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Last ski area standing: Arapahoe Basin announces early May 6 closure, last hurrah

Last ski area standing: Arapahoe Basin announces early May 6 closure, last hurrah

"We made a very tough decision today," reported Arapahoe Basin CEO Alan Henceroth in a dispatch sent out on yesterday. "Arapahoe Basin will close for the season Sunday, May 6. With the light snowfall, big wind events, and warm temperatures, Mother Nature made life for Colorado skiers very difficult this year. We often say we will stay open as long as there is snow and as long as people keep skiing. Well, this year we are running out of both snow and skiers. I apologize to all of you. We really wanted to stay open into June, but sometimes things happen we don't like. Next season..."

A-Basin had previously planned to stay open until June 3, after making it all the way to the 4th of July last year. But it still gets bragging rights for this season: It was the first to open for daily operations, back on October 13, and will be the last to close (nearby Loveland Ski Area, which had planned to close on May 6, called it quits a week early, on April 29) in a year when snowfall shortages and unseasonably warm temperatures made it a tough time to be in the ski area business.

Arapahoe Basin will host "A Night in Asia" on Saturday, the final event in its 2011-2012 Moonlight Dinner Series at Black Mountain Lodge.
Arapahoe Basin will host "A Night in Asia" on Saturday, the final event in its 2011-2012 Moonlight Dinner Series at Black Mountain Lodge.
Casey Day/Arapahoe Basin

Still, A-Basin plans on going out with a bang: On Saturday the mountain is hosting its ninth annual Huck, Rock 'n Roll slopestyle ski and snowboard competition at 11 a.m. in the Treeline Terrain Park ($15, register in the A-Frame from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.). There will be live music and a luau party on "The Beach" at the base area. And tickets ($78) are still available for A Night in Asia on Saturday evening, chef Christopher Rybak's final event in A-Basin's popular Moonlight Dinner Series at the mid-mountain Black Mountain Lodge.

"When the weather is your partner, making decisions is never fun or easy," writes Henceroth, on his A-Basin blog. "The spring skiing is still quite good and I think it will be good through Sunday. Come join in the fun. I think Sunday will be vintage A-Basin."

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