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How ski resorts across the West are responding to the pandemic

This winter, skiers must obey a variety of COVID-19 safety rules

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Alta lift foreman Adam Genovese preps chairs on the Collins lift at Alta Ski Area in Alta on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

This year, the typical hustle and bustle of ski resorts is eerily quiet — no tourists moseying through ski shops or families in the lodge warming by the fire. Ski buses are driving up to the mountains half-full of folks who couldn’t get a reserved parking spot at the resort. Mask regulations are even enforced for those waiting in line for the lift. The resort — a place that has normally felt like a magical respite from “everyday life” is now beholden to the same COVID-19 restrictions as your favorite plexiglass-laden taco joint.  

Whistler Blackcomb

At the time of publication, the Canadian border is still closed to international recreational travel. Whistler Blackcomb requires online reservations for all guests with priority given to pass holders. Day tickets will be sold online and cancellations must be made by noon of your planned date. Face coverings are mandatory in public, and guests from different parties will not ride together on lifts. 

Aspen Snowmass

Reservations not required. However, face coverings are mandatory. The resort encourages purchasing online. Lift tickets can be shipped or delivered to lodging, but day tickets will be available at ticket windows. New amenities include heated-tent seating, outdoor picnic tables and grab-and-go meals.  

Sierra-at-Tahoe

No reservation required, but face coverings and social distancing are mandatory in public spaces. Only members of the same party will be seated together on lifts and lodge capacity is limited. Restaurants have reduced indoor seating with additional grab-and-go options. 

Jackson Hole

Reservations not required for season pass holders, and day ticket sales will be limited. Tickets may be purchased online in advance or same-day at ticket offices as available. Face coverings are mandatory in certain areas. Base lifts will start at 8:30 a.m. to decrease crowding and the tram will operate at reduced capacity. 

Schweitzer

Social distancing and face coverings are mandatory for guests and employees indoors and outdoors. The resort expects to limit day ticket sales to enable social distancing but does not foresee limiting pass holder visitation.  

Salt Lake/Park City

Face coverings and social distancing are required at Cottonwood and Park City resorts. Snowbird requires a parking reservation made in advance. Alta and Brighton will manage capacity through parking on a first-come, first-served basis. Park City requires reservations for pass holders while Solitude and Deer Valley do not, but all three require advance purchase of day tickets. 

Mt. Bachelor

A parking reservation made online before arrival is required. Drop-offs or public transit users do not need a parking pass, but day ticket sales will be limited. Face coverings are mandatory in public, and lodge services will be limited so guests should prepare to base out of their vehicles. 

Vail

Reservations required. Pass holder and day ticket reservations can be made online or through call centers subject to availability. Tickets will not be sold at ticket windows. Face coverings are mandatory in public spaces and aprés is over for now; full-service bars are closed, though beer and wine are available to go.