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A-Basin cutting back on season pass sales


Staff member
Al says they've already sold almost 40% of their allotted A-Basin passes for 21-22. It worked on me; locked in A-Basin passes for me & DH for next year.

I like the last paragraph and I have to say that in light of the Epic announcement, I mostly agree with this sentiment:
"Our neighbors have announced a plan to drastically cut season pass prices in an effort to sell more passes. We are pricing and limiting our season pass inventory in order to sell fewer passes. Depending on what factors are important to your season pass purchase (price, the mountain itself, the skiing experience, the culture, the vibe, etc), your choices for purchase have never been more clear."

That said, we're also getting the cheapest Epic pass (Keystone only), since those are the 2 resorts the bus goes to from our condo. :smile: And to be clear, I'd buy the A-Basin pass whether the bus went there or not. ;)


Angel Diva
Al's comments are completely transparent in terms of what ABasin is doing for season pass sales and keeping ticket sales online next season. Makes complete sense to me given that Powder Mountain has used that as a business strategy ever since the current owners took over. Both ski areas serve local markets. PowMow even has special discounts for people who live in the same county. If travelers have to plan more in advance, so be it.

The price is going up on April 15 for the full season pass. Supply and demand . . .

March 29, 2021, Arapahoe Basin blog
Season Passes
" . . .
For this COVID season we limited season pass sales and sold out of passes in November. For the 2021-22 season we are actually going to sell 10% fewer unrestricted passes than we did during the COVID season. We announced this change and started selling season passes March 12. As of today, we have sold 36% of our unrestricted season pass inventory. Passes are selling at a much faster rate than I expected. On April 16 we plan on raising the price of an “Adult Unrestricted Season Pass” from $519 to $599. The renewal rate for 2020-21 Season Pass holders is valid only thru April 15 or while supplies last.

I have very high confidence that we are going to sell out of the unrestricted passes. I just don’t know when that is going to happen. It is very possible that we sell out before the April 16 price increase. This post may seem like a pushy sales pitch. That is not the intention. It is a transparent effort is to let you know that unrestricted pass sales are limited and we are running out fast. If you want to buy an Arapahoe Basin unrestricted season pass, you should buy it now.
. . ."


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I understand ABasin used to -- even for the current season -- offer a mid-week pass. That appears to not be available for 21/22. That is generating some unhappiness.


Angel Diva
Mt Baker limited season pass sales again this year. They did this last year, and sold out on December 15. This year they sold out today. They said they capped sales with the same number as last year.



Staff member
Nice post from Al the other day with how this is going:

tl;dr: It's been a weird few years, but they have been almost exactly as crowded as they want to be the last few years, which is about 60-65% as crowded as they were the last year on Epic.

As someone who skis A-Basin a lot, I can attest that A-Basin getting off the Epic pass and having 5/7 days on the Ikon pass has been one of the best things to happen in my Colorado life. The last few years on Epic were an absolute sh*tshow, and the last few years on Ikon have been wonderful. It definitely gets full on great weekend days, but not close to crowded enough to make the day a hassle.

Very cool to see they're going to offer some fall passes, but would also be nice to figure out ways to incentivize Ikon skiers to use more of their days in the fall. Early season has definitely been a bit of a ghost town (which I'm not really complaining about, but I imagine it would be nice for them to spread out Ikon visitation a little more).


Staff member
Good (& long) interview with the A-Basin COO the other day (Al of Al's blog):

If you scroll down the page above the podcast "notes" themselves are also really good.

It doesn't super go into anything you don't already know if you're into A-Basin, but I enjoyed it a lot and they threw out some interesting numbers.
- Peak visitation with the Epic Pass was about 600k skier visits a year. They're on track for a bit over 400k this season, which Al still considers a covid season because Omicron kind of blew up midwinter holiday travel.
- He thinks A-Basin's sweet spot is something like 450-500k skier visits a year.
- Feb and March 2022 were their best financial months ever, despite having something like 65% of the skier visits they had during the last few years of the Epic pass.
- Part of the rationale for replacing Lenawee with a high speed 6-pack vs a 4-pack (happening this summer) was that the weight of a 6-pack will run better with the wind up there.
- They're limiting A-Basin season pass sales another 10% for next year. A-Basin is maybe the only place that's reducing skier visits while also increasing uphill capacity.
- Mentioned in passing while talking about removing the Ikon pass blackout days that Ikon skier visits on a holiday weekend would be maybe 1 or 1.5k, out of an ideal max capacity of about 4k skiers a day. It's hard to replace that many visits with increased window ticket sales, so instead they're removing the holiday blackouts and selling fewer window tickets on those days.

It's great to hear they're doing well with their new approach of quality over quantity, because I can't tell you what a refreshing break from the general megapass resort chaos A-Basin has been recently. I still ski mostly weekends, and while weekends are full, they're also totally fine and not an ordeal at all. The last few years on Epic were definitely an ordeal.


Angel Diva
- Mentioned in passing while talking about removing the Ikon pass blackout days that Ikon skier visits on a holiday weekend would be maybe 1 or 1.5k, out of an ideal max capacity of about 4k skiers a day. It's hard to replace that many visits with increased window ticket sales, so instead they're removing the holiday blackouts and selling fewer window tickets on those days.

Interesting mention on the holiday blackouts and a nice concession to IKON Base pass holders.

I sure wish the season at Mad River Glen last longer because the lack of crowding on weekends is enchanting and refreshing as well.


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Now this is interesting.....A-Basin will reduce the number of season pass sales next season by 10% in hopes of creating a more "comfortable level" of skiers and riders each day.

Katherine Fuller, Communications Manager at A-Basin, had this to say about their decision to limit pass sales:

“A-Basin is bucking the traditional ski resort sales model of “sell as much access product as possible” and is reducing the number of unrestricted A-Basin passes by 10 percent. When they are sold out, they are sold out. Lift tickets will also continue to be limited and will only be sold online and in advance.

For us, it’s not complicated. We believe great skiing and riding should be about great skiing and riding. It should not be about standing in long lift lines all the time or struggling to find parking. It should not be about new snow getting completely skied off by noon. We are doing what we feel we need to do to protect the A-Basin experience.

Simply put, we recognize that keeping crowd sizes down and spreading people out will make the experience on our 1,428 acres better for everyone. Limiting pass and ticket sales this season for COVID-19 health and safety reasons showed us that we can be successful and have happier guests when we do that.”

Your thoughts?
Absolutely agree and so impressive to see the opposite of Vail Corp, "don't care about the guests as long as making a lot of $$$$$$" policy. :party:

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