Featured Colorado Arapahoe Basin Is NOW a Free Agent

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by jmeb, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    “We are very proud of how wonderful Arapahoe Basin has become from the unparalleled skiing and riding to the incredible scenery. With diverse ski runs including some of the most intense terrain in North America and a culinary operation that is regularly listed among the top ten in the country, 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 for the 2019/2020 season,” said Arapahoe Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth.

    A-Basin has seen exceptional growth both in popularity and skier visitation after investing 40 million dollars over the last 15 years. While the mountain still has plenty of room for skiers and riders, the ski area is feeling a pinch on parking and facility space. Due to these constraints, Arapahoe Basin believes its staff can take better care of its guests by separating from Vail Resorts.

    “Our focus has always been to provide an extraordinary mountain experience for our guests. With consistent snowfall and one of the nation’s highest and most stunning settings, we offer an environment that is totally unique. From Montezuma Bowl to The Beavers and from Black Mountain Lodge to the 6th Alley Bar and Grill, there are few resorts that can match The Basin’s scenic landscape. Looking forward, we strive to provide ready and easy access for our guests. Our goal is to minimize waiting and crowding and maximize experiences and fun,” said Henceroth.

    At this time, there are no new partnerships to announce. In the coming months the ski area will be discussing opportunities with several resorts and resort groups. Skiers and riders that call A-Basin home can feel good knowing the resort will still offer tremendous value and exceptional mountain experiences. These actions are designed to preserve that special culture and vibe people expect when they choose to spend a day at The Basin. The future for Arapahoe Basin is very bright.

    Please note that 2018-19 Vail Resorts season passes that are currently valid at A-Basin will continue to be valid for the remainder of the 2018-19 season."

    https://arapahoebasin.blogspot.com/...d.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
     
  2. Michael R.

    Michael R. skiNEwhere Skier

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  3. Thread Starter
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Please go independent. Put some partner days on. #LovelandPassPass
     
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  4. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I was just going to post the press release about this. Dang you beat me to the punch.
     
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  5. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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  6. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I'm so glad the rumors you heard were incorrect!
     
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  7. Michael R.

    Michael R. skiNEwhere Skier

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    I hope they stay solo and don't join Ikon
     
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  8. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    A-Basin will be less crowded this spring with the announcement that Keystone and Breckenridge will be open into May and even less the following year when Epic Pass holders in general will not be there. Ikon next year? I give it more than a 50/50 chance, it fills a Colorado need they don't have early and late season skiing.
     
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  9. Thread Starter
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Vested interest and all that. I'm a Loveland skier and will remain so. But I love to see that A-Basin realizing it doesn't need Vail and that there are a diversity of sustainable ski experiences out there.

    And I love A Basins terrain. At the very least, I'll be picking up a 4 pack if they offer one and stay independent.

    Excited to see what details emerge (as long as that isn't just "We're part of Ikon now").
     
    ski otter 2 likes this.
  10. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    So exciting!

    On Ikon there's this from the press release:
    Does that mean no Ikon or maybe Ikon? I hope not!

    If they do Ikon it seems like it would need to be announced in weeks not months, yes?
     
  11. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Probably if they were to join for next year but there's nothing stopping them from staying independent for a year or two to see how it plays out and then deciding they'd rather partner up with Ikon or another pass group. Selfishly, I want them on Ikon in the near future but I think overall they and their customers would be better off with something like a partnership with Loveland or Powder Alliance.
     
  12. 4aprice

    4aprice Getting on the lift Skier

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    Arapaho doesn't really need Epic or Ikon.

    There are no beds to fill and Denver is close enough to sustain them and there are plenty of people in the know who just like to go there.

    The Epic and Ikon's passes are really about getting the traveling public.
     
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  13. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    Very interesting to see a resort like this leave Epic. I am wrong in thinking that a lot of Epic passholders made a trip out of skiing A-Basin and Keystone on the same trip? Could this possibly hurt Keystone's business by now having another resort that close on the same pass?
     
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Ikon was adding stuff well into the summer and fall. I think they'd love to announce ABasin right away, but I doubt that is realistic. And I'm hoping its not what Abasin is thinking.

    Going with IKON would also completely undermind their stated reason for going away from Epic -- namely parking difficulties. It would be even worse with Ikon as it would remove the auxiliary parking they can use now at Keystone. While Epic may have a lead currently in the Front Range market, Abasin on Ikon would flip that calculus for a lot of people and they would suffer the same logistic challenges.
     
  15. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    I doubt it. Breck is close enough to Keystone. I’d guess most travelers hit Keystone and Breck more than Keystone and ABasin.
     
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  16. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    While the separation is long overdue according to some, it also comes at the end of a long string of capital improvements that I suspect were made possible by the large number of Epic pass skiers visiting the resort.

    I may be buying two passes next year. I don't think the early season at the Basin is that important to me but even with Breck's extended season, the Basin still will be open longer and I really enjoy spring skiing and hanging with my PugSki buds.
     
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    100% agree. A-Basin's long term strategy at work here. I think it shows the people behind there really do value the no-nonsense ski experience they used to be famous for. Get in bed with Vail for a number of years, bank a ton of $$$, implement your whole 10 year master plan, then have a ski area with fresh lifts, money in the bank and options.

    While I understand that no-nonsense ski experience is still there Mon-Thursday, the rest of the time, A Basin is now typically packed to the gills. For us Front Rangers, that means it's just as a logistical clusterf**k as most other big resorts. This should give it a bit of breathing room.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  18. PisteOff

    PisteOff Jeff Skier

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    There is always the Mountain Collective...… A-Basin would be a good add to the MCP! :ogcool:
     
  19. Ohioskier

    Ohioskier Getting on the lift Skier

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    I skied there on the summit value pass this year. I skied 5 days at keystone and last day at A Basin and regret the order. I should have honestly just taken the shuttle to A Basin all 6 days and skipped keystone. Good move hopefully they stay independent. After skiing A Basin I realized I enjoy smaller ski areas and not the larger resorts. Next year I plan to skip the Vail pass and ski Loveland and A Basin with a possible trip out to Sunlight. Less crowds and more fun seemed to suit me better. Hopefully A Basin will be independent and offer a reasonable 4 pack or day ticket price. Skiing the backside of A Basin was an eye opening experience for me. Congrats to all of the locals your getting a nice locals mountain back.
     
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  20. Muleski

    Muleski Skiing the powder Industry Insider

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    I'd be very surprised to see a pass partnership with Alterra/Ikon. It doesn't fit with what Alan H. laid out in his press release: crowds, parking, better guest experience. I'm guessing they'll offer their own menu of tickets/passes to capture the early and late season skier.....as well as through the mid season. It's also not a fit with Alterra. Just a hunch, but eventually I think we'll see that Alterra is about much more than Ikon. Some resorts and partners will be shed. Some others added. The big thing to watch will be acquisitions. That's where we may see some serious battlegrounds between VR and Alterra. I hear all the time, from ski friends and others that I meet, that such and such a family will never sell , and I don't believe that to be the case. If you own one of the big guys, there has never been a better time to sell. Two competing buyers, loaded with the war chests to make deals.

    Some of the owners of the big places are a big dysfunctional, and when you're looking a potential sales prices that could push to almost twice what they felt the real market value was 3-5 years ago, we may see some movement. Vail wants to reach that 1 Million number in Epic pass sales, and they clearly want to preserve the upper sliver of big spending destination visitors that that have had in past years. Alterra wants to build a compelling offering to build a similar client base, and to take away much of Vail's.

    The goal for Alterra is to build this company that will command a huge market value when they either take it public, or flip it in some other type of "liquidity event." As others have noted, there is a lot of money invested in Alterra by KSL investors, and the Crowns. They essentially have an open checkbook with commitments to increase and double down investments form their current stakeholders. Vail, as a public company has many options to raise capital for deal{s}.

    We'll see. I know very little about the ownership of A-Basin. I don't see either of the big guys wanting to overspend to buy it. And it seems like with their niche they should be able to enjoy much success as an independent. We also have NO IDEA how the pass deal was structured, and if either partner wanted to change it, with the other saying: "No Thanks....doesn't work for us that way. Thanks for the memories."

    When Alterra was first formed, and when VR's stock was on the march toward their record high, I recall a few of us saying that this was going to be along term "thing", just beginning, and to stay tuned. Because things would never be the same. Nor would they truly be the same. I still believe that.

    BTW, I hear that some of the inside market research shows that there is a bit of novelty to Ikon, and that Ikon's launch has also made people think that they really need to consider one of these passes if hopping on a plane to fly East to West, as one example. All boats rising with that tide. And, it's been a great snow winter in some parts of the country and a weird one in others. I'm excited as I look out my window to see 3" of fresh snow on the ground, as it looks like winter. It's been brown. Meanwhile our son's house is buried under 20+ feet, elsewhere. So, as a result, I know many taking planned trips to fly and ski. They planning part was that they bought passes last summer, knowing they would make at least one trip. May turn into three. Snow this year is affecting this.

    I think that it may be more apparent after the season ends. And yes, we'll only hear what Alterra wants to release for tidbits, and we'll hear and see how VR spins their numbers....keeping in mind that the people they are selling to are the tiny community of analysts who follow the stock, many of who seemed to have cooled on it, and are perhaps a bit skeptical.

    Rambling here.....sorry. A-Basin is a special place. I think being independent can and will work for everybody. Hopefully it will be a big win!
     
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