Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of Feb. 17 | SummitDaily.com

Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of Feb. 17

A pair of snowboarders on the chairlift at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Monday, Feb. 18.
Hugh Carey / hcarey@summitdaily.com

Social Calls are comments taken from the Summit Daily’s website and Facebook page.

“I love this news! A-Basin is too cool to be bulked in with everyone else. It’s not just the skiing that is important but the feel you get when you’re there. I’m so glad A-Basin is keeping its heart because it’s always had mine.” — Heather O’Brien Greene on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Vail Resorts end pass partnership; VR announces new ‘Keystone Plus Pass’”

“This sucks. Maybe vail resort will buy copper mountain and that would make up for it. Rethinking my season pass expense” — Bob Black on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Vail Resorts end pass partnership; VR announces new ‘Keystone Plus Pass’”

“I’m bummed out. While I’d love to have passes for Loveland, A-Basin, Copper and Vail I can only afford one for the family. That means it’s Vail.” — Christopher Nelson on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Vail Resorts end pass partnership; VR announces new ‘Keystone Plus Pass’”

“Powder days and parking at a basin again!” — Jordan Berry on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Vail Resorts end pass partnership; VR announces new ‘Keystone Plus Pass’”

“Goodbye A-Basin, it’s been nice knowing you.” — Bob Dentel on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Vail Resorts end pass partnership; VR announces new ‘Keystone Plus Pass’”

“Keystone wants to fight for first to open? Ha. I’ll believe it when I see it.” — Calle McCartney on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area CEO explains reasons for breakup with Vail Resorts”

“I don’t buy the story we spent $40 million to grow, we expanded skiing to grow. Now we want to cut our skier visits because we didn’t plan our parking around all of our growth. I’m pretty sure continued growth is still the plan. Parking is a growing pain but not the reason for the break and they don’t plan to serve fewer skiers.” — Jeremy J Berggren on “Arapahoe Basin Ski Area CEO explains reasons for breakup with Vail Resorts”

“Unless he kills it with his bare hands, it won’t top the other story.” — Bridget McCormick on “Edwards man comes face to face with mountain lion”

“‘His major accomplishments as CEO include grooming the back bowls at vail.’ Nope that’s definitely not an accomplishment” — Darby Pappas on “A shakeup in Vail Resorts leadership”

“This is great for second home owners getting more income. It should attract more second home owners for investments. I am shocked people long term rent anymore. This is bad for locals. The short term rental rules were way too easy. Other cities limit short term rental periods 30-90 days a year.” — Russell Epstein on “VRBO ranks Breckenridge top destination among US ski resorts”

“Yeah, the last thing I want to do on vacation is wait in line like I do at the grocery store or an amusement park...time to search for a new get AWAY destination in CO... I’m bummed” — Kathy Scherkenbach on “VRBO ranks Breckenridge top destination among US ski resorts”

“Disney Land of the Rockies.” — Cary Dennis on “VRBO ranks Breckenridge top destination among US ski resorts”

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.

1. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Vail Resorts end pass partnership; VR announces new ‘Keystone Plus Pass’

In a move celebrated by many and scorned by just as many others, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced last week it was ending its pass partnership program with Vail Resorts next season. A-Basin officials cited growth in skier visits after investing $40 million dollars over the last 15 years, and pointed to “a pinch on parking and facility space” as one of the reasons for the breakup. COO Alan Henceroth added that currently the ski area has no new partnerships to announce, however, in the coming months A-Basin will be discussing opportunities with several resorts and resort groups. Right on its tail, Vail Resorts released its own statement announcing the “Keystone Plus Pass,” a new option to replace the Keystone A-Basin Pass. The new pass will provide unlimited access to Keystone Resort with holiday restrictions, unlimited late spring skiing at Breckenridge Ski Resort starting April 1 and five days at Crested Butte, with holiday restrictions.

2. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area CEO explains reasons for breakup with Vail Resorts

After Arapahoe Basin’s initial announcement it was dissolving its pass partnership program with Vail Resorts, chief operating officer Alan Henceroth was on hand to explain the decision in more detail. With the significant upgrades the resort has made over the last decade and a half, the ski area has seen “tremendous growth” in skier and snowboarder traffic, and parking problems have been frustrating A-Basin’s guests for some time now. Henceroth said parking has gotten so bad that the ski area has to do something about it, and since there’s no room for more parking lots — and a multimillion-dollar parking garage isn’t a viable option now — hence the separation.

“We think we’re ready to go this on our own and handle this in a different way than we have the last 22 years,” Henceroth explained. “It’s a tough time in that we’ve had a long, great relationship, but it’s really time for us to move on.”

3. A shakeup in Vail Resorts leadership

Vail Resorts announced a number of leadership changes last week in its mountain division. Doug Lovell, vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain, will retire from his position on May 1 and Beth Howard, who had the same role at Beaver Creek, will succeed him. Nadia Guerriero, vice president and general manager of Northstar California Resort, will be promoted to vice president and chief operating officer at Beaver Creek Resort to succeed Howard. All of the changes will go into effect May 1, and the search for Guerriero’s replacement at Northstar will begin immediately.

4. Disabled veteran accuses Keystone business owner of using his dog to attack service animal

A disabled Marine Corps veteran is accusing a Keystone business owner of using his dog to attack the vet’s medical service dog, causing injury and perhaps permanently ruining the dog’s service training. Manuel Rivera, who is fully disabled with severe epilepsy, accused Steve Cain, owner of Snowdance Sports ski rentals, of pushing his dog towards the service animal to entice them to fight. Cain says there was no malice involved, and that “It wasn’t a big deal at all.” The incident occurred during Keystone Adaptive Center’s Semper Fi adaptive snow sports event for disabled and wounded military veterans last week. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said an investigation into the incident is underway.

5. Edwards man comes face to face with mountain lion

Tuesday night, Edwards resident Sean LaFaver was loading up his car in anticipation of a Wednesday morning trip to Denver when he heard an unusual screeching noise. He walked around the corner of his house to investigate and got a big surprise. About 10 feet away, sitting in a tree, was a mountain lion. A decade ago, LaFaver’s experience would have been very rare. But according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Craig Wescoatt, local mountain lion sightings have definitely increased.

“We had a stare off for a moment or so,” said LaFaver. “It was definitely an adrenaline rush.”


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