As the summer tourism season comes to an end, travellers are looking at the next big thing: ski season 2020. But with no sign of the impacts from COVID19 slowing down, ski season will have a few changes this year.
As ski resorts plan for reopening, they must also plan for social distancing and health and safety measures. Vail, one of the largest ski resorts in the US with 34 locations, published an open letter highlighting the key changes they will make for ski season 2020/21.
The resorts will be requiring face coverings, promoting physical distancing, and enforcing health screenings when physical distancing may not be possible, such as in ski and ride school.
Ski Season 2020 will be a little different
The main difference is that no one will be permitted on the mountain without a face covering. All guests will also have to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain. The updates go on to say that “given the need to manage lift tickets sales, they will only be sold on our websites and through our call centers. No lift tickets will be sold at the ticket window in resort… You may only pickup your pre-purchased lift ticket at our ticket windows.”
Basically, you better plan your ski trip in advance and ensure you have a reservation!
Vail is also implementing social distancing rules on its chairlifts and gondolas, and in restaurants. You can expect lines to be longer than usual. As it might not be as easy to dine on the mountain, Vail says that it will also encourage guests to bring water, snacks and other food with them on the mountain to ensure they stay hydrated and have the energy needed for their ski day.
Another main difference in the ski experience this year is that no full-service bars will be open in any Vail resort. They will still sell packaged beer and wine at most of their locations, but will not operate any full-service bars, on or off the mountain. “We do not believe convening in a traditional bar setting, anywhere in resort or throughout our communities, is safe amid COVID-19.”
Other ski resorts are also making changes. Park City in Utah will not accept walk-up tickets. Timberline Lodge and Ski Resort in Oregon is asking that guests only visit with members of their household, fill out health questionnaires and wear face masks in public places.
While the season will be different this year, ski resorts hope to still offer the same experience as always. We suggest you plan your trip in advance and be aware of each state’s COVID-19 regulations.