq). But, experiencing small crowds would help, especially given those I sometimes experience on the mountain. Parking isn't an issue for myself most of the season since I park at Keystone and shuttle up/down via Swan Mtn Flyer.

Having answers to these questions isn't make-or-break for me. I enjoy A-Basin. I think as a season-pass holder, it would be nice to see what we would additionally get from this partnership (i.e., days at other IKON areas) and what kind of crowds I may/may not experience in this upcoming and future seasons.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly some good news coming next week from The Basin.
We'll see.

deckrider said...

Thanks for the clarification!

Anonymous said...

You sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas. It's a money grab and Al doesn't care about you, crowds, parking, etc. It's painfully obvious, yet so many here think good things to come. Fools!

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!

Ed Kerkhover said...

not at copper mountain I called today and specifically asked as a basin season pass holder would I receive a discount at copper and was told a big fat no

Unknown said...

I am not sure why anyone is suprised. A-Basin (Al) said early on that if you plan on skiing A-Basin more than 8 days this coming year, buy a pass. Since they they were still with Vail at that point, I am not sure how much more you could have expected. I imagine if they did NOT do this there would be the same uproar...Wahh Wahhh You said if we skied less than 8 days, we would have an option....you PROMISED!!! WAHH WAHH! :roll eyes:

For the past 14 year we bring a group of 50-100 to A-Basin every May...we were holding off to make this official this year until this was in place, Mammoth was to the be alternative. Looks like we are a go again this year. Look for the Pugski.com tent again in May.

I do the parking as still an issue..w/o having the overflow of Keystone will be felt by some. Me? Not so much, I plan ahead and get there early and know what to expect.

Philpug

Anonymous said...

Al, thanks for adding Ikon 5-7 limited days. It is the right mixture of giving a few days while not letting in the full weight of unlimited pass holders on the mountain. As a former keystone-abasin pass holder who jumped to the Ikon pass, I'm very happy we'll be back to A-basin! (I guess I'm that guy that everybody here hates, which is odd since everyone's so nice when we're on the mountain?).

Back when we had the keystone-abasin pass, once Keystone closed in April we would park in Keystone's nearly empty River Run lot, walk a few steps to the bus stop, and take the Summit Stage Bus to A-basin and get dropped off at A-basin's front door. With the break between vail and abasin, will the Keystone lot and the bus still be the same? It will be sort of strange parking in Keystone's lot without having a pass to their resort anymore....

Anonymous said...

First off, get out of Chicago. With all the money you pay in income tax and property tax, you could buy all the stupid ski area passes you so desire

SurferT said...

We'll welcome you in Mammoth for spring...season just closed on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, this is a tremendous fail - at least in my opinion (which seems to be more common than not).

You pitched the move away from Vail resorts as a crowd-thing and to get back to your "roots." You sold the move to the locals and created hope that COLORADO riders would have their "local" resort back. This Ikon thing renders those intentions as insincere, regardless of how many days Ikon pass holders get.

1) Of course this data isn't public, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that most epic pass holders only visited 5-7 days per season anyway. Or perhaps around that number. Joining the Ikon as a 5-7 day option isn't going to change much. Especially on powder days; leftover hunting will start at 10:30 instead of 10.

2) Having been to other Ikon limited-day resorts, they're seeing record attendance as a result of the pass. Great for the books, not for the experience. On a trip to Jackson, we walked into the village and immediately went back to our car on day 2 of 2 - decided it was better to sacrifice the remaining day then wait in 40 minute lift lines. And that was on a bad snow day. There's no way that will be any different at Abasin unless tourism tanks for some reason.

3) Epic sales numbers are dropping and Ikon are growing. There's a strong chance that they'll be damn near even this year. That aside, even last year's Ikon numbers will still cause significant crowd issues at Abasin because it doesn't take much to overrun the place.

Hopefully you're doing something to honor the folks who had already purchased a Ikon and Abasin pass, or even the folks who bought the unlimited Abasin pass thinking it wasn't gonna be a gong show again. I saw the ambiguous messaging back when this all started, so I held off thinking this was coming because of the carefully selected language.

Seeing as how it became unbearable to ride there this year, and knowing nothing actually changed except the Corp who pays your bills, this move means I won't be back to Abasin this year or the foreseeable future. Luckily Loveland is keeping it real. Thanks for the fun times on East wall, the beach, etc. Here's to hoping I'm wrong and your loyal customers won't have to resort to keystone parking by 7am just to get on the mountain for a decent snow day. Enjoy the "legend" Ikon folks!

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider...this may make IKON a lot more popular. A Basin, Copper, WP/MJ on the same pass? This is a dream pass for many. I can't imagine folks choosing Epic over that lineup.

Anonymous said...

I love you all because you show your love for the mountains in your concern.. all I have to say is relax.. a basin is a phenomenal resort but alone stands among giants. The season hasn't even happened and it seems many people are certain of the outcome of this ikon partnership.. it may be terrible .. or it may be great and keep solid revenue coming in to benefit ikon holders for 7 days and season holders for as many days they choose. But please practice some humility and admit the truth.. we don't know.. as for the duel ikon holder and a bay holders if you ski 4 days over your limit at peak ticket price times you paid for your season pass.. if you bought the a bay and ikon pass only planning on spending a few days at a basin your wealthy enough to eat the loss .. or maybe a bay will go way above and beyond and do something for you . Or if you truly love a bay and ski there more than 5 to 7 days in their 7 month season please be happy you are supporting the groomers patrollers attendants instructors and all the other workers that make the mountain what it is. I do have my concerns but do not know what it will look like... If it is just as crazy as it's been hopefully they will continue to try to fix it..but at the end of the day.. if you find snow under your feet all of our and their poor decisions will seem small..

Anonymous said...

Good luck a basin...

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/town_county/riled-locals-blame-ikon-pass-for-resort-crowding/article_74e0e79c-ed83-5a4f-b5b6-408b365126b0.html

Anonymous said...

A-Basin still blows. Too little too late. A-Basin is just another one of those ritzy ski area like St. Moritz, Vail and Aspen! Al destroyed the mountain by expanding into the Beavers. I'll never ride A-basin again. Summit County blows. Just a bunch of rich kids with their parents money and other half a bunch of losers with nothing. Have a look at a Colorado population graph. Remember when we used to ride the basin because Keystone and Vail prohibited snowboarders? A-Basin is just another sell out like Crested Butte! Might as well close the lift and stop grooming.

-Supa Quad

tball said...

Al, as an A-basin pass holder, I beg you to please expand the parking. "Come early or come late" makes a crappy customer experience.

I want to be able to show up to ski A-basin at 9:30 or 10 am after dropping kids at school in Denver. That hasn't been possible on powder days. Same deal on busy weekends. I don't expect that will change. The mountain's capacity far exceeds the parking capacity.

I believe the next $10-20M invested at A-basin needs to go into expanding parking.

Aspen Highlands has a parking garage. With this IKON deal, A-basin has the money. Please expand parking.

Anonymous said...

Ed, Copper is not an Alterra property. It is a partner.

Anonymous said...

With respect to tball, Al, please do NOT expand parking. You have the best scenic setting of any of the I-70 resorts. Don't ruin it by trying to jam even more cars and people into that tiny area. (Curt M - passholder)

bleachlpb said...

For all the folks complaining - just go to Loveland! Great mountain cut from the same cloth as A Basin. And they are not part of a "major" pass. I had a Loveland pass for 18-19 season (with A Basin 4 pack). Never stood in a line longer than 1 minute. Never had a problem with parking. Skied 3 great days at Monarch (part of Loveland pass) - also - no lines even on a weekend. If you're that upset, thats OK but stop your complaining and vote with your dollars. There are lots of other options out there.

With that said, I'm back on A Basin pass for 19-20, I bought in April. I really hope they work some agreements in to get those of us who ponied up for the A Basin pass a few days at Copper/WP/SB. Even 2 days at each would be awesome. I plan to make the trip to Taos.

Folks brought up some great points - including parking for A Basis season pass holders would be great. It would be a great show of respect to those of us who have demonstrated our loyalty and commitment (and, dollars) to the mountain.

Also remember that the folks in charge at A Basin have access to a ton of marketing/usage data that none of us have access to. Lets see what happens in the 19-20 season. If it is bad (with parking) like last season, well then I too may elect to hop back over to a Loveland pass, and purchase an A Basin 4 pack to reserve for certain days.

For all the negative folks - don't let the door hit ya on the way out.

Anonymous said...

Call it 'abay' again. Call it 'abay' again, I dare you, I double dare you, call it 'abay' one more goddamn time!

Anonymous said...

a Bay: a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inward.

Anonymous said...

The mountain will be a lot different this year:

- The caliber of skiers on the whole will be a lot better than in years past.

- The Steep Gullies, North Pole Gate trails, Skid Mark, Alleys, Gauthier scene will look more like Squaw, Snowbird, Jackson or Big Sky rather than your typical Summit or Eagle county scene.

- Pali face, International, Standard and Slalom Slope will have the longest, fiercest mogul lines that Summit County has ever seen and that most locals could not ski.

- The trees will get skied much more directly down the fall line.

- A more ambitious and athletic crowd.

- Parking will be better because Ikon passholders will get in, rip the ever-lovin' shit out of the mountain, and get out instead of clogging up the parking lots sitting around drinking, playing cornhole and yelling at their dogs. (not even skiing/riding)

Anonymous said...

Can my family get a refund for all the passes I bought?

Anonymous said...

Doug, so why not be completely transparent and say, " we're in discussions with Ikon Pass

This would have made people hold off buyung a pass until that announcement officially came

Anonymous said...

So why not just come out and say it in plain English..
We are going with IKON pass...

Anonymous said...

HA! Those will be the best days to ski the Basin. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

I would love to go to loveland.
Will I be getting a refund for my family passes from a basin so I can?

Anonymous said...

As a summit county resident, I could not agree more.
I can't wait to get out of here after the kids finish high school.

Unknown said...

I can’t help by be bummed by this. I get that it’s the same mountain we’ve always loved. I get that the crowds still won’t be worse than under Epic. I get that the season pass is still the only way to spend more than 7 days there. I get that you’re giving season pass holders more “perks.” And I get that you warned us potential partnerships were coming.

But what a lot of us were really excited this spring was the idea that A-Basin was doing something different. We were excited that you were shedding the mega pass in favor of fewer parking problems and smaller waits at the lifts, but more importantly we were excited that you were leaning into A-Basin’s reputation as a small mountain with a big community of passionate skiers, that you were rewarding loyalists who love the mountain enough to not care that it’s not on their big pass, that you weren’t going to be beholden to any big conglomerates or corporations, and that you were focused on—more than anything—making sure the people that love your mountain had a great day.

I think you knew that’s what we were excited about, too, and while you may not have lied to us about the possibility of this, you did let us get excited about the idea that it wasn’t, you let us buy passes thinking we were supporting that small community of A-Basin skiers, and then you threw it back in our faces and sold out like everyone else. A-Bain is no different. That’s what’s so disappointing.

John Veckerelli said...

You made my day! I’ve purchased an a-Basin midweek pass for the past 2 seasons along with volunteering at copper mountain for a seasons pass the past 3 seasons. I ski 75+ days per season and IMHO A-Basin and Copper offer this areas best ski experiences. For 2019/20 season my wife and I wanted to travel and try different mountains out west. We are not Epic people, so we went with Ikon for this season only. I was torn that A-Bay was not on Ikon when I purchased Ikon, so that’s why you made my day - even though 5 days for the season is negligible, I will cherish those days. I plan to purchase an A-Basin pass and a Copper pass for 2020/21 season.

Anonymous said...

Epic and Ikon-two sides of the same bad penny. Copper Mountain/Winter Park/Steamboat/Aspen???? Are you sure you're not at Vail/Beaver Creek/Keystone/Breckenridge. They're the same damn experience!!! They're what's wrong with skiing!!!!!

I'd rather have seen a partnership with Monarch, Cooper, Loveland, Sunlight, Powderhorn Wolf Creek.

That's the pass I want.

Danny said...

I would not expect most Ikon Pass users actually use their full 5 or 7 days. The Colorado locals, sure, they probably will with the spring skiing. But for the non-Coloradans, probably 1-2 days max would be typical. Having said that, I'm pretty sure the number of Colorado Ikon passes is way lower than Epic passes. There are a bunch of Ikon Pass group forums for travel questions and recommendations (I had an Ikon Pass last year and asked questions when exploring Tahoe and Utah for the first time). In these discussions, almost everyone who visits a new location spreads their days around multiple resorts. Most people who came to CO did something like 2 Aspen/Snowmass, 2 Copper, 2 Winter Park, and a day at Eldora to/from DIA for a week-long trip. I think you're much more likely to see people make that Eldora day into an A-Basin stop as opposed to coming to the Basin for their full 5 days and skipping Aspen/Snowmass or Steamboat. I personally will use my 5/7 days entirely after the last other Colorado Ikon resort closes to extend my season as long as possible, just like I did with a 4-pack and single day passes this year (so no extra visits from what this Ikon holder already did). I would think a lot of other Ikon pass holders will save a bunch of theirs for spring as well (especially the Colorado folks). So I think there will be fewer crowds compared to last year due to the combination of limited Ikon days, A-Basin not being the #1 CO destination for out of towners, and local Ikon holders saving tickets for spring skiing. Certainly, as others have said, it's a wait and see to find out, but I'm optimistic that this is step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Alan, this may not work but what about a Loveland Pass Pack - 4 days across Loveland or A-Basin? Could even be weekdays?

That would be cool.

August F. said...

Awesome business decision Al !! This was the perfect scenario for the brand and a balance of skier traffic (revenue needed but avoiding overcrowding). So excited!

Unknown said...

My wife and I bought the two year season pass, and we are both very supportive of this decision. We live in Fort Collins, and many of our friends have the Ikon pass. Now, some of them will be able to join is for a few days every year.
Great move, Alan!

Dave Y said...

I left comments yesterday on the blog, but may not have hit the send button, or they haven't been approved by the author. So here goes, round two.
For starters, this obviously hit a nerve amongst the passionate, which is really what you want to see. We all care about AB, the vibe, culture, quality of the ski area, etc., but this debate seems to cross a few areas that I wanted to summarize.

1)Was this decision and subsequent announcement deceptive. Easy to say no, if you read's Al's very thorough blog in April essentially megaphoning this outcome exactly, but that piece was corporate speak, and I do think it violated the spirit of what AB clearly said was the genesis of their concern, and of ours. "The quality of skier experience has taken a hit and we are trying to re-set this". If this was true, and solely true, there wouldn't be any consequential partnership because it creates exactly the same dynamic as we saw before. An AB-Ikon partnership, for intent and purpose, will be exactly the same dynamic as AB-Epic was. Do I know this? No, but it was clearly THE reason given for abandoning the decades old policy forged with Vail on the heels of the forced sale of AB as part of the Justice Dept. deal when Vail Assoc bought Breck and Keystone.

2)Why pitch an AB only pass when they probably knew something was out there and affected perhaps legions of skiers/boarders who wanted to ski AB, but could not have possibly known of a looming Ikon partnership. AB probably knew, but we didn't. So, dutifully, many of us bought an AB pass only, then to be somewhat blindsided by this announcement. There are many skiers/boarders, I bet, without question, who don't have the means to buy two passes, and who want to ski AB 5-10 times a year, but now they can't buy the Ikon pass, where they clearly would have bought to scratch these itches, but now ski only AB. This was misleading and I feel for those people who don't have recourse.

3)Parking- I would like to know what the average number of days skied at AB on the Epic pass was. This new partnership is sold to us, in part, that the Ikon passes can be used 5 or 7 days, not the unlimited number of days that Epic has always allowed. But I would bet that the average number of days for skiers/boarders using the Epic pass at AB would be about that number. I'm sure it's "bell barred", (a number of skiers using it 30+ days and a good number using it sparingly, if at all), but in the end, it will be same dynamic for parking as it is now. There is no other outcome than this, in my mind. Which leads me to 2 other points. Why? Did Ikon agree to pay AB substantially more than Epic did for years, thereby sweetening the pot? Maybe this financial relationship will see the light of day. And for reasons that somewhat defy logic, there is almost ALWAYS a disconnect between the parking chaos and the skier experience. That is, the lots are full (read parties) and the lift lines are somewhat devoid of this. So how does AB thread that needle, while staying true to their mission?
More on the next post

Dave Y said...

4)If AB had announced a switch in Feb/April and merely said Ikon is in and Epic is out, we'd still have part of this debate, but the reasonable issue of pass purchasers feeling duped at this point would not have existed. If I was asked in a vacuum who got the better end of this deal, (Ikon or AB), I would say Ikon hands down. They get to publicize skiing at AB, a huge win, and AB gets what? People will not buy an Ikon pass to primarily ski AB, so AB will have to rely on AB sold passes only and again, not sure how that will play out.

I guess I sort of bought the kool-aid and was excited to see a stand-alone place to ski and see how the user experience would unfold. But money always matters and threading that needle between top line revenue and the user experience has to be found. So, get there early, go skinning, stay for breakfast, ski and leave early, or time it some other way. But more than this, I wish for a bountiful year of snow every day and so much powder that this debate finds itself 10 feet under.

Paul said...

Besides the comparison between Epic and Ikon total pass sales, what about other Vail passes that gave days at Arapahoe Basin.
My recollection is a Keystone-Arapahoe pass was only a few dollars more than an Arapahoe only pass.
Also, I’m an Ikon pass holder because the people that Vail Resorts attracts should not belong on skis.
It’s a good thing because Ikon provides a boost to ski areas with character.
Ikon provides marketing for a diverse group of ski areas.
Epic wants to own and control the industry

ezzie said...

Bummed but I was expecting this. A-basin is owned by a publicly traded company, not a couple of hippie farmers like everyone was hoping/wishing. For selfish reasons, I wish they would have worked out a limited days agreement with VR before pulling he plug. Or maybe they tried and VR stupidly declined? And unfortunately I can't switch to Ikon. I've got a place in Keystone so it'd be silly for us to not stick with VR. Sucks to lose A-basin, but whatever.

And it really would be interesting to find out some average numbers on what percentage of A-Basin visitors were made up of Epic Pass holders. I went there about 4 times solo last season, and once with my wife and our 2 kids. The rest was in Keystone. I doubt this new venture will put too much of a dent in AB's parking problems.

Hey Al, if parking still sucks for you guys with the incoming Ikon snobs, negotiate a deal with Keystone... your skiers can park at Keystone and shuttle in, and you give Keystone pass holders 5 restricted days ;)

ezzie said...

Best comments on here are the "Ikon pass holders are generally better skiers/riders than Epic pass holders". You bozos crack me up.

Anonymous said...

All the complainers should get together and open their own resort! I’m sure it would be a huge success!

Anonymous said...

As I posted before: disappointing but not surprising. To me Ikon or Vail does not make a difference. I buy A-Basin only passes. I grew surfing near big city with few good days. Crowds do not bother me. Most of my runs down willie's wide this season and steep gullies were by myself. The steeps filter out the noise.

Apad said...

Live out of state (Ohio) and ski avg. Of 40-50 days in Colorado. Have had Epic for last 5+ years. Love the basin but parking and accessibility limited me to at most4-5 days a year. 2 last year. Didnt consider a weekend day and had hard time finding parking on weekday powder days. Yes, I carpooled. As the basin has no lodging close This will affect locals more than out of towners like me. Al,your comment that changing to a limited # skiing days pass as opposed to lower cost unlimited pass( Epic at $900) will preserve the vibe is not correct. Ikon will have as many Col pass holders as Epic. Early season, late season people will use one of their limited days at the basin. Same problems as with Epic ( parking, lift lines) Will most likely pay to ski Loveland a day or two in addition to Epic not quite the same but way less hassle. The " Vibe" is long dead. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Time will tell on how this pans out. I don't think running a ski area is as easy as all you armchair CEOs think it is. I think that getting rid of unlimited days will help a lot for the experience at A-basin. I think that the cheaper option having blackout dates will really help the Basin and those paying more are probably better skiers and frequent many other areas as well helping to limit the visits to A-Basin.

I sadly left Colorado several years ago but the last pass I had was the Colorado Pass and I skied at A-Basin 90% of the time. I chose the Colorado Pass because I wanted options but found myself almost always wanting to ski the Basin, so the Vail Resorts hardly saw me. Hindsight says I should have just purchased a Basin only pass. I think most of the posts just amount to sour grapes, the types that feel empowered to bitch and whine on any forum they can. It is all conjecture until the season starts.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that the Ikon skiers, especially the ones who normally ski WP, Steamboat, Aspen, not to mention Squaw, Mammoth, Jackson, Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, Brighton, Deer Valley, Big Sky, Revelstoke, are much stronger skiers than your typical Epic skiers that usually ski Breck, Vail, Keystone.

Nothing wrong with that, just people that enjoy a different kind of skiing.

It will be interesting, though, to see if the new Ikon skiers are boosting off a lot more stuff than during the Vail partnership years.

Anonymous said...

Bought my A-Basin 5-pack only 4 business days before this announcement! Guess I have 10 days now. Not the end of the world I guess. I wonder if anyone else on here bought their's closer to the announcement date?

Anonymous said...

Should have seen this one coming. They wouldn't want to see revenue dip by that much over 1 year. There are way too many variables to know how this will play out -- we'll just have to wait and see.

It would be interesting to see avg # of days epic pass holders spent at A Basin the last few years. If I had to ballpark it, I don't think more than 7. So, I don't think limiting # of days for Ikon pass holders will even help with overcrowding to a large degree. What do I know.

I was literally about to buy my A Basin only pass this week, too. Too bad. Have a great season, everyone, wherever you ski or ride!

Anonymous said...

Doug, you act like the shady lobbyists/politicians elites running our country. The emails sent to us from ABasin were very obscure and left a lot of unknown. It is called bait and switch. Common in the political world.

Anonymous said...

That's all fine and good, call us what you will but the bottom line is Dream should have announced its intention prior to selling A Basin season passes. If I was a fully informed consumer, I would have not spent my hard earned money with A Basin

Anonymous said...

Why not be honest with your customers? It was all about the money - Vail, being the gorilla they are, tried to squeeze you. Trying to spin it as cutting down on volume to make it a better skiing experience was a lie.

Anonymous said...

As an out-of-state skier, I think this will cut skier visits dramatically during the prime ski season. The Epic pass products have always been a great way to maximize our time for the few weeks or long weekends we get to ski each year. With ABasin not being a true destination resort, you would never plan a week long trip just to ski ABasin, but would routinely tack on a day or two during a trip to Vail/Breck/Keystone. The switch to Ikon will take these skier visits away almost completely. Safe to assume that there will be far fewer skiers adding days at ABasin while on a trip to Copper or Winter Park.

This change most likely means that I will not be skiing ABasin for a long time. The economics are too good not to by one pass or another. Unfortunately, in years that we buy the Ikon we will use it for trips to Jackson, Alta/DV, or Aspen and not for a long weekend at Copper/ABasin.

I'm just one Texan, but know there are thousands more like me that were part of the Epic problem that I believe Al and the team are working to solve. Hopefully next season will be better for all the locals that have the privilege to ski ABasin on a regular basis.

wanderman said...

1. Oh how I would love to get my hands on the raw data used to arrive at this decision and see what MY analysis would have concluded.

2. I sure hope that the Summit Stage will increase the frequency of buses to ABasin for 19-20. I think more folks would be willing to consider taking the bus if it ran more frequently.

3. How about a multi-mountain pass for 20-21 that includes non-Epic, non-Ikon mountains like Loveland and Powder Mountain and Bear Valley (so I can see what Gentling has been up to all these years)?

Anonymous said...

As someone fortunate enough to get 83 days in at the legend last season it’s funny reading these comments. I can think of maybe 2 or 3 times I was annoyed by a lift line. Never had a problem finding a parking spot. Hell, most of the time can find pow 2 or 3 days after a storm. Most runs I was lucky to even see another person let alone a giant mob of epic gapers out to ruin my day. On a weekday or a weekend. If you are going to lap main st or high noon all day you are going to deal with other people. It doesn’t matter what pass product does or doesn’t have access to the resort. Go ahead and keep showing up at 1030 on a Saturday and you are going to keep on getting turned away. I think there’s a fair number of us that read these comments and just can’t figure out what in the hell people are complaining about!

Anonymous said...

83 days huh? So you live down the road, do you? K, so those of us (the majority of the revenue this org sees) live DOWN the hill. We're not "showing up at 10:30 on a Saturday" and being turned away - we're getting there at 8:30-9 after having sat in 2.5 hours of traffic on 70 and being turned away. That's not exactly being lazy, guy.

Think you all need to climb down from those crosses and stop shaming people who are bummed out and feel burned by this decision. Believe it or not, I'm not following ski resort executive's blogs all day (I know, so weird); I didn't even know this existed until 2 days ago. What I did follow was official press releases intended to disseminate information to the media. And the last one I saw explicitly explained that the facility did not have the capacity to support the operation as it stood with Epic passes also coming to the mountain (thereby very clearly implied they were not going to be on another multi-mountain pass). So, if this was an SEC governed entity, there would almost certainly be an investigation into those comments and how they were used to sell passes based on conjecture and deceptive information. You know; I know it, Mr. Henceroth knows it.

So yes, I'm sorry that I'm so "entitled" that I don't feel like I need to be waking up at 4:30 every morning I go skiing just to rush to the mountain so that I can snag one of the last 4 rows in the last chance lot after I've purchased a season pass. Stop with the shaming and acting like people have no right to be upset.

Thats what she said...

Contrary to popular belief ..., the move from Epic to Ikon was not driven by wanting more or less skiers on the mountain, it is about getting more advanced and expert skiers on the mountain who will better utilize Abasin's abundant advanced/expert terrain. Epic pass skiers/riders spend less than out-of-state skiers and Colorado beginner skiers. We can expect the same from Ikon pass skiers and riders. The difference is that there will be much less congestion on the blues and greens without Epic skiers bombing down them out-of-control. With the Ikon skiers staying mostly on the black/double black runs, we will finally get back to being a great place to teach beginners skiers again. THE LEGEND IS BACK!

Anonymous said...

Hey man, I live “down the hill” just like you. I was there just about every Saturday this season. Left my house usually around 6, pulled in around 8-8:30. Wasn’t turned away a single time. Same drive as you. Also, they were quite clear that the only unlimited pass to the mountain for the upcoming season would be their proprietary pass. Not too sure what was deceptive about that. They’ve also been clear that when they made the announcement, none of the reciprocal agreements had been finalized. I never said anyone was lazy. I said I just don’t understand what in the hell people are complaining about! I still don’t. Also, thanks for your apology. Entitled people suck.

Anonymous said...

Regarding experience of skiers\riders: I hope so and it seems that way (less wahoos) The only times that I had to eat it was to avoid hitting some wahoo taking pictures on the blind side of the run, or doing another sort stupid, unsafe $h!7. The terrain is steep. Speed will always be there. Act accordingly.