As ski season approaches, resorts prepare for COVID-19 pandemic



The 2021-22 ski season will be the third season for the industry operating around COVID-19 precautions.

COLORADO, United States – The weather is getting colder (sort of), the leaves are starting to turn and the high country has benefited from a light blanket of snow this week.

As Colorado moves from summer to fall, another season is just around the corner: ski season!

9News is collecting information on Colorado ski areas and how each plans to adapt to pandemic precautions this year. This list will be updated as we collect new or additional information.

(including Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek and Crested Butte)

Visitors to Vail Resorts properties won’t have to use a mountain reservation system this year, and the company says the lifts and gondolas will operate at normal capacity. Face covers will only be required for indoor environments. Visitors are not required to show proof of vaccination to ski or ride in resorts, or to ride ski lifts and cable cars.

Visitors who dine at indoor quick-service restaurants (such as mountain cafeterias) will need to make a reservation and show proof of vaccination (ages 12 and up). Vaccines are not required for outdoor restaurants or full-service indoor restaurants.

Vail Resorts will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 15.

Arapahoe Basin announced that all employees must be vaccinated by November 2. All newly hired employees have six weeks from their start date to be vaccinated. In a blog post published this week, A-Basin COO Alan Thereforeroth said about 90% of employees are already vaccinated.

“Our intention is to protect the safety and well-being of our employees and guests and to keep our business open, viable and sustainable. By requiring vaccinations, we will reduce the risk of employees transmitting and contracting the disease as well as the amount of business disruptions caused by employee absences related to illness and quarantines, ”Thereforeroth wrote on his blog.

Currently, A-Basin has no COVID-related restrictions for guests. There is no capacity limit and no reservation system this year. A-Basin recommends that unvaccinated clients wear a mask indoors.

The company says it is selling 10% fewer unrestricted season passes this year and will limit daily lift ticket sales to “reduce traffic and the overall customer experience.”

(Includes Steamboat Springs and Winter Park Resort)

Alterra Mountain Company has yet to release information on COVID-19 protocols for this season.

A spokesperson for Alterra said it is “currently evaluating all possible measures to help ensure the health and safety of our customers and employees while providing the best possible experience for winter 21/22”, and plans to have more information soon.

A spokesperson for the Loveland ski area, the company has yet to finalize operational plans for the coming season.

A spokesperson for the Copper Mountain ski area said the company is still finalizing COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming season

A spokesperson for Eldora Mountain Resort said vaccinations are strongly encouraged for all staff, and staff will be given paid time off to get vaccinated and recover, if needed.

A spokesperson said El Dora is also working on a plan following a federal mandate announced earlier this month.

“We are aware of the recent proposed federal rule requiring employers with more than 100 employees to require employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and we will be working internally to determine how best to implement this requirement.”

Monarch Mountain requires that employees who work indoors be fully immunized. Monarch said 100% of the administrative team and the ski patrol team already are. Employees who work outdoors and have not presented proof of vaccination will be required to wear a mask indoors and undergo weekly testing.

Monarch does not plan to place capacity restrictions on the mountain, but strongly encourages visitors to ski on less busy weekdays and avoid weekends and holidays when possible.

The company won’t require guests to show proof of vaccination or wear a face covering, but strongly recommends masks indoors.

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