SAM Magazine—Dillon, Colo., May 26, 2020—Arapahoe Basin’s variance request to partially reopen for skiing and snowboarding was approved by the state of Colorado, so the ski area will restart limited operations on Wednesday, May 27. A-Basin will host a maximum of 600 guests per day, all of whom must register online in advance.
The demand for day one was so high on Monday that it crashed the resort’s online system, so A-Basin had to change how it’s filling those 600 spots.
“Due to incredibly high volume, we are not able to use our original reservation system,” the website says. “Access to Arapahoe Basin, at this time, will be via a random drawing. We are only doing one day at a time.”
Originally, guests were to reserve a spot by going online and hoping they got on in time. Current passholders could make a reservation, non-passholders needed to buy a lift ticket. The backup plan: those who wanted to ski or ride May 27 had to fill out a simple form between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. MDT May 26 to be entered in the drawing. A-Basin will email those chosen in the evening: chosen passholders can reserve up to two spots, chosen non-passholders can purchase up to four lift tickets for $99 each. Everyone must show their printed confirmation email to the parking attendant to gain access.
“People are going to come, we’re going to keep them spread out, we’ve redesigned our lift mazes and scanning and that whole system to keep people spread out further,” COO Alan Henceroth told the Summit Daily. “We’re not going to allow tailgating and gathering and partying. That’s not what this is about, that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid. We have next season to party, we don’t have to do that now. We’re really focused on getting people skiing and riding and having a good time.”
Three chairlifts will spin from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fixed-grip lifts will operate at a slower speed to eliminate the need for a staff member to bump chairs. Face coverings are required to be worn if six feet of social distance cannot be maintained. Restrooms will be open in the base area and at mid-mountain, and cleaned frequently. Only one ticket window will be open, and limited first aid will be available. No other services will be available.