23 Nov Round Up: Ski Resorts and COVID-19
When COVID-19 hit last spring, ski resorts around the U.S. were forced to rapidly establish and enforce safety measures with little knowledge about the pandemic as a whole, and many ended up closing early. This year — with the ski industry’s best practices, and state and local health recommendations in place — all ski areas in the Northern Rockies have increased cleaning and disinfection measures, added hand sanitizing stations, and encouraged social distancing. And each resort has also developed plans that are tailored to suit their different amenities. Here’s what skiers and snowboarders in our region should know for the 2020/2021 season:
Big Sky Resort, Montana
• On the Mountain: With 5,850 acres of terrain and 38 lifts, skiers can disperse quickly and efficiently, and there’s no limit to mountain access. Only groups traveling together can ride lifts together, with the possible exception of the enclosed Lone Peak Tram (running at reduced capacity) and the eight-person Ramcharger lift. Facial coverings are required while loading, riding, and unloading all lifts.
• Dining & Après: Additional indoor spaces will be open for dining and warming up. Grab-and-go and takeout options will be available. Face coverings are required indoors, and anytime that physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Bridger Bowl, Montana
• On the Mountain: Operating at reduced capacity, Bridger will require a reservation to ski, and these can be made online up to three days in advance. Face coverings are required in all lift lines and while loading and unloading.
• Dining & Après: Food and beverage service will be open with reduced capacity and more options for grab-and-go meals. Face coverings are required in all indoor facilities.
Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana skiwhitefish.com
• On the Mountain: There is no limit to lift ticket sales, although advanced bookings are recommended for lift tickets, ski school, and rental equipment. Masks are required in lift lines. There will be no single’s lines, and guests can group up with strangers only if they are comfortable doing so.
• Dining & Après: Restaurants will be open with operational changes specific to each location. Face coverings are required inside restaurants, lodges, and on public transportation.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
• On the Mountain: Capacity limits for ticket sales will be in effect, and online advanced ticket purchasing is recommended. Season pass holders will have no limits to mountain access. Face coverings will be required in lines, when riding, loading, and unloading all lifts. Capacity limitations will be in effect for the tram.
• Dining & Après: Face coverings are required in all indoor resort facilities, including retail shops, in restaurants when not seated, at guest services, ticketing, administrative offices, and restrooms.
Grand Targhee Resort, Idaho
• On the Mountain: Advanced lift ticket purchases are encouraged, as day-of ticket sales may change at any time. Face coverings are required in lift lines, while loading, and when riding with unrelated parties. Skiers and singles may group up on lifts at their own discretion.
• Dining & Après: Food and beverage service will be open with limited seating for social distancing. Face coverings are required in all indoor establishments.
Sun Valley, Idaho
• On the Mountain: There are no limits on lift ticket sales and mountain access, but guests are encouraged to pre-purchase online in case limits need to be implemented. Face masks are required in lift lines and other places where social distancing is not possible.
• Dining & Après: All on-mountain lodges and dining facilities will be operating, some with simplified menus, reservation systems, and more grab-and-go options.