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USA 2020-21 ramblings/reports

Discussion in 'United States' started by MarzNC, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, the ski season has started in the USA. I know there are a few Aussies who are will be skiing somewhere in the USA because they are already there. Decided there might as well be a thread for 2020-21.

    A couple small hills are open in the midwest. Plenty of cold temps for snowmaking recently.

    The first ski area in Colorado will spin lifts on Wed, Oct. 28. Wolf Creek got two feet of snow last weekend. They plan to be open Wed-Sun and then decide on the schedule for November. Keeping it simple. Lifts will run, the lodge will be open for restrooms only. No food service, no rentals, no ski school. Day tickets are $58 online, but probably will mostly be season passholders and they don't need reservations.

    October 27, The Know, Denver Post (USA)
    Wolf Creek opening for the season Wednesday, becoming the first Colorado ski area to run its lifts
    The ski area will only be open until Sunday, announcing full November schedule soon
    https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020/10/27/wolf-creek-colorado-open-ski-season/247907/
     
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  2. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Would love to get to Wolf Creek at some point. Lets hope that Colorado gets its COVID case load under control by the time the main season kicks-off in a few weeks. :)
     
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  3. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The only silver lining for the surges in the Mountain West right now is that it might mean people out there start taking COVID-19 community transmission seriously enough in the next month before ski resorts are supposed to open up for the season.

    My February trip to Taos with friends is supposed to end in Colorado. The idea is to check out Wolf Creek and Monarch, then fly out from Denver. I'm booked on the non-stop flight to Raleigh from Denver. One of the few non-stop flights on Southwest to a ski region.

    Trip reports like this one make Wolf Creek sound like a lot of fun. My ski buddy who lives in Albuquerque likes Wolf but hasn't got a powder day yet.

    http://www.agnarchy.com/wolf-creek-colorado-trip-report/
     
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  4. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Discovered that Snowshoe in West Virginia (a few hours drive from Washington DC) has a countdown clock on their homepage. Snowshoe is owned by Alterra, is on Ikon Full/Base, and also has Snowshoe-only passes. Posted a while back that opening day will be Nov. 25, which is a day before American Thanksgiving. Snowshoe has very good snowmaking coverage and typically opens for the holiday week. With limited capacity there may not be any day tickets left soon after sales start up. Passholders do not need reservations.

    A friend who lives in DC is flying for a national BMX bike race event over Thanksgiving weekend. He said plane tickets were expensive. A lot of airlines cut back on flight schedules.
     
  5. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think NM is still requiring all visitors to quarantine on arrival? Have you checked, otherwise Taos may be off the table until that requirement is removed...
     
  6. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh yes, I and my friends with lodging reservations know all about the current NM travel restrictions. I don't have to make a final commitment until mid-December based on the cancellation policy of the lodging that I have. I'm actually coordinating a group of over a dozen people. Going for a Taos Ski Week the first week of February became an annual tradition starting a few years ago. A few people live in Albuquerque, others are scattered in multiple states. We are sharing information privately all the time.

    NM is the only state out west with travel restrictions. Apparently they are being challenged by NM ski resorts. The recent change eliminated the option of a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours of arrival in NM. So the situation in NM is likely to keep changing. Even in the northeast states where travel restrictions have been around for months, they are proving of limited value now that outbreaks are happening more because of social gatherings than in public venues.

    What my friends and I had to make adjustments for was the decision to only have private lessons or Private Ski Weeks at Taos. I set up a Private Ski Week last season so was already set. But my group had grown to include another friend, so we had five. The limit this season is 4 for any lesson. Apparently based on an agreement with NM public health. Turned out to be helpful that another friend had already put together a group and had only three. He's working with an instructor I recommended because I had done a Ski Week with him before. So I can change groups and then each instructor will have four. The other friends also managed to come up with at least three people for a Private Ski Week. At $1350 for 6 consecutive morning lessons with the same very experienced instructor, it's still a very good deal even split 3-ways.
     
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  7. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Americans are understandably nervous about whether or not the ski season will actually happen given the recent increases in detected COVID-19 cases in multiple regions, including states where Percent Positive has been well under 3% for a while. Articles are coming out that reflect the concern. Per usual, the headlines make the situation seem even worse than it is. But the trends are definitely not good.

    Oct. 29, Boston Magazine (USA)
    COVID vs. the Ski Industry
    With all of us looking for things to do outside this winter, could the pandemic actually be the best thing to happen to local mountains since snowmaking in April—or are New England’s already-fragile ski resorts heading for a wipeout?

    https://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2020/10/29/skiing-covid/

    Oct. 27, The Know, Denver Post (USA)
    Could COVID-19 shut down Colorado’s ski season before it even begins?
    As three Front Range ski areas prepare to open, Summit County health official cites alarming increase in COVID-19 cases

    https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020/10/27/covid19-colorado-ski-season-2020/247792/
     
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  8. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm heading to SLC in December to meet up with a few friends. Second part of the trip will be a week staying at Snowbird skiing Alta and Snowbird using Ikon or MCP. So paying attention to news about LCC in general.

    Snowbird will use parking reservations, as will other Powdr resorts. Can start getting a reservation on Nov. 5. Following the VR model with up to 7 days in advance on a rolling basis, or unlimited "week of" days. Online cancellations will mean that checking closer to a date might turn up an opening. The Terms and Conditions include the possibility of parking fees and potential consequences if someone tries to game the system.

    John Cumming has been doing interviews, which he used to avoid. The latest one is with Ski Utah. The Cumming family owns Snowbird and Powdr, but they are managed separately. Similar to the fact that the family that owns Aspen Ski Co. is also a major partner in Alterra.

    https://www.skiutah.com/blog/authors/tom-kelly/john-cumming-passion-for-utah-and
     
  9. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'm monitoring closely too - may still go to Colorado and switch to Crested Butte, Monarch or even Wolf Creek if Summit/Eagle counties are restricted for visitors. I have until 15 Dec to cancel our accomodation. Lots of unknowns...
     
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  10. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A good friend is supposed to fly into Denver for a mid-Dec ski trip in Colorado. My plan starts with flying into SLC and driving to Jackson, then a week at Snowbird. We both have to decide by mid-Dec whether to keep reservations for Taos in early Feb.

    NM is the only state in the Mountain West that has travel restrictions. The NM ski resorts are fighting the current version that is a mandatory 14-day quarantine after arrival. There were a few weeks when a pre-trip negative test was sufficient to avoid the need for quarantine. Hard to say what will happen in the next six weeks.

    I'll be surprised if Colorado gets so bad that travel restrictions are imposed. Same for Utah.

    Do you have an Epic pass?
     
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  11. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, I’ve got an EPIC pass but more concerned about the ability to use it at the moment. Although CO aren’t mandating quarantine for interstate visitors, I read somewhere that if they move to Level-3 COVID restrictions, short-term rental accommodation (Airbnb etc) will not be permitted in some counties, regardless of whether the ski resorts are actually open. Airbnb’s conditions define COVID as a known risk, so even if the county/state invokes travel restrictions you have no ability to obtain a refund.
     
  12. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    All I've seen so far for AirBnB was a limit to the number of people in a short term rental.

    My friends and I aren't using VRBO/AirBnB this season. We don't go that route all the time but have for certain locations. The lodging choices we made include motel rooms, resort slopeside lodging, or timeshare. All picked with cancellation policies in mind as well as confidence in terms of being in buildings that are more likely to have people who follow mask usage requirements. Most of the motels have exterior doors or only a couple of floors so that avoiding the elevator is pretty easy

    I stick with one large American motel chain whenever possible because I trust it. Have done a few short driving trips in the last few months and felt quite comfortable with the set up. The chain has been around long enough that I stayed in a few with my parents decades ago.
     
  13. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting . . . found a link to the guidance for Short Term Rentals for Colorado on the AirBnB website.

    https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2755/travel-restrictions-and-advisories-in-colorado
    https://cityofsalida.com/wp-content/uploads/State-Guidance-for-Short-Term-Rentals-COVID-19.pdf

    Had a local friend who was supposed to have a spring break ski vacation in Colorado in March with his daughter. They just missed out. They arrived the day before everything shut down so didn't get to ski at all. Luckily for him both of the short term rental owners refunded for unused nights without hesitation. He managed to get a flight home after only a couple days. So far, he's not planning a trip out west for 2020-21.
     
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  14. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    As noted by Al in the Arapahoe Basin blog a few days ago, Summit County is dealing with a spike in COVID-19 cases. Colorado deals with the pandemic on a county level. So any issues in Summit County could not only impact ABasin, but also Keystone, Breck, and Copper. All are planning to be open by Thanksgiving, Nov. 26.

    I put some Colorado statistics in the COVID-19 Data thread.
     
  15. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Up to 8 inches coming for Tahoe during the weekend.
     
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  16. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yep, even more coming for Colorado - looks to be quite widespread with up to 30 inches in some areas.
     
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  17. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Folks in northern NY and VT have plans for making some turns soon after a little hiking. More importantly for the northeast, snowmaking should be able to get a head start. A lot of folks in the northeast are going to ski local this season instead of flying to the Rockies or Canada. Happens to be the only region in the USA with travel restrictions that means someone who leaves their home state to ski in another region is likely to have to self-quarantine for 14-days after returning home.

    Here are opening dates in November for Epic and Ikon that were announced back in September. Several are later than usual by a week or so in order to have more terrain open on Opening Day. In particular, Killington can often open in late October. The American Thanksgiving is on Nov. 26, which is typically a 4-day long weekend for schools. This fall many colleges will finish the fall semester before Thanksgiving and no re-open until early January. Early snowfall could mean more people than usual thinking about skiing in early December, although probably still well under most capacity limits.

    EPIC, VAIL RESORTS
    Wildcat, NH: November 13
    Mount Snow, VT: November 14
    Stowe, VT: November 20
    Hunter, NY: November 20
    Okemo, VT: November 21
    Mount Sunapee, NH: November 25

    IKON, ALTERRA AND PARTNERS*
    Nov 14: Killington*, VT
    Nov 21: Sugarbush, VT
    Nov 25: Stratton, VT
    Nov 25: Snowshoe, WV
     
    #17 MarzNC, Nov 4, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  18. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not surprisingly, the second opening day in Colorado made a lot more news than when Wolf Creek opened on Oct. 28. Keystone got state approval to open just over 12 hours before lift started spinning on Friday, Nov. 6. The Epic Reservation system let people make a reservation for Keystone's first few days, Nov. 6-13, starting on Thursday morning, Nov. 5. Reservations were gone by lunch time for Nov. 6-8. Apparently there were 7000 people in the Epic Lobby "waiting room" first thing in the morning.

    https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020...ing-day-colorado-ski-season-2020-2021/248402/

    https://www.vaildaily.com/news/watch-snowboarding-keystone-on-opening-day-2020/
     
  19. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The snowstorms that can build base in the Rockies are starting up. :)

    Wolf Creek opened for 7-day operations on Nov. 4. Just lifts, with the base lodge only open for access to the restrooms. Pre-season approach to see how things go. Went pretty well during opening weekend Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

    Alta plans to open Nov. 20. American Thanksgiving is Thursday, Nov. 26. Alta is usually open by then. Last season that didn't work out due to low snow levels and warm weather. Plan for Alta is no reservations but limiting parking based on first-come, first-served. Not quite sure how that's going to work. I plan to be staying at Snowbird the week of Dec. 14, skiing Alta and Snowbird with a few friends who are also flying to SLC.

    From OpenSnow on Nov. 6, 2020
     
  20. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Didn't realize that Snowmass was installing a new lift this summer. It's a high speed detachable 6-pack that replaces the 33 year old Big Burn lift. What's actually more interesting in this article are the tidbits about differences that skiers will find due to the pandemic. For instance, there will be a heated tent that seats 50, well space out, near the mid-mountain restaurant at the top of Big Burn. The Snowmass mountain manager noted that Aspen Ski Co. paid attention to how Australian ski resorts handled the 2020 season.

    Nov. 5, Aspen Daily
    New Big Burn lift debuts this winter
    https://www.aspendailynews.com/news...cle_e363c1a4-1fe6-11eb-9e30-b35aca50ee79.html
     
  21. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Real estate agents who sell condos and houses near ski resorts are very, very busy these days. A friend is in the business in the NY mountains that are about 3 hours north of New York City. She's been showing houses non-stop for months. Including to people who flew in to Albany. The same is happening all over New England. The mountains not that far from the Pacific coasts are getting plenty of people who are either looking for a vacation home or planning on moving because their job will be primarily Work From Home for a while. Same for the Rocky Mountains.

    Nov. 6, Financial Times (USA)
    Rocky Mountain high: sales surge in Colorado’s premier ski resorts
    Wealthy Americans looking to escape big cities are buying in Aspen, Vail and Telluride

    https://www.ft.com/content/bdae991b-beb1-4785-905d-6f7af23ce8b3
     
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  22. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Up to 12 inches in Tahoe yesterday
     
  23. summit_32

    summit_32 Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yep - 28 inches at Wolf Creek. More to come this weekend for northern Colorado too
     
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  24. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Noticed that Mt. Bachelor could get 4 FEET from the current storm system. This is the first season that Bachelor is a Partner on Ikon. Will be using parking reservations like other Powdr resorts, but not lift access reservations.
     
  25. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good luck getting near Bachelor without a parking spot. I note the shuttle bus schedule is conspicuously 'to be announced'.
     
  26. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not surprising. I would guess there are discussions about how many people will end up at the bases just using the Powdr parking reservation system. Bachelor has plenty of terrain to spread people out once all the lifts are running. But not that many places for someone to wait for the next bus heading back to Bend.

    Do the buses usually run more often for a few hours in the morning and in the afternoon, with bigger gaps 10:00-2:00?
     
  27. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skied at Alta today. Goldminers daughters carpark was as full as an in-season day. Went up to Supreme lift / Catherines pass. About 50cm of snow, no base, low angle skis awesome. Steeper terrain means a higher chance of 'landmines'. Great to be back on skis and skiing powder.

    By the way, just under 4000 covid cases today, a jump of over 1300 cases on the average for the last week, which was unsustainably high by itself. Not good omens for a functioning ski season.

    I don't know about the Bachelor bus, almost everyone drives. I bet it wasn't super regular in normal times.
     
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  28. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nice! I've starting checking OpenSnow for snow reports. Looks like a pretty big storm this weekend with about 2 feet expected Nov. 13-15.

    I've been paying close attention to the SLC area and Utah in general for COVID-19. Getting first hand info from a couple of Ski Divas who live there. I fly into SLC on Dec. 8 with a few friends. Driving to Jackson first, followed by a week staying at Snowbird. Based on my experience in tourist towns and at a few resorts in the southeast in since June, expecting people who stay in resort lodging to be following rules about mask usage and keeping their distance from strangers. Unlike New Mexico, I think it's highly unlikely that Utah will try using travel restrictions for out-of-state visitors to reduce transmission. The growing case numbers and hospitalizations are mostly due to Utahns continuing to gather for informal social events, both with extended family and for big gatherings with thousands of people. The Gov. finally issued a statewide mask mandate in the past week as medical leaders have been requesting for months. Way late, but at least it's a start.
     
  29. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    For UTAH park city area


    ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS
    AFTERNOON TO 4 PM MST SATURDAY...

    * WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 12 to 20
    inches with locally higher amounts. Winds gusting as high as 50
    mph.
     
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  30. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Opening dates always are subject to change because of weather. That's doubly the case this winter. A few lucky resorts are opening earlier than expected. But several are delaying opening because not enough snowmaking was possible in the last few weeks. Colorado and New England are not getting help from Mother Nature. Also have issues with increasing COVID-19 case numbers. So that much more important to be able to open with more terrain than usual in order to spread people out on the slopes instead of having long lines at the base of just 1-2 lifts.

    The following list is not meant to be comprehensive. It's focused on the west, Epic, and Ikon but with a few indep. resorts that open early added in.

    NOVEMBER 2020 OPENING DATES FOR USA - as of Nov. 13
    * Epic
    ** Ikon

    Nov 4 OPEN: Wolf Creek - began 7-day operations, lifts were open Oct 31-01Nov
    Nov 6 OPEN: *Keystone
    Nov 9 OPEN: Arapahoe Basin - quiet opening in the afternoon
    Nov 11 OPEN: Loveland
    Nov 13 OPEN: *Breckenridge
    **Nov 13 OPEN: Mammoth - was Nov 4, then Nov 14

    Nov 20: *Vail
    Nov 20: *Park City
    Nov. 20: Brian Head
    Nov. 20: Grand Targhee (first year MCP)
    **Nov. 20: Solitude
    Nov 21: Purgatory
    **Nov. 21: Alta
    **Nov 23: Eldora
    **Nov 23: Jackson Hole - was Nov 26

    Nov 25: *Beaver Creek
    Nov 25: *Crested Butte
    **Nov 25: Squaw/Alpine
    Nov. 25: *Snowbasin

    Nov 26: *Whistler Blackcomb, BC, CANADA
    **Nov 26: Big Sky
    **Nov 26: Aspen Mountain
    **Nov 26: Snowmass
    *Nov 26: Sun Valley - Epic Partner
    **Nov 26: Taos
    Nov 26: Ski Santa Fe
    Nov 27: Mount Baker
    Nov 27: Schweitzer
    Nov 28: Mount Hood Meadows
    **Nov 30: Copper
    **Dec 1: Steamboat - was Nov 21
    **Pending: Winter Park - was Nov 18, no earlier than Nov 30
     
    #30 MarzNC, Nov 14, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  31. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Colorado is off to a rough start to the season for two reasons. First, weather conditions have made it difficult to get enough snowmaking going to open more than the usual terrain, which is what's needed to space people out on the slopes. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, increasing case numbers for COVID-19 have resulted in more restrictions in terms of hours and capacity limits for bars, restaurants, and shops in general. Colorado has a pretty organized plan by county based on several measures. Things were bad in March and April, so everyone in Colorado public health and the Governor's office is taking COVID-19 very seriously. Every statistic has been going up steadily since mid-October and isn't showing any signs of leveling off.

    In Summit County restaurants and bars must stop serving alcohol by 9:30 and close by 10:00pm. Goal is to encourage everyone to be home by 10pm, both customers and employees. Keystone, Breck, Arapahoe Basin, and Loveland are in Summit County. All were open as of the past weekend.

    Have friends planning to travel to ski in Colorado in December. They are watching the situation closely.

    Nov. 14, Summit Daily in Colorado (USA)
    Summit County amends public health order, placing further restrictions on restaurants and retail stores
    https://www.summitdaily.com/news/su...estrictions-on-restaurants-and-retail-stores/
     
  32. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ski Utah has a calendar for opening days, but it's still missing several ski resorts that are TBD including Solitude and Brighton. American Thanksgiving Day is Nov. 26. Snowbird normally opens by Thanksgiving by has opted to delay until Nov. 30, presumably to allow more time for snowmaking and perhaps another storm system. Solitude and Brighton should be open by Dec. 1. Deer Valley never opens before early Dec.

     
  33. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Based on looking carefully at the ABasin webcam, looks like people are spaced out more or less reasonably on the lift line. Can see people standing apart while chatting near the building. Does that make sense to people who skied at Perisher during early season? @Lady Penelope , @robbo mcs ?

    Al did something unusual before this weekend. He asked people to consider not skiing as much as they planned. Meaning skip the weekend or only go one day instead of two, or only go for the afternoon. With only one lift open and no reservations required for passholders, he was trying to damp down enthusiasm for early season turns on a the one open groomer. From what I read on FB, some people did decide to wait until next weekend when more terrain is expected to be open.

    http://arapahoebasin.blogspot.com/2020/11/voluntary-request-season-pass-holders.html
    ". . .
    I am so happy that reservations are not required for A-Basin season pass holders. In my September 10th blog when I announced this policy, I did say there may be voluntary requests to avoid busy periods. I am making one of those requests. Over the next three days, could each of us ski a little less? Is it possible to move your ski day to a week day? If you were going to ski two days over the next three, could you ski just one? Could you ski in the afternoon, say after 1 PM, when there are far fewer people around?

    Again, this is a voluntary request. We are going to get Lenawee Mountain Lift open as soon as we can. More ski areas will open soon to spread people around. Paring skier visits down a bit for the next three days will be really helpful. Thank you so much for considering this."

     
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  34. robbo mcs

    robbo mcs One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Perisher had ropes and lanes set up for the lifts. So for a 4x gates / seats they would have the middle two gates blocked off, and 2x single file queues/lanes coming into the outer 2x gates. Relied on the length of the skis to space people out in the other direction. Worked reasonably ok, but there was always people who didn’t behave. Also, we had to wear masks. Outside buildings there were signs saying keep 1.5m apart. Numbers inside buildings were restricted, with marshalls counting people and restricting entry at busy times. Inside buildings around 50-75% of seats were roped off.
     
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  35. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    All the American ski areas/resorts are starting with the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) basic document that is called "Ski Well Be Well." Mask usage is required everywhere indoors and when around people who might be closer than 6 feet. Different states have differing capacity limits for indoor spaces. With hundreds of ski areas/resorts, there is a lot of variation in the details of how base areas and mid-mountain lodges will be set up. Many ski resorts starting planning back in July or August, but there are some that didn't start detailed planning until early September. Destination resorts on Ikon/Epic are obviously in a different situation than a local ski area in the Mountain West like ABasin or a mom&pop ski area in the flatlands (midwest, southeast, mid-Atlantic). Information is being shared between managers across the industry.

    Several states in multiple regions that have a strong ski industry presence have specific guidelines for ski resorts. Some guidelines are very detailed.

    NSAA has posters available to members that can be downloaded to be printed. A bit of marketing mixed with safety reminders.



     
  36. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes. I agree with @robbo mcs comment above. Perisher had what I think was a good plan for limiting numbers on the slopes and ensuring physical distancing both in lift queues and inside. They employed staff to yell at people in lines and remind them to pull masks/face coverings up, while also having COVID marshalls roaming food venues with eagle eyes upon those who weren’t complying with the rules. Lift queues were generally spaced well, although this sometimes made them appear larger and longer than they were in reality. The only blip in their plan were the early season bookings; less said about that the better!
     
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  37. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, first test for a ski area with employees testing positive in California happened last week. Mountain High had four test positive just before they were supposed to open. Opening Day has been postponed. The big snowstorm in southern California meant that Mammoth opened on Nov. 13, a day earlier than planned.

    Nov. 11, Los Angeles Times (USA)
    Mountain High delays its ski opening after four positive COVID-19 tests
    https://www.latimes.com/travel/stor...g-snowfall-with-skiing-and-boarding-to-follow
     
  38. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    VR learned a lot from the Australian experience. So did a lot of resort General Managers. The bigger problem right now is the increase in COVID-19 cases in states with destination resorts, not only in the Mountain West but also in New England.

    In general, opening days are being delayed by at least a week or more to allow for more snowmaking and early season snowstorms. Having a top-to-bottom run on Day 1 is not that common for resorts that open in Oct or Nov. But that's become the goal in general. For large resorts, being able to open up more than one base is also preferred.

    Ironically, one region that is on track to open pretty much at the usual time is where I live. North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia have 13 ski resorts. Not exactly the most exciting terrain since most are groomed trails only with 100% snowmaking and less than 1000 ft vertical. But stand a good chance of having a normal season from mid-Dec to the first week of March. I have plans to ski at my home mountain, Massanutten, in northern VA (2.5 hours west of Washington DC) in January.
     
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  39. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Based on the first-hand account of a mom skiing with her family at Loveland a couple times, including Opening Day, things are going reasonably well. She noted that today when someone on the liftline wasn't following the rules the liftie made them shape up. Loveland is very close to Denver, even closer than ABasin. It's mainly for locals. The separate area (a couple minutes by car) for beginners hasn't opened yet but snowmaking is in progress.

    Video with the dogs demonstrating how things will be different this season was released a month ago. Loveland normally opens before the end of October. Weather didn't cooperate this fall.

     
  40. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Alta delayed Opening Day a couple days until Nov. 23. Means no first weekend turns for some disappointed locals. Unless they are willing to hike a bit.

    Brighton will open up on Nov. 19 for Britton-Only passholders only. General opening day is Nov. 23. That's when Ikon reservations start. The announced opening date was Nov. 30, so obviously the early season storms helped.
     
  41. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    In addition to Mammoth, a few other ski areas in southern California have opened or will be open by this weekend. Mountain High was only delayed for a few days after a few employees tested positive a day before lifts were supposed to start spinning. All close contacts were quarantined and the county allowed Mountain High to open. Sounds like news of positive tests didn't deter people from heading there.

    Nov. 15, Times of San Diego
    Southern California Ski Resorts Adapt to COVID-19 Pandemic, Open for Winter Season
    https://timesofsandiego.com/busines...-to-covid-19-pandemic-open-for-winter-season/
     
  42. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  43. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s needed. The great early season conditions from two weeks ago has either been blown away or melted in the mild temps.

    had a day skiing at park city. Zero organization of the lift line and almost zero enforcement of mask mandate.

    When you only have two lifts open, it’s day 4 of the season and seasonal fatigue hasn’t started yet and you have many more liftee, ticket checkers and ski patrollers employed than really required I can’t see any reason why they were so lax about not only enforcing their company policy but the state and county mandates??? Boggles the mind and also saddening as it makes the lifted ski season all the more tenuous.

    I’d say 1 in 10 didn’t bother with a mask and another 3 in 10 had it below their mouths. That chin Warmer is doing god’s work....
     
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  44. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for the first-hand report!

    Pretty clear that the attitudes of locals in Utah regarding mask usage is worse than in Colorado. Sounds like that may be a factor for what VR employees are doing in Park City versus in the Colorado resorts. Although have heard of a liftie being abused at Vail for asking people to mask up when loading a gondola.
     
  45. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Steamboat sends out monthly newsletters. I was there last season and have friends going in Dec, so paying some attention. Opening day is Dec. 1. Here are the reminders about the differences this season:

    PARKING & SHUTTLES

    The Meadows and Upper Knoll lots will remain free and the Lower Knoll lot will be designated for skier-drop off. Please note there will not be a drop-off zone at One Steamboat Place. Meadows lot shuttles will run at 50% capacity. Remember to mask-up before you enter the shuttle.

    The City buses and lodge shuttles will still drop-off and pick-up in the Transit Center. Note that all shuttles are subject to ridership capacity limits set by local health officials and are currently limited to 50% of capacity. When using shuttle service please consider early or late arrival to avoid longer lines.

    AVOID PEAK TIMES

    The mountain is considerably less crowded midweek and in the afternoons. If you’re able to, consider readjusting your schedule to avoid peak times please consider coming later or mid-week to help spread out the crowds.

    SELF-GROUP WHEN RIDING THE LIFTS

    We are expanding lift line mazes to accommodate for physical distancing. We are also reducing capacity in gondola cabins and on chairlifts. Guests will be asked to self-group and load chairlifts and the gondola with their related party up to original maximum capacity. Unaffiliated skiers/riders may be loaded on the same chair/cabin with at least a space between them. Face coverings required.


    YOU’LL SPEND MUCH OF THE DAY OUTSIDE

    Due to capacity limits in our lodges, grabbing a quick snack or lunch will be different than in seasons past. Based on our county health department’s assessment of risk, the resort is currently operating under the Level Red restrictions which means all indoor dining is restricted. Access to lodges will only be for use of restrooms and grab-and-go food pick up. No eating will be allowed indoors. In addition to grab-and-go dining, other restaurants will offer take-out with online ordering. Remember to wear an extra layer to dine outside. Please visit The Trail Forward for available dining options.
     
  46. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Assuming there aren't any changes, there will be quite a few American resorts open by Thanksgiving weekend. Also Whistler-Blackcomb opens on Nov. 26.

    NOVEMBER OPENING DATES IN USA - last updated 24Nov
    * Epic
    ** Ikon

    Nov 4: Wolf Creek - begin 7-day operations, lifts were open Oct 31-01Nov
    Nov 6: *Keystone
    Nov 9: Arapahoe Basin - quiet opening in the afternoon
    Nov 11: Loveland
    Nov 13: *Breckenridge
    **Nov 13: Mammoth - was Nov 4, then Nov 14

    **Nov. 18: Crystal, WA
    **Nov. 19: Brighton
    Nov 20: *Vail
    Nov 20: *Stowe
    **Nov 20: Killington, VT - was Nov 14
    Nov 20: Brian Head
    Nov 20: Grand Targhee (first year MCP)
    **Nov. 20: Solitude
    Nov 20: Arizona Snowbowl
    Nov 20: Mount Baker, WA - was Nov 27
    Nov 21: Purgatory, CO
    **Nov 21: Steamboat
    **Nov. 21: Alta
    **Nov 21: Sugarbush, VT
    **Nov 23: Eldora, CO
    **Nov 23: Jackson Hole - was Nov 26

    Nov 25: *Beaver Creek
    Nov 25: *Crested Butte, CO
    **Nov 25: Aspen Mountain
    **Nov 25: Snowmass
    **Nov 25: Squaw/Alpine
    Nov 25: *Stowe, VT
    Nov 25: *Okemo, VT
    **Nov 25: Stratton, VT
    **Nov 25: Mount Snow, VT
    Nov 25: *Hunter, NY
    **Nov 25: Snowshoe, WV

    **Nov 26: Big Sky
    *Nov 26: Sun Valley - Epic Partner
    Nov 26: Bretton Woods, NH
    Nov 27: Jay Peak, VT
    Nov 27: Smuggler’s Notch, VT
    Nov 27: Schweitzer, WA
    Nov. 27: *Snowbasin - was Nov 25, Epic Partner
    Nov 28: Mount Hood Meadows, OR
     
    #46 MarzNC, Nov 26, 2020 at 1:46 PM
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020 at 1:32 PM
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  47. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Crystal in WA is mainly for locals. There is very little, if any, lodging close to the base. The last couple seasons overflowing parking lots were an issue. Alterra bought Crystal from John Kircher (Boyne Resorts family) in 2018. A decision was made to require lift access reservations but not using the Ikon reservation system except for Ikon holders. They are using EventBrite for Crystal-only passholders. But since there is no link between EventBrite and season pass ID numbers, apparently there were people who took the chance and went skiing without a reservation. Stern warnings are being issued that if someone gets caught abusing the system, access to the mountain may be denied.

    https://www.q13fox.com/news/crystal-mountain-opens-its-slopes-to-skiers-and-snowboarders

    https://www.crystalmountainresort.com/reservations
     
  48. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    General articles about skiing are showing up in the travel sections of major news outlets. That's pretty normal in late November as destination resorts start opening. Not hard to find articles in the flatlands about skiing either. Meaning the midwest, mid-Atlantic, or southeast.

    In general, the capacity limits are on the order of 25-30%. Actual numbers aren't likely to be released. Vail Resorts considers daily counts of guests as proprietary info. I would guess other ski areas and resorts don't really want to release their numbers either. Picking the number of day tickets to offer is based on educated guesses looking at loading lifts at less then optimal use in order to allow for spacing.

    Nov. 25, LA Times (USA)
    Here’s what pandemic-era skiing and snowboarding will look like this winter
    https://www.latimes.com/travel/story/2020-11-25/covid-19-tips-skiing-snowboarding-winter

    Nov. 18, NY Times (USA)
    How Do You Have a Ski Season in a Pandemic?
    From how we ride the lifts to where we sleep and what we eat, ski areas are taking steps to minimize crowding and to curb opportunities for the virus to spread.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/travel/american-ski-trends-virus.html

    Nov. 25, Colorado Sun (USA)
    Masks up! Colorado ski resorts are moving ahead as state, counties and businesses restrict access
    https://coloradosun.com/2020/11/25/colorado-ski-resorts-vail-housing-pandemic-operating-plans/

    Nov. 14, Seattle Met (USA)
    14 Ski Mountains to Visit Across the Pacific Northwest
    Ski season has already begun in Northwest resorts. Here’s what’s new, what’s different, and how the heck snowsports will work during a pandemic.

    https://www.seattlemet.com/travel-a...west-washington-oregon-idaho-british-columbia
     
  49. MarzNC

    MarzNC One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Realized that I stuck this story about Timberline Lodge in Oregon in the Vail Resorts thread since it happened before this thread existed. Go to the post for the full story:
    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/is-vail-group-financially-secure.88024/page-7#post-4449393

    In August, Timberline was open for skiing on the glacier per usual. The historic Timberline Lodge was open for guests by June on a limited basis with appropriate adjustments. The Lodge is a historic building built during the Great Depression in the 1930s by local people paid by a program funded by the Federal government. Owned by the U.S. Forest Service and operated by the family who rescued it from oblivion a few decades ago (with their own money). The Lodge is right on the mountain. There are ski slopes above and below the Lodge.

    There were three situations in August when an employee of the Lodge tested positive. They were clearly taken seriously but it was not a cause for panic. My sense is that the Lodge remained open for guests. The full story was posted on their website as the situations evolved. There was another case of an employee who was infected in early Nov. None of the employees with potential exposure at work were infected. Everyone wears face masks while at work.

    https://www.timberlinelodge.com/coronavirus-updates

     
  50. Olesia

    Olesia First Runs

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    I live in US and started my season today by skiing at Hunter Mountain, New York state. Hunter is on Epic pass, it is a large ski resort in Catskill mountains, one of the biggest and oldest ski resorts in NY state. The ski resort is currently only open for Epic pass holders only.

    I had a great time skiing at Hunter, it rained in the morning for several hours so very few people showed up to ski, even though the snow was lovely spring corn snow. There were two top two bottom ways to get down, one was black diamond that bumped up into fun soft bumps quickly and the other was long blue that had a large number brown bare patches with rocks to navigate around. It is impressive how much terrain Hunter managed to open given it was fairly warm, not the best snowmaking weather.

    As for lodge and other logistics: lodge was only open to use bathrooms and pick up epic pass if you didn't have it already. Before the entrance of the lodge outdoors there were resort employees checking whether you had your pass and directing people either to the slopes or to the lift ticket office to pick up epic pass. The lift ticket office/bathrooms had doors completely open on both sides of the building meaning the building was well ventilated. Women's bathrooms had signs for entry and exit and every other stall and every other sink was closed off to enable social distancing. There was no lodge to boot up in and there was not food of any kind sold on the mountain. Everyone booted up in the car. As for food, I fortunately brought lunch which was leftovers of my breakfast and ate it as lunch in my car. Masking was enforced in the lift corral and as loading the lift although there usually was not lift line probably due to rain and Thanksgiving holiday in US.
     
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