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As usual, Win Smith at Sugarbush is leading the way in public disclosures and openness. He is confident his all open air Quads, Tripples and Doubles will be open, and snow-making will start November first as usual, but worries about auxiliary activities.  He also believes remote work will mean many more people spending the week skiing at there second home and avoiding Saturdays. He covers all the bases in the blog post, with no surprises.

 

https://www.sugarbush.com/blog/wins-word/so-what-is-going-to-happen-this-winter/?fbclid=IwAR2-iFpNvKHytMqlhJADEBvhaEaYkhEVLm6426T6zzTMSS4U4Ou-5p-zi5g

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Aspen made a similar blog post. It contains no clear plans, other than things will not get black to normal till public health officials give a unanimous all clear. It does state they will probably have more outdoor dining, and wont put different groups together in the Gondola. Does not even confirm they will reopen.

https://www.aspensnowmass.com/inside-aspen-snowmass/stories/looking-ahead-to-winter-2020

Vail CEO also made a blog post, that basically reminding people if we let cases surge again they wont reopen, so WEAR A MASK.

http://news.vailresorts.com/corporate/for-sake-winter-we-must-stay-vigilant.htm

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/30/2020 at 4:25 PM, Benski said:

As usual, Win Smith at Sugarbush is leading the way in public disclosures and openness. He is confident his all open air Quads, Tripples and Doubles will be open, and snow-making will start November first as usual, but worries about auxiliary activities.  He also believes remote work will mean many more people spending the week skiing at there second home and avoiding Saturdays. He covers all the bases in the blog post, with no surprises.

 

https://www.sugarbush.com/blog/wins-word/so-what-is-going-to-happen-this-winter/?fbclid=IwAR2-iFpNvKHytMqlhJADEBvhaEaYkhEVLm6426T6zzTMSS4U4Ou-5p-zi5g

Win has now retired.  He did great things at SB, keeping its unique character and vibe intact (or even rebuilt after the ASC years).  However, not sure how much of his thoughts will carry forward now for this season.  Time will tell how Alterra plays things.

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On 8/16/2020 at 3:47 PM, Machski said:

Win has now retired.  He did great things at SB, keeping its unique character and vibe intact (or even rebuilt after the ASC years).  However, not sure how much of his thoughts will carry forward now for this season.  Time will tell how Alterra plays things.

Its sad, but making that post rite before retiring would be a mean move. I guess it could be a power move, to try and force Alterra to open. I am much more worried about Stratton with extreme reliance on 6 packs and a 10 person gondola and heavy reliance on snow making.

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On 8/18/2020 at 4:54 PM, Benski said:

Its sad, but making that post rite before retiring would be a mean move. I guess it could be a power move, to try and force Alterra to open. I am much more worried about Stratton with extreme reliance on 6 packs and a 10 person gondola and heavy reliance on snow making.

Open air 6 packs don't concern me, if its 2 to a quad, it should be 3 to a six for spacing.  The Gondi is another issue, but Stratton has large boxes at least, unlike anywhere else on the East Coast, so something should be managable there.  And at least they upgraded Snowbowl to a Detach Quad, that may help alieviate Gondi issues for them.

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Open air 6 packs don't concern me, if its 2 to a quad, it should be 3 to a six for spacing.  The Gondi is another issue, but Stratton has large boxes at least, unlike anywhere else on the East Coast, so something should be managable there.  And at least they upgraded Snowbowl to a Detach Quad, that may help alieviate Gondi issues for them.

I was thinking they would stop pairing groups together to fill lifts, especially 6 packs.
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2 hours ago, Benski said:


I was thinking they would stop pairing groups together to fill lifts, especially 6 packs.

So which part of my post makes you think I think they will fill chairs?  3 seats filled on a 6 is no a full chair, but a managable load IMHO.  Two on the outside and one in the center, with a breeze, plenty of spacing.  Similar on a quad, two on the outside plenty of space.  Bubbles shouldn't be an issue at resorts with those either, just leave that up and open.

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On 8/23/2020 at 11:58 AM, Machski said:

So which part of my post makes you think I think they will fill chairs?  3 seats filled on a 6 is no a full chair, but a managable load IMHO.  Two on the outside and one in the center, with a breeze, plenty of spacing.  Similar on a quad, two on the outside plenty of space.  Bubbles shouldn't be an issue at resorts with those either, just leave that up and open.

I was thinking more because of restrictions on pairing groups together. So some ski areas might make a single ride up alone on a six pick but also let groups stay together, so they can fill the chair with people who are already skiing together. Vail is requiring 2 seats between people they pair up. but is otherwise filling chairs.

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Vail released there plan. Reservation system, mandatory face masks, and mandatory 2 spaces between unrelated groups on 6 packs and gondolas. One group per gondola cabin or 2 singles sitting opposite each other.

https://www.tetongravity.com/story/news/vail-announces-reservation-system-for-20-21-season

 

Later opening day than last year at Keystone, November 6th, but I they used to open even later when Vail had a partnership with A-Basin . Also, did they cut the season for Wildcat and Attitash?

http://news.vailresorts.com/corporate/vailresorts/fact-sheet/

Several things are unclear.

Maybe he reservation thing is superficial and the limit is never reached or will it be low and will prevent lines from developing?

Will a reservation cover the entire mountain or will mountain be divided up to more precisely limit crowds and force people to less crowded areas?

Will reservation limits be variable and change with more terrain opening and changing conditions? Since day tickets will not be sold until December 8th I think that is a blunt way to achieve this goal. They could also bump up the reservation limit for powder days, since the powder slows people down and mogul/tree runs absorb more crowds than groomers.

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1 hour ago, Benski said:

Vail released there plan. Reservation system, mandatory face masks, and mandatory 2 spaces between unrelated groups on 6 packs and gondolas. One group per gondola cabin or 2 singles sitting opposite each other.

https://www.tetongravity.com/story/news/vail-announces-reservation-system-for-20-21-season

 

Later opening day than last year at Keystone, November 6th, but I they used to open even later when Vail had a partnership with A-Basin . Also, did they cut the season for Wildcat and Attitash?

http://news.vailresorts.com/corporate/vailresorts/fact-sheet/

Several things are unclear.

Maybe he reservation thing is superficial and the limit is never reached or will it be low and will prevent lines from developing?

Will a reservation cover the entire mountain or will mountain be divided up to more precisely limit crowds and force people to less crowded areas?

Will reservation limits be variable and change with more terrain opening and changing conditions? Since day tickets will not be sold until December 8th I think that is a blunt way to achieve this goal. They could also bump up the reservation limit for powder days, since the powder slows people down and mogul/tree runs absorb more crowds than groomers.

I thought I'd check in considering today's announcement.

Wildcat's season was shortened in spring. Attitash was lengthened in the early season.

Capacity limits will be real, but mostly on holidays and peak weekends. Expect there to be plenty of capacity to ski this winter. Expect capacity to be more contained at resorts closer to urban areas. Destination resorts, especially those popular with international visitors, will likely have ample capacity.

Reservations will be done at the mountain level. Areas where tickets were previously interchangeable between multiple mountains, that will no longer be the case. For example, Vail / Beaver Creek and Attitash / Wildcat tickets will now be separate.

Reservation limits will be adjusted to reflect changing capacity as more terrain opens.

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On 8/27/2020 at 3:42 PM, Weatherman said:

Capacity limits will be real, but mostly on holidays and peak weekends. Expect there to be plenty of capacity to ski this winter. Expect capacity to be more contained at resorts closer to urban areas. Destination resorts, especially those popular with international visitors, will likely have ample capacity.

Does Peak mean every weekend from Christmas to Presidents week? And I think there will be a mad rush to the ski areas due to social distancing rules.

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Given The Cat and Attitash will be split, will that mean Vail will not close the Cat as often on poor weather days this season?  Or just tell guests they are SOL and still close it on those days with no Attitash bailout option.

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22 hours ago, Machski said:

Given The Cat and Attitash will be split, will that mean Vail will not close the Cat as often on poor weather days this season?  Or just tell guests they are SOL and still close it on those days with no Attitash bailout option.

I doubt it. I think its just to better manage crowds on crowded days, so they both can hit there limits without one passing it.

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What do you guys think will happen to Castle rock at Sugar bush? A big line develops there whenever the conditions are good, even if there is little crowding else-ware, so do you think it will need its own reservation?

In general I think 50 trails is plenty for one day of skiing so asking people to commit to one side of Killington, Sunday River or Sugarbush would be no big deal.

 

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On 8/31/2020 at 1:03 PM, Benski said:

What do you guys think will happen to Castle rock at Sugar bush? A big line develops there whenever the conditions are good, even if there is little crowding else-ware, so do you think it will need its own reservation?

In general I think 50 trails is plenty for one day of skiing so asking people to commit to one side of Killington, Sunday River or Sugarbush would be no big deal.

 

I don't really see SR restricting flow from one side to the next.  Even Killington, other than maybe Pico making it K or Pico for the day, I don't really see a need to restrict sides.  Perhaps the Skyeship base might be a bit restricted due to likely riding restrictions in Gondi cabins and that is all they have down on the Route 4 base area.  Sugarbush is interesting as they could not run Slidebrook or the buses and thereby keep folks at Lincoln or Mt. Ellen.  The Castlerock question is interesting, but then the question of what MRG will do with the single is similar.  Maybe they will institute some type of reservation on weekend/peak days for CR, but would a ton of folks just hoof it over from HG?

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51 minutes ago, Machski said:

I don't really see SR restricting flow from one side to the next.  Even Killington, other than maybe Pico making it K or Pico for the day, I don't really see a need to restrict sides.  Perhaps the Skyeship base might be a bit restricted due to likely riding restrictions in Gondi cabins and that is all they have down on the Route 4 base area.  Sugarbush is interesting as they could not run Slidebrook or the buses and thereby keep folks at Lincoln or Mt. Ellen.  The Castlerock question is interesting, but then the question of what MRG will do with the single is similar.  Maybe they will institute some type of reservation on weekend/peak days for CR, but would a ton of folks just hoof it over from HG?

I doubt people would huff over. When the lift capacity is limited. But the point would be to stop crowding at the bottom if the lift. It would not be a bad idea to a few chairs to offset singles ridding alone.

Sugarbush has always offered discount Mount Ellen only tickets and passes, so its certainly in there wheelhouse.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
I think Jay is relying on the border still being closed, not much in terms of a system/change.

They could be screwed. A lot of Québécois at Jay. I wonder if any of there staff commute across the boarder
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On 9/16/2020 at 7:14 PM, Flying Yeti said:

I think Jay is relying on the border still being closed, not much in terms of a system/change.

Given the boarder situation, I'm pretty happy with my Jay pass purchase instead of Cannon this year. A 50% reduction in visitors will be great both for limiting COVID-19 exposure risk as well as snow preservation.

However, I anticipate lines will be just as long as usual since single riders will not be used to fill chairs. As someone that normally goes solo, it is likely I will be waiting in longer lines this year despite the decrease in visitors. I cannot imagine what lines at Smuggs will be like... and I am not going to find out, either.

Not sure what more Jay could do, to be honest. Limiting guest access is the only way to do it and Jay has that naturally with the boarder closed. It's Jay... it isn't like they can restrict lodge access, that would cause a mass hypothermia event. Given the boarder issue, Jay might be one of the few resorts that actually wants more skiers and doesn't need to limit capacity (except during holidays and maybe a few bigger storms).

 

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