Monday, May 15, 2023

State of The Basin - Numbers and Comments - Volume 3

Welcome to the 2023 State of The Basin blog post. We continue to focus on providing incredible experiences at The Basin for our guests and employees. It has been a very good season and we have a few things to work on. We popped out of the gates early with an October opening. The completion of the new Lenawee Express was five weeks late. That was a tricky period, slow with guest visits and crazy difficult with final lift construction. The new lift opened in mid-December to rave reviews from guests. A-Basin life has been rocking since then. It is hard to believe that snowfall was a little below average this year, but cooler temperatures and favorable winds created plenty of A+ skiing.

For the first time since 2019, COVID did not play a major role in our ski season. Both the Steilhang Hut and Il Rifugio had their first full seasons since the connstruction/remodels. The alternative, smaller, on-mountain dining outlets were successful. We continue to make strides on Sustainability and DEI issues. Our employee compensation and housing plan was completely overhauled and, as a result, we were fully staffed all season with an outstanding team.

Through April 30, our skier visits this season are up 9% over last season, but still only 75% of the 2018-19 season, our last on the Epic Pass. In March 2022, I wrote extensively about comfortable carrying capacity(ccc). While I won't repeat myself this year, last year's post is still accurate.  You can view it at State of the Basin - 2022. CCC is very complicated, but for us, parking is the best measure to see if we land within the range that is comfortable. Of the 204 days we have been open, we did have 9 days when parking was a challenge. 

A major goal for next year is to lower that 9 number. We will continue to limit daily ticket sales. We will limit season pass sales and we have added the Value Pass for next season to drive people away from our busiest days. We will continue to limit Ikon Pass visits to 5 or 7 days. We will expand our employee parking carpool programs and will continue the Early Riser carpool/pay parking program.

Giving up the Taos and Bridger Bowl days was a bummer, but like us, those resorts are focused on providing a fantastic experience for their guests and had to re-evaluate their comp programs. We will still offer 3 days at Monarch for Unrestricted and Value Pass holders.

We have an opportunity to grow our business in the Fall so we will, again, offer a $99 Fall 3-pack and a $279 Fall Pass.

Thursday, May 18 will be the last day to buy an unrestricted season pass for the 2023-24 season. 

In summary, we are still committed to providing an experience for our guests and employees found no where else. We will continue to control daily access on the mountain to comfortable and fun levels. The atmosphere, culture and vibe will continue to shine. I look forward to seeing all of you for a few weeks skiing this spring, on the mountain this summer and skiing again next winter. Enjoy the ride.