CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. -- After the unceremonious ending to last year's ski season due to the coronavirus pandemic, resorts like Loveland Ski Area want to make sure this year ends differently, despite the recent increase in infections and hospitalizations from COVID-19.
“It’s been unusual. We’re dealing with some challenges that we haven’t faced before but we’ve been aware of them since March so it’s nothing really new,” Loveland Ski Area Marketing Director John Sellers said. “We missed out on a couple of great months skiing and we missed all of our winter friends that we haven’t seen in a long time, so we know there’s a lot of excitement from us and also from our guests.
There's a lot of new protocols they already put in place, including mandatory mask-wearing, physical distancing, and limited capacity inside common areas - where resorts will see the biggest challenge this season.
“We’ll be managing capacity for restaurants. We will be opening our mountain resorts for lunch but will be asking people to eat there, but then move along after they’re done eating,” Vail Resorts Communications Director Ryan Huff said.
Over at Vail, they know that trying to get through the whole season is key, which is why complying with guidelines is so important.
“Safety takes on a whole new meaning for us this year because we want to open on time and stay open,” Huff said.
Some places will require reservations, or at the very least, booking online, even for ski schools and rentals. So check the websites in advance and prepare to gear up in the parking lot.
“Just trying to keep everybody physically distanced and everybody safe as they go through the process and as they come up here to ski,” Sellers said.
Loveland and others could be open in the next couple of weeks depending on snowmaking and temperatures, so be ready to hit the slopes soon.