Ski Resort Life

Vail Resorts and Arapahoe Basin to End Pass Partnership

A-Basin cites parking woes and increased crowds, while Vail announces new Keystone Plus Pass for 2019-20.

Unlimited and unrestricted days at Arapahoe Basin has been an undeniable perk of buying an Epic Pass since the two resorts joined forces some 20 years ago. Now this season will be the last for the partnership. Citing increasing skier numbers and the problems that come along with that—limited parking and crowded facilities—A-Basin has decided to sever its Epic Pass ties starting in 2019-20.

Considering the transformation the resort has undergone over the last 15 years—including the addition of Montezuma Bowl in 2008 and this season’s new Beavers terrain and lift—it’s not too surprising that A-Basin is ready to step out on its own. “Looking forward, we strive to provide ready and easy access for our guests,” says A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Alan Henceroth. “Our goal is to minimize waiting and crowding and maximize experiences and fun.” While A-Basin reps say there are no new pass partnerships to announce at this time, the mountain is exploring options with other resorts. In other words, stay tuned.

Skiing powder at A Basin
Sunny powder in one of A-Basin’s many glades. Photo credit: Keri Bascetta

For Vail Resorts’ part, the new-for-2019-20 Keystone Plus Pass replaces the Keystone A-Basin Pass and offers unlimited holiday-restricted skiing at Keystone, unlimited late-season days at Breckenridge (after April 1), five holiday-restricted days at Crested Butte, and 10 (up from six) Buddy Tickets when purchased prior to the April deadline for $369, $259 for kids.

Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer for Vail Resorts, said that while they’re pleased to offer an option for skiing from mid-October through Memorial Day at a great price, “we want to thank Arapahoe Basin for their partnership for over 20 years. We are disappointed but given the success they have had and their recent investments into the resort, we respect that this is the right time for them to move in a different direction.”

For more info on the Keystone Plus Pass, click here.