Just a correction to an earlier post about A-Basin being part of Vail Resorts - it is not. A-Basin and Vail Resorts have a ticket/pass sharing arrangement only - and typically only one way. That is, your lift ticket from a Vail Resort's property will work at A-Basin (usually) but not the other way around.
As for the lift ticket prices in early or late season when there are fewer runs open, well there are still costs to start things up and keep things going. However, there are ways to minimize one's lift ticket prices by buying them anywhere else but the window. Local supermarkets and other outlets will sell lift tickets at a discount (at least here in Denver - have not checked in Summit County to see if the same discount holds true there) and often there are coupons available as well (Entertainment books, etc.). Also, if you were to come with 3 of your friends in the same car to the Basin you'd score a $41.00 lift ticket over the normal price of $58.00.
That said, there are few places you can ski a powder day in May - A-Basin is one of those places : ) In addition, my children have gone to several ski schools and they have consistently reported they enjoy the instructors at A-Basin over those they have had at other resorts. And, there are few mountains where you can go from what seems like a simple line to "where do I go from here" in a heartbeat. To all of you who have come down Leenawee and dropped into Falcon carrying some speed can attest : )
As far as "Apres" skiing, well, I've seen quite a bit at "The Beach" at A-Basin, but what better way to relax than having your own portable hot tub sitting not 100 yards from the nearest lift? It is what you make it and at A-Basin you can do things "they" won't let you do anywhere else. That is what makes it special - along with the great skiing, scenery, and snow... Enjoy.