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Posted by Negar Chevre on Sunday, August 30th, 2020 at 9:04am.

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz today announced the company’s 2020/21 winter operating plan in a letter to guests, which outlines their approach to operating their 34 North American resorts this season.

Outlined in the plan include key changes to season pass use, ticket sales, ski school, dining, lift operations, and a mandate that guests wear face coverings on the mountain and in all parts of resort operations, including in lift lines and riding in lifts and gondolas. To maintain physical distancing on the chairlift's and gondoliers, Vail will only be seating related parties (guests skiing and riding together) or 

  • Two singles seated on opposite side of a four person lift
  • Two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six person lift
  • Two singles on opposite ends of the larger gondola cabins

Mountain access will be managed through a reservation system and limits will be placed on lift tickets to prioritize pass holders. Pass holders will be required to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain.

The Pass Holder Reservation System available on November 6th, 2020, will allow Vail to manage how many people are on the mountains this season. Reservations will be required to access the mountains. For the vast majority of days, Vail anticipates the mountains will be able to accommodate everyone who wants to ski or ride at the resorts. The reservation system is designed to give visitors  peace of mind knowing that they will have the space they need to feel safe and physically distance, no matter what day they visit.  

  • Pass holders will be required to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain.
  • Throughout the season, pass holders will be able to make as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allow. 
  • The early season will be reserved for pass holders only. Vail will not sell lift tickets until Dec. 8. 
  • In addition to week-of reservations, Vail will also be providing pass holders with the opportunity to book up to seven Priority Reservation Days for the core season (Dec. 8-April 4), or as many days of access as they have on their pass if less than seven. The booking window for Priority Reservation Days will open Nov. 6 and will be exclusive to pass holders until Dec. 7. 
  • As pass holders use their Priority Reservation Days, they can book new ones, maintaining up to seven (or however many days of access are remaining on their pass) at any time. In addition, pass holders can always make as many week-of reservations as they choose (or however many days of access are remaining on their pass).
  • Families will be able to book reservations together if they are in the same pass holder account.
  • While still subject to change, at this time Vail does not believe pass holders will need a reservation to access our partner resorts (Telluride, Sun Valley, Snowbasin, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, Hakuba or Rusutsu).
  • Lift tickets (including Buddy and SWAF tickets) will go on sale on Dec. 8, with sales limited based on the number of spaces available for any given day after Vail's exclusive pass holder reservation period. This season, lift tickets will be sold with a reservation for a specific resort on a specific date.
  • Given the need to manage lift tickets sales, they will only be sold on Vail's websites and through their call centers. No lift tickets will be sold at the ticket window in resort – you may only pickup your pre-purchased lift ticket at the ticket windows.
  • Vail will be encouraging guests to purchase in advance – though guests can purchase a same day lift ticket online or through our call centers, subject to availability, and then pick up the lift ticket at the ticket window. 

Park City Mountain Resort will open on November 20th for the 2020/ 2021 Winter Ski Season.  Click to learn more. 

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