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The Pallavicini chairlift carries skiers and snowboarders up the mountain at Arapahoe Basin on Feb. 9, 2019. Loveland Pass winds its way up to the Continental Divide in the background. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Arapahoe Basin ski area on Sunday announced that it will be reopening its slopes on Wednesday.

“We are going to go skiing again,” Alan Henceroth, A-Basin’s chief operating officer, said in a video. “… This is going to be incredible.”


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Skiing and snowboarding will look very different, however, the Summit County resort boss said. “It’s going to be different from anything you’ve ever done at Arapahoe Basin.”

Reservations are required for anyone hoping to get a few more turns in this ski season. Reservations can be booked starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“We will sell a very small number of lift tickets,” Henceroth wrote in a message posted to the ski area’s website. “Mostly this opening is for all of our pass holders.”

Gov. Jared Polis closed ski areas starting March 15 because of the coronavirus crisis. The reopening of A-Basin marks a milestone in the state’s return to some normalcy since the pandemic hit the state.

The reopening is being allowed after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment granted Summit County a variance to the statewide safer-at-home order.

“We’re ready to take a step forward in the reactivation of Summit County’s amazing recreational opportunities, so we’re excited about receiving the go-ahead on alpine skiing,” Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said in a written statement.

Only 600 skiers and snowboarders will be allowed each day at A-Basin.

“We have been given an extraordinary opportunity,” Henceroth wrote. “We need to take this very seriously and we need to respect the guidance given by our Summit County and state of Colorado health officials. We have to open in a responsible way. We need everyone to help.”

Physical distancing will be enforced and guests must wear face coverings in designated areas, the ski area says. Tailgating, an A-Basin tradition, will not be allowed.

MORE: The day skiing died: Inside the historic day coronavirus forced Colorado’s ski industry to shutter

A-Basin will be open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. A large portion of the mountain is slated to be available to skiers and snowboarders. Beginners are asked to stay home.

Restrooms will be the only amenity available to those who visit the mountain. Food and beverage services, ski and snowboard rentals and retail will not be open.

“Lift lines have been redesigned to keep people 6 feet apart,” A-Basin said in a post on its website about the reopening. “No one will be permitted to ride the lift with anyone not in their immediate party. Lift speeds will be slowed on (Pallavicini) and Lenawee to remove the need for a staff member to bump chairs. You will not be scanned each time you load a lift.”

Henceroth told The Colorado Sun that this year’s snowpack may allow the ski area to remain open until late June. In years past, A-Basin has been open through July 4.

People who do not follow coronavirus-related rules and guidelines will be asked to leave.

Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage....