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Have a seat: A-Basin auctions off last of the Expedition lift chairs tomorrow

Retired lift chairs are an enduring furniture craze on the Front Range, apparently: When Arapahoe Basin put 110 chairs from its old Expedition Chairlift for sale online for $450 apiece at the end of the season, they sold out every last chair in less than 7 minutes.

Every last chair but one, that is: Tomorrow, A-Basin is hosting a live auction of the one remaining Expedition chair, to benefit the High Country Conservation Center.

"We had no idea the demand would be so crazy" says Leigh Hierholzer, A-Basin's Director of Marketing. "If we'd known, we probably would have raised the price a bit in the first place"

The charity auction for the final chair will start on Saturday at 1 p.m., during the Basin Backyard BBQ and the official unveiling of the new Black Mountain Express high-speed quad and a new hiking and mountain biking trail A-Basin plans to develop over the next two summers.

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The 3-person Expedition lift was built in 1978; the new lift will cover the same ground in less than half the time, making the ride to the Black Mountain Lodge at midway in about 3 minutes.

The ski area is upcycling as much of the old Expedition lift as possible: Some of the steel towers were donated to the Breckenridge campus of Colorado Mountain College for an outdoor sculpture project, while others will be used for avalanche control or otherwise incorporated into the ski area's infrastructure. Other parts from the Expedition lift will be kept as spare parts for other lifts at A-Basin and at Bear Valley in California.

Even if you don't need a chairlift porch swing for your urban loft or mountain retreat, the Basin Backyard BBQ should be good fun, with a big sale on last season's rental gear, BBQ by Chef Christopher Rybak and music by Funkiphino. For more details, visit ArapahoeBasin.com

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