Vail Resorts Announces New Covid Guidelines & Opening Days for Mountains

Vail Resorts Announces New Covid Guidelines & Opening Days for Mountains


Vail Resorts Announces New Covid Guidelines & Opening Days for Mountains


Before Vail Resort’s investor call today, the company announced various details about the highly anticipated 21-22 season. They updated their Covid-19 guidelines, as there will be no reservation system or capacity limits this season, and masks will not be required while waiting in lift lines. Masks will remain required in indoor facilities though, and proof of vaccination will now be needed to eat at indoor cafeterias. Vail said they won’t have guests submit their vaccination cards to the EpicMix app or online, so if you plan on eating indoors, it’s probably best to buy a sleeve or cover for your vaccine card to protect it from precipitation and condensation. Employees will be required to be vaccinated against Covid, which may cause hiring issues based on the low amount of J-1 visas being allowed at this time, along with vaccine hesitancy among the general population. Vail Resorts is getting rid of cash transactions again, likely meaning the days of being able to use cash at Vail properties is likely over. And no Cryptocurrency? Vail: Get with the times! Here is Vail Resort’s official statement:

  • “Mountain AccessVail Resorts will not have a mountain reservation system this season and will load lifts and gondolas at normal capacity, optimizing guest movement around its resorts.  
  • Face CoveringsFace coverings will be required in indoor settings, including in restaurants, lodging properties, restrooms, retail and rental locations, and on buses. Face coverings will not be required outdoors, in lift lines, or on chairlifts or gondolas, unless required by local public health. (For example, Whistler Blackcomb requires face coverings on gondolas due to orders from the Provincial Health Authority of British Columbia). 
  • Dining – Reservations: Like last season, guests will be required to book a reservation to eat at many on-mountain restaurants. However, based on current regulations, the company is expecting significantly more seating and dining capacity than last season, and intends to open reservations one day prior, versus the day-of last season.  
  • Dining – VaccinationsGuests will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to dine at indoor, on-mountain quick-service (cafeteria-style) restaurants. Proof of vaccination will be required for guests ages 12 and over at those locations. This requirement includes those guests 12 and over in ski and ride school programs that include lunch. More details on the verification process will be released ahead of the season on resort websites. Consistent with many other large-scale indoor activities and venues, Vail Resorts believes the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of its guests and employees, given the number of people using these facilities and the fact that guests will not be wearing face coverings while eating and drinking. This is currently the only part of the resort experience that will require proof of vaccination, unless required by local public health. (For example, Whistler Blackcomb requires proof of COVID-19 vaccinations in all indoor restaurants, restaurant patios and bars due to orders from the Provincial Health Authority of British Columbia). 
  • Employee SafetyAll Vail Resorts employees will be required to have COVID-19 vaccinations for their safety and protection as well as the safety and protection of guests and resort communities, and in compliance with the recent rules announced under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Indoor face coverings, enhanced hygiene practices, daily employee health screenings, and other health and safety measures will also continue. 
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Enhancements: Hand sanitizing stations are provided throughout the resort. We are frequently using EPA-approved products that kill the COVID-19
    virus on all of our high-touch surfaces and restrooms, and we are applying enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices across
    our resort, including in our gondola cabins.
  • Cashless Transactions: For guest and employee safety, all transactions will be cashless unless otherwise required by local law. This includes at our hotels, restaurants, ski and ride school, and all other points of sale. For the best experience, book and pay online in advance.”

Vail Resorts also released their projected opening dates, which you can see below:

As Early as Possible (Likely October): Keystone Resort in Colorado.

November 12th: Breckenridge and Vail in Colorado.

November 19th: Northstar and Heavenly in California, Park City in Utah, Wildcat in New Hampshire, Stowe and Mt. Snow in Vermont, Afton Alps in Minnesota, and Hunter Mountain in New York.

November 20th: Okemo in Vermont.

November 24th: Crested Butte and Beaver Creek in Colorado, and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire.

November 25th: Whistler Blackcomb in Canada.

December 3rd: Kirkwood in California, Stevens Pass in Washington, Attitash and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire, Jack Frost in Pennsylvania, Mt. Brighton, and Wilmot in Michigan.

December 17th: Big Boulder, Liberty, Roundtop, and Whitetail in Pennsylvania.

December 18th: Alpine Valley, Boston Mills and Brandywine, and Mad River in Ohio, Paoli Peaks in Indiana, and Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri.

What do you think of the changes?

Image Credits: Epic Pass/Vail Resorts

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