Shocking news came out of Colorado today when Arapahoe Basin announced that it would be discontinuing its partnership with Vail Resorts in 2020. After what has been a seemingly endless parade of resort acquisitions, Arapahoe Basin's decision to return to complete independence is in direct conflict with popular trends.
The partnership, which had existed for the last twenty years, retained Arapahoe Basin's complete autonomy of resort management and operations and afforded Vail Resorts Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass owners access to Arapahoe Basin. Unfortunately for Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders, this perk will no longer be available.
Arapahoe Basin management cited excessive resort traffic and limited parking as the main reason for the decision. “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.”
While many are quick to conclude that Arapahoe Basin will be joining Vail Resort's primary competitor, Alterra Mountain Company's IKON Pass, in 2020, the language in Arapahoe Basin's press release implies differently. While the future remains unclear, one thing that is for sure is that Arapahoe Basin's decision is a beacon of light for many opposed to the trend of acquisition we have become accustomed to.
Featured image by Ian Zinner