Arapahoe Basin Ski Area details how it will operate if it reopens for skiing, snowboarding |

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area details how it will operate if it reopens for skiing, snowboarding

Reservations required, priority for pass holders, no 'Beach,' face masks in base, on lifts

Arapahoe Basin has received a variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment which will allow for a partial reopening on Wednesday, May 27. An advanced reservation system will allow for up to 600 skiers and riders to have access to the mountain each day.
Liz Copan /

DILLON — In a blog post Friday afternoon Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Chief Operating Officer Al Henceroth detailed how the Summit County ski area at the Continental Divide will operate if and when they reopen for skiing and snowboarding before the end of the 2019-20 season.

“We have not stopped trying to re-open,” Henceroth wrote. “We think doing so would be awesome for Colorado, Summit County, Arapahoe Basin, our guests and, especially, our employees. There has been some encouraging news about the possibility. Let’s hope that we get positive news soon.”

Henceroth continued to write that if the ski area reopens after being shutdown since mid-March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, all guests will need to have “realistic expectations,” as a potential re-opening “will be different from anything you have ever experienced at Arapahoe Basin.”

“To stay open we will need the help, support and cooperation of every single guest. We are all in this together,” Henceroth wrote.

As for rules amid COVID-19, Henceroth said guests should expect skier numbers will be limited and reservations will be required.


Henceroth said the ski area will sell a very small number of lift tickets as the vast majority of the available space will be for pass holders. He added not everyone will get the chance to ski every day.

The COO also said tailgating and social gatherings will be prohibited. A-Basin is known for its fabled “Beach” tailgating scene where the ski area’s main parking lot meets the melting spring snow by the base area lifts, especially in spring.

“We can party next season,” Henceroth wrote. “The re-opening is all about giving people a chance to ski and ride.”

Henceroth also said physical distancing will be “strictly enforced.” This will include a requirement to wear a face mask in the base area, in the lift line, in restrooms and other places. He added if the ski area gets the chance to reopen, responsible behavior and conduct will be necessary “to continue to stay open.”

Earlier this month, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis extended the state-mandated of closures of all ski areas in the state through the end of this coming Saturday. Subsequently, county officials have said the earliest a ski area in the county could reopen – if and when they and the state provide approval for reopen – would be Wednesday.

The governor’s office has said an announcement about the fate of spring skiing will be made Monday, May 25. Summit County Manager Scott Vargo has said the county’s Board of Health has expressed interest to the governor’s office in the ski areas opening for spring skiing and is drafting amendments to the local public health order that would include a Wednesday, May 27, opening date.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User