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What the CEO of A-Basin has to say about the sale of Colorado's "local, little guy" mountain

Mixed reaction from skiers as Alterra buys Arapahoe Basin
Mixed reaction from skiers as Alterra buys Arapahoe Basin 02:30

If you've been on the internet recently you've likely seen something about the sale of Arapahoe Basin to Alterra Mountain Company, and the concerns about what that could do to the mountain's operations as one of the smaller, skier-focused mountains within Colorado's many resort offerings. 

While the sale of Arapahoe Basin to Alterra Mountain Company hasn't even happened yet, it's caused an uproar within the mountain communities.  CBS

While the sale has not even happened yet, it's caused an uproar within the mountain communities but if you are Alan Henceroth, CEO of A-Basin, you haven't even read the comments. You might not even read this! 

"For one thing, you know, until the closing, we're still owned by Dream and we're going to carry on business like usual," Henceroth said to CBS News Colorado's Mountain Reporter Spencer Wilson Tuesday after the sale was announced a day before. 

While he does expect the sale to go through before the next season, he took issue with the idea that the mountain was going from a mom-and-pop owned mountain to some massive mega corporation because of this sale. 

"The last two owners of a base in nearly 50 years (were) the biggest dog food company in the country, Ralston Purina, and a Toronto real estate company (Dream,) and both did a great job," Henceroth said. "One thing I do know is that the Alterra group is committed to the base and committed to our culture, committed to the vibe." 

The sale of Arapahoe Basin to Alterra Mountain Company has mixed reaction from skiers and boarders.  CBS

The vibe is exactly what some skiers are concerned could change. While the mountain already has a partnership with the Ikon pass that Alterra offers (allowing pass holders 5-7 days on the mountain depending on their pass level) this would theoretically
open the possibility for unlimited days for Ikon pass holders, (which, to make painfully clear, is unconfirmed and simply a worry going through heads of those hoping the mountain will stay small.) But crowds are not the only concern CBS News Colorado heard on the mountain. 

"It could cause a lot of traffic, a lot of construction, adding to a part of the mountain, I'm really nervous about them taking away the east wall," skier Mason Davis said, alongside Molly Erickson. 

The sentiment was consistent with other skiers as well, hopeful that their beloved holdout from massive ski resort culture stays what it is. 

"It reminds me of the golden age of skiing," Jeff Strahl, season pass holder A-Basin said. "This is what skiing is about, they value the skier experience over everything else, you can see it in how they make improvements to the mountain, how they limit season passes, season pass holders, how they manage the parking..."

With all these fears, Henceroth wanted to make sure this message made it out of our story. 

Alterra Mountain Company has entered into an agreement to purchase Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. The ski resort is currently owned by Dream Unlimited Corp.  CBS

"They're not buying the place to change everything," Henceroth said. "They're buying it because they think it's a great place."

"Whenever we've made a big change and we make big changes periodically, there's always a lot of doomsday talk. I think each time we prove that we care about this place, we care about the people and we care about this mountain, and we end up just fine in the end."

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