Epic No More: A-Basin and Vail Resorts Ending Pass Partnership

The new chair leading to the Beavers.
The new chair leading to the Beavers. Whitney Henceroth for Arapahoe Basin
Apparently, "The Legend" has fallen out of love with one of the world's largest ski resort conglomerates.

This morning, February 18, Arapahoe Basin announced that it will not be renewing its ski pass partnership with Vail Resorts for the 2019/2020 season.

In a written statement, A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth said, "The ski area has developed a very special community that feels like home. In order to continue to build on this spirit and the experience we have created, Arapahoe Basin and Vail Resorts will not be renewing their pass partnership.”

More specifically, A-Basin’s website cites “a pinch on parking and facility space” as a reason the mountain is severing its ties with Vail Resorts.

“These actions are designed to preserve that special culture and vibe that people expect when they choose to spend a day at The Basin,” the announcement continues.

As of this writing, A-Basin says it has no new partnerships to announce but is discussing opportunities with resort groups other than Vail Resorts. The mountain recently expanded this season with a new lift that opened access to 34 runs in the Beavers/Steep Gullies terrain.

click to enlarge The new chair leading to the Beavers. - WHITNEY HENCEROTH FOR ARAPAHOE BASIN
The new chair leading to the Beavers.
Whitney Henceroth for Arapahoe Basin
So what does this morning’s announcement mean for current pass-holders, including those who have the Keystone A-Basin Pass or the Epic Pass, which are sold by Vail Resorts?

All passes sold by Vail Resorts that are valid at A-Basin will remain so for the 2018/2019 season.

In a separate announcement on its website, Vail Resorts says that a new “Keystone Plus Pass” will replace the Keystone A-Basin Pass for the 2019/2020 season.

The Keystone Plus Pass ($369 for adults) will include ten discounted “buddy pass” tickets, unlimited access to Keystone with holiday restrictions, late spring skiing at Breckenridge starting April 1, and five days at Crested Butte.

As for parting ways with A-Basin, Vail Resorts Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Lynch, says, “We want to thank Arapahoe Basin for their partnership for over twenty years. We are disappointed, but given the success they have had and their recent investments into the resort, we respect that this is the right time for them to move in a different direction.”
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker