As skiers and riders, we’re very lucky the sport we love takes place in the rarefied air of the mountains. Thanks to that open air setting, resort officials across North America are showing cautious optimism regarding on-mountain operations for the upcoming ski season.
In an interview with the Vail Daily, Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer, Beth Howard expressed confidence that her team will be able to open up on time and once there is enough snow, run all lifts and allow wall to wall skiing on the mountain. Many wondered or not Vail would even operate its gondolas this season. The rumor mill concerning limited terrain and season long closures of certain lifts had skiers reasonably concerned that they wouldn’t be able to access all 5,289 acres of Vail’s skiable terrain and its 31 lifts but thankfully, those nasty rumors have been put to bed for now.
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Howard also indicated that Vail Mountain is hoping to employ its full work force and went on to cite a period of successful summer operations as reason for the optimistic outlook. However, she did concede that the resort continues to learn from the evolving landscape.
— Ski.com (@Skicom) August 11, 2020
The obvious pain points, which the industry has already begun tackling, include preventing large gatherings of people in typically high traffic areas such as lift lines and ticket windows. In a previous statement, Vail CEO Rob Katz hinted at moving away from in person ticket sales altogether and instead, require all guests do their ticketing online. At various lodging providers, contact less check-ins and check-outs have already replaced the traditional walk-up, hotel lobby experience.
Howard said they will continue to look at best practices as advised by the experts and try to plan for the countless scenarios that continue to present themselves on a near daily basis. However, one thing remains paramount: guest safety. Katz echoed that sentiment by asking the ski industry to remain “vigilant” so that we can all enjoy the slopes this upcoming ski season. Vail Mountain plans to open to the public on November 20.
Wear a mask, be kind, stay healthy.
Find the entire Vail Daily article here: Resort Plans To Open All Lifts, Terrain
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