The 2020/2021 winter ski season is upon us. To anyone and everyone that jetted off to ski for spring break earlier this year, arriving just before the whole world (and the slopes) shut down because of COVID-19, the time has finally come for redemption.
It’s 2020, so things will look different this year of course — think mandatory face coverings, reduced capacities, and lift tickets purchased in advance only.
For all you ski town second home owners out there (and potential buyers!), we researched the policies at two of our favorite U.S. ski destinations, Vail and Taos, so you don’t have to.
Here’s the list of changes to expect… plus, hot property listings on the market there, of course.
2020 Winter Ski Season in Vail, CO
“We are fortunate that our core experience of skiing and riding takes place outdoors, across huge mountains, offering fresh air and wide-open spaces for our guests,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz in an open letter to guests. “However, to help protect our guests, our employees and our communities amid this pandemic, some changes will be required this season.”
The main changes?
- Facial coverings will be required to get on the slopes
- Social distancing will be enforced (including only sitting with your own party on the lifts)
- Ski school and on-mountain dining will be available … but with changes to make things safer
- A limited amount of spots on the mountain will be reserved, prioritizing pass holders
The bottom line? If you want to ensure a spot on the Vail slopes this year, the resort is highly encouraging purchase of a pass, rather than day tickets. If you want to wait it out until December 8 to buy day tickets, just be warned that they’re expected to sell out quickly.
2020 Winter Ski Season in Taos, NM
In the beautiful Taos Ski Valley, terrains, lifts, retail, on-mountain restaurants and lodging will be open this year and the mountain is opening as normal on Thanksgiving Day, November 26.
But to adjust to the times, Taos Ski Valley created a new set of possible passes to buy this year.
The main changes?
- Ski lifts will be limited to 25% capacity
- Lift tickets must be purchased online in advance
- All payments in the ski valley will be cashless (to reduce physical contact)
- ONLY private ski lessons will be available
- There will be no parking lot shuttle
- New pricing offered on Monday to Thursday tickets ($85/day for adults) to encourage smaller crowds on weekends
The bottom line? Again, buy those tickets in advance and be ready to shell out some cashless cash for private lessons if you’re looking for ski instruction.