Vail Resorts outlines Covid ski plans

1st September 2020, by Abi Butcher

Keystone will be the first ski resort in Vail Resorts' portfolio to open. Pic: Jack Affleck

Keystone will be the first ski resort in Vail Resorts' portfolio to open. Pic: Jack Affleck

Vail Resorts has unveiled its plan for operating its 34 ski resorts across North America this coming winter. The 2020-21 winter ski season begins for Vail Resorts on 6 November at Keystone, and last week the company’s CEO Rob Katz outlined his plans to achieve a “safe, enjoyable and successful ski season” during the Covid pandemic.

Katz has been consistently optimistic about the coming ski season, something echoed among European glacier resorts who have successfully operated during the summer months.

Key changes at Vail Resorts mountains include mandatory face coverings, physical distancing on ski lifts and changes to ski schools and on-mountain dining to give more physical distance.

“We are fortunate that our core experience of skiing and riding takes place outdoors, across huge mountains, offering fresh air and wide-open spaces for our guests. However to help protect our guests, our employees and our communities amid this pandemic, some changes will be required for this season,” said Katz.

Lift ticket sales will be limited and skiers and snowboarders will have to book in advance — with pass holders given priority.

On the mountain, only related parties who are skiing and snowboarding together will be seated on ski lifts, otherwise singles will be loaded on opposite sides of a four-person lift; two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift or two singles on opposite sides of larger gondola cabins.

Meanwhile, heavy snowfall in the Alps has brought an early end to the summer season and ski companies are preparing their offerings for what they see as a challenging winter ahead.

Where to Ski and Snowboard will report shortly on changes being made to chalet holidays in Europe and efforts being made by tour operators and insurance companies to help skiers get back on the slopes.


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