Friday, March 12, 2021

2021-22 Season - What To Expect

We have experienced a tumultuous and uproarious few years at Arapahoe Basin. From major expansions to pass partner changes to 4th of July skiing to the pandemic, we have not slowed down for a second. It has been challenging, fun, difficult, crazy and weird all at the same time. 

Throughout it all, we have focused on making the A-Basin experience the best it could possibly be. While we are constantly changing the “stuff” at The Legend, we strive to preserve our culture and vibe. Our first major step was to design, construct and implement The Beavers / Steep Gullies expansion. We added a big chairlift and nearly 500 acres of exciting groomers, gladed runs and dramatic chutes. We offered more terrain and spread the crowd out even further. We left the Epic Pass. The Basin simply wasn’t big enough to handle that many pass holders. We joined the Ikon Pass. The spirit of A-Basin was in sync with Ikon resorts and they had fewer pass holders and days were restricted. 

Moving forward to the 2021-22 season, we are taking more major steps to preserve the culture and vibe. COVID forced us to learn in a few months what probably would have taken us five years to learn otherwise. Next season we are going to continue to restrict our pass and ticket visits. While reservations will not be required for our season pass holders, we are going to limit the number of passes that we sell. In fact, we are going to sell 10% fewer unrestricted passes next season than we did this season. On top of that, we will continue to limit the number of lift tickets sold each day and all tickets must be purchased online and in advance. No lift tickets will be sold on site. We anticipate selling out of weekend lift tickets on a regular basis. 

So why are we doing this? There are many factors, like a friendly and knowledgeable staff, a spectacular mountain and excellent facilities, that go into to making Arapahoe Basin special. We also think a critical factor for a successful day is keeping crowd size down and skiers and riders spread out. For decades, a key strategy for us was to keep adding more and more skiers. That is no longer the case. We are actively working to reduce the number of skiers on weekends and holidays. We have learned so much since COVID forced us to hit a daily target of skier numbers. Next season we will continue a similar strategy. Our target will be to have a “comfortable” level of skiers each day. Our ticket inventories and pricing will directly reward midweek skiing over weekend skiing. By knowing how many people to expect each day, we can do a better job running the place. We will measure success by reducing parking challenges, keeping lift lines and other service lines short and by observing smiling skier faces. 

This is a big, big change. We are ready for this change. We know our skiers and riders want to preserve the A-Basin culture and vibe. We know they want to cherish and enjoy this stunning place. There are many great resorts in the world, but there is no place quite like Arapahoe Basin. By making these changes we plan on keeping it that way.