I guess it is difficult to be an independent resort in the current climate of concentration of the ski market in the US, so now A Basin will be part of the competitor of the Epic Pass – the IKON Pass. The IKON Pass can be used in 40 global ski destinations, including six in Colorado, now with A Basin:
Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, and Eldora Mountain Resort.
Red, White and Basin: Ski the 4th of July at Arapahoe Basin!
Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) will be open for skiing and snowboarding on Thursday, July 4, 2019. July 4 will be the official closing day for A-Basin’s 2018-19 winter season, capping off the longest ski season in Colorado that began October 19, 2018. The last time A-Basin was open on July 4 was 2011. Its longest season was in 1995 when the ski area stayed open until August 10.
A-Basin is able to stay open in large part thanks to higher-than-average snowfall totals and lower-than-average temperatures in the months of March and May, including nearly seven feet of snow falling during March. Even so, it was not a record snowfall year for the ski area. At the start of June, A-Basin was at 106 percent of average snowfall (about 375 inches). Other contributing factors to A-Basin’s late season are its northern-facing frontside slopes and high elevation (10,780’ base; 12,500’ at the top of the highest lifts; 13,050’ peak).
Final Record of Decision Published for Teocalli Drainage Expansion Project
The U.S. Forest Service has posted a final record of decision regarding Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s (CBMR) proposal in accordance with the resort’s Teocalli Drainage Expansion Project. The Expansion Project was submitted in July 2015 and has undergone a comprehensive environmental review.
The proposed Teocalli Drainage Expansion Project outlines a 500-acre permit boundary expansion, intended to provide additional intermediate and advanced terrain within the existing geography of the mountain. The proposed expansion area is located in the Teocalli drainage on the east face of the mountain. Additionally, the plan features three new chairlifts, including a replacement of the resort’s existing North Face Lift; 32 acres of additional new snowmaking on existing mountain trails; a new Ski Patrol outpost; and approximately 15 miles of new hiking and biking trails added to the existing on-mountain summer trail network.
“Crested Butte Mountain Resort appreciates having received the U.S. Forest Service’s record of decision regarding the proposed Teocalli 2 Expansion,” said Tim Baker, general manager of CBMR. “The Mueller family did a great job of casting a vision for this plan, and we look forward to identifying how we will proceed with it.”
PURGATORY Re-Opens for Memorial Day Weekend for the First Time Ever!
Purgatory Resort will add its name to a short list of U.S. resorts spinning lifts during Memorial Day weekend when it opens for a bonus weekend of skiing this Saturday and Sunday. May 25 will not only mark the kickoff to summer but also the first time in resort history Purgatory has opened for skiing on the last weekend in May.
After picking up 8” of snow through Monday morning (with up to two feet expected through Thursday according to OpenSnow), Purgatory officials announced today it will open Lift 1, an expected 130 acres and one terrain park (conditions permitting) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Winter operations are expected to conclude after Sunday, May 26 and summer activities will continue to be open every day.
Less than a dozen ski areas will be open in the U.S. this weekend – Purgatory is the southern-most resort.
Crested Butte’s Teocalli Lift Replacement Approved by U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service has approved the replacement of the Teocalli Lift at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR). Beginning in early-May 2019, CBMR will begin removing the existing Teocalli Lift to replace and realign the lift for an improved on-mountain guest experience. The upgraded lift will debut in the 2019-20 winter season.
CBMR will replace the Teocalli Lift – a 1979 Riblet fixed-grip double chairlift – with an upgraded fixed-grip quad chairlift. By increasing the operating speed and subsequent spacing between the chairs – to accommodate the increased operating speed – the new Teocalli Lift will increase uphill capacity by more than 50 percent. The upper terminal of the Teocalli Lift will be shifted closer to the top of the Red Lady Express, while the lower terminal will remain in the existing location at the intersection of the Bushwacker, Gunsight Pass and Upper Conundrum trails.
After the existing Teocalli Lift is removed, site preparation and foundation work is expected to begin in July with the new Teocalli Lift being installed in August, weather and conditions depending.
Forest Service grants Eldora ski resort’s expansion request
The U.S. Forest Service has granted Eldora’s request to add 62 acres (25 hectares) of skiable terrain.
The Daily Camera reports the project will include five new ski trails on Roosevelt National Forest land, as well as tree and gladed skiing. The resort also plans to build a four- or six-person high-speed lift and beef up its snow-making operations.
Eldora general manager Brent Tregaskis says the expansion in an area known as the Jolly Jug is “pretty exciting stuff” that has been a long time coming.
The resort northwest of Denver abandoned plans for improvements on its north side amid concerns they could imperil a watershed and a critical wildlife migration corridor.
It’s not yet clear when the new lift will be installed.
Eldora Mountain’s Expansion is approved by Gilpin County
From the Mountain Ear
Gilpin County. Eldora Mountain Resort requested approval of a Special Use Permit for the expansion of Eldora Ski Resort into northern Gilpin County on March 5, 2019, at the Gilpin County Courthouse. The proposal included construction of a lift return and a lift operator building, on property owned by Tolland Ranch, LLC. The owner has given written consent and approval to this application.
During the hearing, the Community Development Director, Stephen Strohminger, said that there would be no new roads that this development would incur, and no vehicular traffic of any kind will be present except for heavy equipment when needed for maintenance. No impacts to water quality or quantity are expected.
The USFS Rocky Mountain Region has conducted an environmental impact report and has approved this project. The proposed Jolly Jug Lift is expected to be approximately 3,250 feet in length with half of the line in Gilpin County, and a structure to house a composting toilet system.
The bottom of the proposed lift is approximately 4.5 miles from Highway 119 and 1.6 miles to the south to Tolland Road, as the crow flies. No negative visual impacts to views and vistas are expected based on the information given.
The new lift would provide access to existing runs on the front and back side of Eldora and additional intermediate and expert level terrain on the south side of the mountain. Eldora General Manager Brent Tregaskis said, “This lift really fills that void at a very high level.” Skiers would be able to ride the Sundance Chair, ski down to the Jolly Jug Lift, and ride to the top of the ridge.”
A-Basin quits the Epic Pass cash cow due to their lack of parking.
Arapahoe Basin revenues doubled during the decade it was part of the Epic Pass, but parking problems outweigh the benefits of cash flow
From The Colorado Sun
Too many Epic Pass weekend skiers have forced A-Basin to abandon its decade-long partnership with Vail Resorts.
“We are pretty darn full on weekends and we don’t need any more people on weekends. If anything, we could probably whittle those numbers down a little bit,” Arapahoe Basin’s longtime leader Alan Henceroth said Monday, the day the resort announced it had pulled the plug on the Epic Pass partnership for the 2019-20 ski season. “Our parking is our pinch point.”
Arapahoe Basin, a local’s favorite with a rowdy selection of daunting steeps and a rootsy vibe, has thrived for 10 years under a deal with Vail Resorts that included the 1,428-acre ski area on the industry-dominating Epic Pass. Last fall the company sold more than 825,000 of those passes, offering skiing at 65 different locations.
Vail’s Summit County ski areas have partnered with Arapahoe Basin on various shared passes since 1998.
Arapahoe Basin, which is owned by Canada’s Dundee Resort Development, was Vail Resorts’ first partner resort on the Epic Pass, which now includes access to privately owned, independent resorts such as Telluride, Sun Valley and Snowbasin.