[Update September 14 at 11:48 a.m.: Winter Park announced it will now prioritize pass-holders and limit daily lift ticket sales due to COVID-19 concerns. Go here for more info. Additionally, Ikon announced it will not require reservations but will also prioritize pass-holders and limit daily lift ticket sales. Go here for more info.]
As summer begins to wind down, rumblings of the ski season are starting to surface. Vail Resorts, the international behemoth of the skiing world, announced its plans today to re-open for the 2020-2021 season. Set for November 6, Keystone will be the first for the group with Breckenridge following for an ominous Friday, the 13th start date. Winter Park, which is decidedly not apart of Vail Resorts, also announced its plans to re-open on November 18.
Both have set expectations for the season with Winter Park going the route of limiting the use of indoor spaces, adding more contactless purchasing and a reminder of mask-wearing and social distancing. Vail, however, has decided the beginning of the season will be saved for Epic Pass holders through December 7. After that, anyone can buy a lift ticket starting on December 8. All skiers and snowboarders will be required to get a reservation in order to access the mountain. Epic pass holders also get seven priority dates for the “core season” that lasts from December 8 – April 4. Additionally, the resort will make mask-wearing mandatory and will only seat related parties on lifts and gondolas, with some exceptions when distancing is possible on larger lifts and gondolas.
“For the vast majority of days during the season, we believe everyone who wants to get on our mountains will be able to. However, we are not planning for the majority of days, we are planning for every day of the season,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. “We want to provide assurance to our guests that we will do our very best to minimize crowds at all times — be it a holiday weekend or the unpredictable powder day. We believe this approach will help ensure a safe experience for everyone, while prioritizing access for our pass holders.”
Below are the complete opening dates announced thus far for the season. No word yet on when the state’s early-season resorts such as Loveland and A-Basin plan to start this year.
Keystone, Friday, November 6, 2020 – Sunday, April 4, 2021
Breckenridge, Friday, November 13, 2020 – Monday, May 31, 2021
Winter Park, Wednesday, November 18
Vail, Friday, November 20, 2020 – Sunday, April 11, 2021
Beaver Creek, Wednesday, November 25, 2020 – Sunday, April 4, 2021
Crested Butte, Wednesday, November 25, 2020 – Sunday, April 4, 2021
For more information on Vail Resorts COVID-19 precautions and opening plans go here. For more information on the Epic Pass reservation system go here. For more information on Winter Park’s opening, go here.