Colorado Article on Loveland and mega-passes, parking, crowds, etc.

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by SBrown, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. SBrown

    SBrown Steve Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    As Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company continue to battle over some of the best mountains in the West, more and more resorts are picking sides.

    Before the 2018-2019 season, notable longtime independent mountains Crested Butte and Telluride hopped aboard Vail's Epic Pass, while Steamboat joined Alterra's Ikon. (This year, Vail and Alterra appear to be battling it out primarily through flexible pricing and discount options for shredders who don't have a cool $700 to $900 to throw down.)

    But not every resort is satisfied with the duopoly forming, one that even stretches to Canada and Japan.

    In a surprise move, Arapahoe Basin severed ties with Vail Resorts last month over concerns that its mountain, which is independently owned, is being overrun with too many Epic Pass holders. Many local skiers and riders celebrated the news, piling on to comment threads online to say that they feel the move protects "The Legend" — that relaxed, local vibe along with relatively uncrowded steep terrain that characterizes A-Basin.

    Another common refrain: hope that A-Basin and its independent next door neighbor, Loveland, will team up on a joint pass for next year.

    Even as local skiers and snowboarders in some towns like Aspen are now grumbling about increases in traffic as their favorite mountains join mega-passes (indeed, in Aspen's case, Ikon users have accounted for 9 percent of visitors to the four interconnected mountains in the region so far this season, and visits are up 20 percent), most resorts are not going the way of A-Basin; they're staying on board the mega-passes for next season. But like A-Bay, Loveland remains defiant.

    Loveland marketing and communications director John Sellers dismisses any possibility of Loveland joining the Epic or Ikon passes. "Over the years, our phone has rung a few times," he concedes. "But we've been fortunate to grow on our own, so joining a mega-pass is not something we've really considered. The Ikon Pass is new. But over the years, the Epic Pass has partnered with other mountains, and we've closely watched how that relationship has impacted those mountains. For us, the volume consideration — the number of people — is what's made [joining a larger pass] a non-starter.

    "If you're overloading the mountain and opening it up to potentially hundreds of thousands of other pass holders, it's going to have a noticeable impact on operations and the experience at the mountain," he continues. "We just don't want to alienate or frustrate our core customers."

    Just as A-Basin cited overloaded parking as a reason for leaving the Epic Pass, Loveland's executives also see a scenario where, especially being the closest mountain to Denver along I-70, its lots and bottom lifts would be inundated with pass holders, especially on days when Loveland Pass or the Eisenhower Tunnel are closed.

    Sellers says that one reason Loveland hasn't had to attract extra customers through a mega-pass is because there's a particular "life cycle" of customers who ski and snowboard there. Many Front Range skiers and snowboarders, he says, learn to ski at Loveland as kids. When they reach their young-adult years, they may join a pass like Epic because they want to ski with their friends and that's what everyone has. ...

    As for the most enticing potential partnership of all, teaming up with A-Basin? ....

    [read more at https://www.westword.com/news/lovel...t-open-to-collaborating-with-a-basin-11265339]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  2. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    This article seems to imply that an A Basin / Loveland merger is possible, while providing absolutely no evidence. Basically -

    so-youre-saying-theres-a-chance-memes-com-16169791.png
     
    Ken_R and Noodler like this.
  3. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    A combined pass would certainly make my decision easier, because I'm trying to decide which pass to get next season. But I'm not sure what they'd have to gain. Hm.

    * A Basin would be able to give front range pass holders a faster alternative when the pass is closed
    * Loveland would be able to give pass holders a longer season without having to staff their own mountain
    * They'd both get the benefit of people like me, rather than it being all or none

    What else?
     
  4. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    This is something to watch. :popcorn:
     
  5. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    Different aspects and different orographics mean that "snow chasers" have more options depending on where/how the snow hits. A-Basin and Loveland also provide unique ski experiences that, taken together, provide one heck of an attractive package. LL has the Ridge Cat and some of the best inbounds "outta-bounds" skiing around. The Beavers brings something that LL lacks, sustained-vertical trees/gladed skiing. I could go on, but I believe the duo would be stronger together and would be a serious contender for Front Rangers to go with only ONE pass. Many of us are multiple pass holders because we have to fill in "holes" to have a complete skiing experience.
     
    Monique likes this.


  6. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    Yeah - I think without the Beavers, they are much more comparable.
     

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