Photo Credit: Copper Mountain
Ski areas across Colorado have been open since early November welcoming guests back to the slopes and operating with COVID-19 specific policies and protocols in place. The industry has learned many lessons over the past six weeks and is providing guests, both those that have already visited and those that will in the future, some helpful tips and reminders on what to expect and what is expected of them during their visit.
The skiing and riding conditions across the state are good and getting better with each snowstorm with resorts opening more terrain as conditions allow. Visiting a ski area is a great way to be outside in a low-risk environment with friends and family this holiday season and beyond.
Know Before You Go– All visitors to ski areas should understand that this winter is going to be a little different. COVID-19 safety protocols are in place at all Colorado ski areas. Access policies will vary from ski area to ski area. Guests should visit ski area websites, social media and other channels to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on any COVID-19 protocols and restrictions and understand what is expected during their visit. Colorado Ski Country’s COVID-19 webpage will be updated throughout the winter with tips, information and the most up-to-date resort protocols.
Masks and face coverings– Visitors are required to wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth and nose in all indoor and outdoor public places, except when eating or drinking. This includes in lift and gondola lines, while riding a lift or gondola and when in a warming area. Once socially distant and skiing or snowboarding a mask may be removed. It’s important to remember that after each run, face coverings must be in place when approaching a lift line with mouths and noses covered.
Lifts and Lift Lines– Signage and other markers will help maintain social distancing in lift lines and masks and face coverings covering the nose and mouth are required when in line. Ski parties will be allowed to load lifts together at full capacity. Parties that are not together will have at least one seat between them on lifts. Parties that are uncomfortable riding with other parties will be allowed to ride as a single party but should be prepared to wait to ride a lift alone and to consider arriving after the morning rush.
Gondolas and Gondola Lines– While signage and other markers will help maintain social distancing, guests in a gondola line will not have skis or snowboards attached to their feet and are asked to be extra vigilant at keeping distance when in line. Masks and face coverings covering the nose and mouth are required when in line. Ski parties will be allowed to load gondolas together at full capacity. Up to two unrelated parties can load a gondola together up to 50 percent of capacity. Parties that are uncomfortable riding with other parties will be allowed to ride as a single party but should be prepared to wait to ride a gondola alone and to consider arriving after the morning rush.
Food and Beverage– Ski areas will be following all local and state requirements for food and beverage options. This may include restricted or no indoor dining. Guests can expect to find outdoor seating, grab and go and order ahead options. Where indoor dining is available, it will be limited so be sure to plan ahead and determine if reservations are needed.
Transportation– Ski areas will be following state and local guidance for transportation services, which will include limited capacities on ski area shuttles. Ski areas have expanded drop off locations for visitors who wish to drop off the majority of their party and then use public transit or resort shuttle services.
Reservations and Advance Purchase Requirements– Most ski areas are requiring the prepurchase of single day lift tickets, rentals and ski school before arrival. Check with the ski area before visiting to understand all advance purchase policies. Additionally, some ski areas are requiring reservations for ski area access, parking or specific pass products.
Guests can find all state guidance for the ski industry on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) website.