New look A-Basin starts to take shape |

New look A-Basin starts to take shape

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Keith Hiller, president of K.C. Custom Builders LLS, works on some floor joices at Arapahoe Basin's new 7,500 square foot rental shop Monday afternoon.

SUMMIT COUNTY – The look of Arapahoe Basin’s base area is changing for the first time in three decades with a new $1 million rental and repair shop.The new building, which is currently under construction, will be about 7,500 square feet (three times larger than the old building) and will house a rental and repair shop, restrooms, public waiting area and several caretaker apartments.The old facility was a fixture at the base area for much of the ski area’s 59-year-old history, and was torn down shortly after the ski area closed last season. By mid-June, full-fledged construction was under way, said director of mountain operations Alan Henceroth.So far, construction crews have completed most of the building’s framing.

“We’re hoping to see a roof on sometime next week,” Henceroth said.The final product will resemble the base’s other two green and white A-frame-style buildings, including the main lodge and the ski patrol building.The additional space in the new structure will enable A-Basin to offer increased quantities of improved rental skis and snowboards and better serve equipment to large groups.Henceroth is hoping additional rental space will create a better experience for renters visiting the small ski area.

The ski area’s repair services, which will be moved into about one-third of the new building, will also undergo significant upgrades. “We’re going to have a repair shop with state-of-the-art equipment,” said A-Basin spokesperson Leigh Heirholzer. “This will be a place where locals want to come and tune their skis.”In the past, repairs have entailed mostly waxing and the basic tuning procedures, but a new Montana system will allow for full tunes.The new building is expected to be finished and open for business around the first of the year.

Also new this year, A-Basin plans to step up the number of live music acts performing in the bar and offer soup and other snacks at the summit building.A-Basin is hoping to add 400 more acres of skiable terrain with an expansion into Montezuma Bowl, although the addition into the popular backcountry area isn’t expected until the 2006-2007 season at the earliest.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext.229, or at

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