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Ikon Pass Parent Company Purchases Arapahoe Basin

ABAsin-Ridge Now owned by Ikon Pass folks, Arapahoe Basin tops out at 1,3000 feet and offers up some of the best above-timberline skiing and riding in Colorado. (Image via Arapahoe Basin Facebook)

Alterra Mountain Co. has scooped up Colorado's Arapahoe Basin as the 18th North American ski and snowboard resort in its portfolio.

Initial statements from the principals involved indicate no changes for the rest of this season, and no word if an Ikon Pass will be fully honored at the mountain this season. A-Basin is already in Ikon's partner system that gives passholders up to seven days at the Summit County mountain.

A Colorado Front Range go-to for decades, "The Basin" has always treasured its non-corporate, authentic Rocky Mountain vibe that fits with the hardy, old-school free spirits who fill its parking lot daily. And Alterra is known for leaving management and culture in place -- unlike rival Vail Resorts. 

There's a certain irony to this deal: For a brief moment, A-Basin was owned by Vail Resorts but monopoly concerns nixed that. It was a partner on the Epic Pass until 2019, when A-Basin owners decided to step away because a surge in Epic passholder visits overwhelmed the mountain's cramped facilities, producing long lift lines, jammed parking lots and angry regulars.

Leaving the Epic Pass came in conjunction with an industry-shocking move to cut season pass sales in hopes of reducing crowding and retaining the resort's "vibe and culture." So it remains to the be seen what full-on Ikon Pass participation will produce.

Opened in 1946, Arapahoe Basin has long been known for opening early and staying open later than any other Colorado mountain. Its 1,428 skiable acres sit astride the Continental Divide among some of the highest peaks in the nation. Its summit elevation of 13,050 feet is the highest for inbounds skiing and riding.

The trail system leans heavily toward the steep stuff, with nearly 75% of its runs rated black diamond or double black diamond. The East Wall Traverse has long set a standard for adventuresome alpinists. The Pallavicini mogul field has been on many a bucket list.

Under previous owners, the mountain's footprint nearly tripled with the expansion over the Divide into Montezuma area, and adding lift access to the hike-to Beavers/Steep Gullies side-country terrain. Every lift on the hill has gotten an upgrade, and an upper mountain restaurant opened.

 

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