Featured Colorado Arapahoe Basin Is NOW a Free Agent

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

  1. Thread Starter
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    No doubt it will help destination skiers be attracted to it.

    I get their need to make money to sustain operations. Nothing is going to do that like being part of Ikon or Epic. The next closest thing would be another not-existing-pass with unlimited days at a bunch of smaller resort. And that, Powder Alliance or Mountain Collective would still be a drop in the bucket compared to Ikon / Epic.

    If I had to guess their fiscal modelers realized that with a better deal from Alterra, Abasin can get a big slice of the Epic revenue with far fewer skiers.

    No doubt it will be less crowded if it ends up on the Ikon than the Epic. But it would not be the same experience it would be if it went with the Loveland / Monarch model. Which is what a lot of locals were hoping for.

    Ikon is not some anti-crowd pass in the Front Range. Copper was the best place to beat it last year, but WP/Mary Jane is now as packed as Vail Resort mountains.
     
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  2. Philpug

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

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    It still comes down to paying the bills and being profitable...and can just the locals do that? I had a co-worker who used to say 'When they say "it's not about the money"..it's usually about the money".
     
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  3. Thread Starter
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Given that there are models of operating areas of similar acerage (1800 acres vs 1450 at Abasin) with similar lift infrastructure (8, with 1 HSQ vs 5, with 1HSQ at Abasin neither including bunny hill lifts) nearby that are profitable and do not have nearly the name recognition or money generators in food and bev -- I think there is a reasonable argument that you don't have to be on one of the megapasses to make it work.

    Will they make as much money? Absolutely not.

    Can they make a profitable operation? Seems possible to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  4. Philpug

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

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    If your outgo is greater than your income then your upkeep is your downfall. With a lot of these smaller/independant resorts, it really depends what their nut to crack is, ie cost of operations.
     
  5. Thread Starter
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    jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    I have never suggested otherwise. Simply that there is a difference between maximizing profit, and being sustainable. Different businesses have different priorities. They are not necessarily the same thing.

    What I have suggested is that we have a local comparable just a few miles away that is not on a mega pass, does not have the name recognition, and is chugging along fine with regular upgrades. My understanding is Abasin is still owned by a large real estate group -- that probably creates a different priorities matrix then the family-owned hill.
     
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  6. Philpug

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

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    I was agreeing with you.
     
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  7. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    If it’s a business then it’s about the money.
     
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  8. RachelV

    RachelV Hi. Skier

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  9. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    My 17-19 Double Down was $559.
     
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  10. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    It was $599 for this season and next year back in November. So they are increasing the price significantly. 33.22203% for those who requested exact percentages.

    A significant spike in season pass prices after the early offering is telling of what how they are hoping to drive revenue. How much they increase the midweek pass, up further from the current $299 will be telling. I bet the hardly adjust the midweek pass, and try and drive people in that direction while they can. Then capture $$$ people left on the table by not buying early.
     
  11. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    Looks like I will pull the trigger on the mid-week pass before May 1st. If they end up doing something with Ikon, hopefully it won't be in conflict with the mid-week pass. I just figure that if it's a weekend and I'm willing to ski, there's only one place I'm going on the Front Range... and it doesn't start with an "A". ;)
     
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  12. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    https://businessden.com/2019/04/11/...any-ski-pass-on-an-unlimited-basis-next-year/

    If you trust reporting and what gets “printed” in “official” publications, then it seems the options in play are Mountain Collective and Powder Alliance.

    Seems Ikon, if in play, is an option of last resort, or unmentionable at least for the moment.

    I can’t think of a resort on both Powder Alliance and MCP. Powder Alliance would add days at Loveland and Monarch locally. Not sure how the finances work for either option.

    Taos and Aspen are the closest MCP options. So, not sure how much synergy and skier traffic and revenue would get created. But, MCP is going to be a group willing to spend more at the resort than Monarch or Loveland skiers coming up for a few one off days.
     
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  13. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Doesn't rule out the 5 or 7 days on Ikon, though, does it?
     
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  14. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    That's exactly what I'm hoping. If something does happen with Ikon it will most likely take that path. That would not be in direct conflict with my mid-week pass and would give me an option for a handful of weekend days if I need them.
     
  15. skix

    skix Getting on the lift Skier

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    I drive from Indiana to ski there so it's not just locals. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. The place is special. Bought the Epic Local for years but you know where I kept ending up? Finally dropped the multi-mountain pass when I had 33 days in and 30 of them were at ABasin. Not even close to being bored with the terrain (or snow) available to ski there.
     
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  16. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    No I does not directly rule out Ikon as an option. But, explicitly referencing MCP is a whole new level of public disclosure.

    MCP is probably the best tool to gain visits without gaining hordes.
     
  17. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Ok, I see what you were saying. But MCP doesn't give 7 days, not even close, and most other partnerships give only up to 3. So Ikon is more in play than I think you're acknowledging.

    I do think it was kind of an odd statement to make, because now instead of buying an ABasin pass, I'm going to wait. I guess I didn't think they would do unlimited with ANYone this year, already, so waiting for 5 or 7 days on a pass I already bought is a no-brainer. Unless, yes, you are sure you will ski more than two 4-packs' worth...
     
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  18. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    Previous posts I had said earlier comments on Al’s blog made it sound like Ikon was in play. I agree that you only mention 8 days if seven is a relevant number.

    However, after all the blister of the divorce with Vail, jumping to Ikon seems out of sorts. I simply think that PR has said that as long as Ikon is a 1% chance if pass sales go belly up, then they need to speak in words that won’t come back to bite them in the butt.

    I also agree that A-Basin hinting and hedging in public is probably also keeping just as many folks on the fence, as it is helping move pass sales.

    MCP makes the most sense for an extra partnership, while also keeping the number as clean from other counting errors and skier day swapping as they can.

    This is a big next year for A-Basin. If nothing else for them to gather data and figure out what might be the baseline interest in the resort as an independent.
     
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  19. nay

    nay dirt heel pusher Skier

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    I think we are vastly over complicating this. Loveland’s lots, and by that I mean the main lot and the 3 smaller lots at Loveland Valley where you can take a shuttle to Loveland Basin, have been packed this season.

    I cannot remember a single day where they didn’t have lot attendants directing traffic into the tightest possible configuration in order to maximize every square foot of dirt. No Epic, no Ikon, no MCP, and a lesser brand name than A-Basin. They get maybe a third of the social media hits that A-Basin gets.

    Loveland is a significantly more disperse mountain than A-Basin. It has a third more acreage and a considerably greater amount of terrain that has to be consistently avy controlled. I don’t see how it is reasonable that A-Basin is more expensive to operate than Loveland, and I could see those costs being half for a much more compact mountain that isn’t essentially primarily avalanche terrain.

    A-Basin is unique in that their COO runs a social media blog. We get more information directly from Al than we can get across Vail or Alterra’s entire portfolio. I think that makes us susceptible to reading the tea leaves.

    Does anybody really believe that A-Basin’s limited parking is going to sit idle next season? If you do, I can’t imagine a better reason to buy a season pass for next season, because that will be a a modern day experience that will get wiped off the map as quickly as Al can say “blog”.
     
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  20. Coach13

    Coach13 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I’m pretty sure I’ve said this here before but if I lived in the surrounding Denver area it would be the rare occasion I’d drive past Loveland for a day trip further west on I70.
     
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