While the country hangs in the throes of confusion, there is one thing to count on: The Vail Resorts company will be moving forward with the 2020-2021 ski season. This news comes in the form of a statement released to Epic Pass holders, which provides skiing/riding opportunities at a plethora of different mountains across the globe.
Epic Pass is more applicable to the former as it offers access to local Washington mountain Stevens Pass and nearby Canadian Whistler Blackcomb. All Vail resorts are slated to open Dec. 4th through April 4th, 2021.
This doesn’t come without many new stipulations for riders. Probably the biggest change will be the need to reserve ski days to access the mountain. Created in an effort to reduce the amount of people riding on any given day, this will also alleviate other problems such as limited parking, a problem Vail has been dealing with since the inception of the Epic Pass. Priority will be given to past and current pass holders to reserve days and then afterwards offered to the general public.
For those nervous about reserving days, Vail is confident they will be able to appease their pass holders. A direct statement from Vail says “For the vast majority of days, we anticipate our mountains will be able to accommodate everyone who wants to ski or ride at our resorts. The reservation system is designed to give you peace of mind knowing that you will have the space you need to feel safe and physically distant, no matter what day you visit.”
Along with the new reservation policy comes a laundry list of other things to expect at any Vail Resort. Among those more notable are:
- The need to wear a face mask to get on the mountain and into any indoor area of the resort
- All lifts will only be allowed to sit related parties
- Employees will go through health screenings to ensure patrons’ safety
- Limited capacity in dining areas
- A six-person maximum for all ski/riding classes
Vail’s direct competitor, Alterra Mountain Company (along with their formidable Ikon Pass), offer almost all other resorts not included in Vail’s. This includes Oregon’s recently added Mt. Bachelor and Washington’s Crystal Mountain. However, Alterra is yet to release a statement with how they will be moving forward with the 2020-2021 ski season. It is safe to bet they will follow suit in a similar fashion to Vail as they did with their crediting policy from the previous season being shortened.