This year ski season might look a little different thanks to Covid. However, across the Western United States ski areas and operators have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure a safe and fun ski season for all.
So for those of you who have been asking – YES you will be able to plan a ski trip this year. Here’s what you need to know.
Will reservations be required to ski?
Yes, at least for now reservations will be required to ski. However, Vail Resorts will sell 1-7 day passes, in addition to season passes, which will allow for all skiers to pre-reserve ski dates. IKON, the other large holding company of ski resorts, will be selling day passes. In fact, pass holders will only have access to certain resorts over the holidays, depending on the pass type. Places like Jackson Hole and Big Sky are limiting IKON pass holder access over peak dates to ensure that they have plenty of lift tickets available for sale over those dates.
We work with a ski operator who will assist in making reservations for your family when you book a ski trip with us.
Every ski area will have a capacity limit this year though there are a decent number of resorts, like Telluride, that don’t expect they will ever hit capacity due to their acreage and more limited day skier traffic. Places like Vail, Breckenridge and Park City will definitely hit their capacity limit over the holidays but we are unclear on just what that capacity limit is and they will more than likely not reach that mark until around December.
What social distancing and other covid precautions will be in place on the hill?
With regards to managing crowds on the lifts, groups will only be allowed to ride the lift with other members of their group. For single skiers, they can ride chair lifts with another single, provided there are two seats between them (so 2 to a quad chair). Most places are also limiting gondola cars to 2 singles. For pairs, the rule in most areas is similar to two pairs can ride a lift provided there are 2 spaces between the group. So could have 2 pairs on a 6 person chair. Face coverings will be mandatory on the lifts. Some resorts are completely closing on mountain dining, whereas others are switching on mountain dining to a la carte table service, rather than it’s typical serve-yourself set up.
Also, ski school protocols have been released for just about every resort now. All ski areas are offering either max 4 or max 5 skiers per instructor, so smaller group sizes, which typically means higher lesson prices, but also better quality instruction. Private ski instructors are available as they normally would be.
The only other major change is in ski school for the little ones. For small children that would normally have ski school including some kind of group daycare service, this won’t be happening this year. They can still get ski lessons, usually just for an hour or two, but there wouldn’t be a daycare element. However, we can set up nannies through independent services for families needing childcare.
Ready to start planning a ski getaway? Schedule a complimentary consult call with us today!