Covid-19 protocols for the 2021-22 ski season will be a little different at Vail Resorts throughout its 34 North American properties.
Vail Resorts has three Lake Tahoe ski resorts – Heavenly Mountain, Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain. All three Vail properties and Tahoe’s other ski resorts stayed open all last season despite pandemic concerns.
The Vail Resorts protocols were shared in a letter to skiers and riders earlier this week and focus on the spaces most prone to transmission – those located indoors.
“We are fortunate that the core of our experience takes place outdoors in vast mountain settings,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “However, as we welcome guests from around the world to the indoor experience at our resorts, we feel it’s important to do our part to combat the spread of COVID-19.”
All safety protocols outlined in Vail Resorts 2021-22 Winter Operating Plan are subject to change based on the evolving nature of the pandemic, as well as federal, state and local public health guidelines.
WINTER OPERATING PLAN
- Mountain Access: Vail Resorts will not have a mountain reservation system this season and will load lifts and gondolas at normal capacity, optimizing guest movement around its resorts.
- Face Coverings: Masks will be required in all indoor settings, including in restaurants, lodging properties, restrooms, retail and rental locations, and buses. Face coverings will not be required outdoors – lift lines, chairlifts or gondolas, unless required by local public health.
- Dining Reservations: Emulating last season, guests will be required to book a reservation to eat at many on-mountain restaurants. However, based on current regulations, the company is expecting significantly more seating and dining capacity than last season, and intends to open reservations one day prior, versus the day-of last season.
- Dining Vaccinations: Guests will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to dine at indoor or on-mountain quick-service (cafeteria-style) restaurants. Proof of vaccination will be required for guests ages 12 and over at these locations. This requirement includes ski and ride school programs that include lunch.
- Employee Safety: All Vail Resorts employees will be required to have COVID-19 vaccinations for their safety and protection as well as the safety and protection of guests and resort communities, and in compliance with the recent rules announced under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Indoor face coverings, enhanced hygiene practices, daily employee health screenings, and other health and safety measures will also continue.
- Vaccination Policy: More details on the verification process will be released ahead of the season on resort websites. Consistent with many other large-scale indoor activities and venues, Vail Resorts believes the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of its guests and employees, given the number people using these facilities and the fact that guests will not be wearing face coverings while eating and drinking.
Start of the Season: With cooler weather on the way and winter around the corner, the season for Vail Resorts is expected to start at Keystone sometime in October.
Rockies & West planned opening dates – subject to change
- October: Keystone (CO) – as early as possible, as weather and conditions permit
- Nov. 12: Breckenridge (CO), Vail (CO)
- Nov. 19: Heavenly (CA),Northstar (CA), Park City (UT)
- Nov. 24: Beaver Creek (CO), Crested Butte (CO)
- Nov. 25: Whistler Blackcomb (Canada)
- Dec. 3: Kirkwood (CA), Stevens Pass (WA)
“As always, our goal is to provide a safe and memorable experience of a lifetime for our guests and employees, and to do everything we can to provide incredible skiing and riding all season long,” said James O’Donnell, president of the mountain division of Vail Resorts.
Epic Pass Purchase for the 2021-22 season are still available, with prices reduced by 20 percent as compared to last year’s prices during the same purchase period.
In addition to reducing the cost of accessing the mountains, Epic Pass products provide significant savings on the rest of the mountain experience.
Details can be found at www.EpicPass.com.