When the owners of Colorado’s ski resorts (along with the rest of the world) were taken by surprise with the reality of COVID-19 last year, they were quickly forced to figure out how to keep their doors open in a whole new world of operations. Many of the changes made last season will likely return (some permanently) and others will be added. Fortunately, things are looking up for the 2021-2022 season.
If you have your eye on a ski trip this coming season, you’re not alone. Given that snow skiing and snowboarding are, by their very nature, socially distanced outdoor sports, ski trips are a smart choice for winter vacations.
In the event of additional COVID-19 restrictions or schedule changes, you may want to call your resort or check its Facebook page for up-to-the-minute changes.
In a news release last spring, the Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) reported that their group has been collaborating with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and local public health officials to create plans for ski operators that will have the flexibility to adjust as needed, depending on COVID-19 activity.
After facing considerable operational challenges last year, the industry has made “significant ski area investments in technology” and other guest adjustments like pre-purchase lift tickets, order-ahead grab-and-go foods and beverages, and improvements to rental options. Many of these changes are expected to become permanent.
Changes to Expect on Your Winter Ski Trip
Below we include a roundup of those evolving changes and a few tips from a variety of sources, including Colorado Public Radio, Coloradoan, Undercover Tourist online, and 9news.com.
As these can be subject to change, please check for any updates before you book your final travel plans.
- Nearly every ski resort in Colorado requires the purchase of lift tickets online in advance to reserve a spot on the mountain.
- Other things you should book online before you arrive: rental equipment, restaurant reservations, and ski lessons.
- Restaurants will likely be open at a limited capacity, with extra space between tables, which may mean longer wait times.
- You’ll likely find more grab-and-go meal choices.
- Indoor lockers are being eliminated or severely restricted. It is suggested that you use your vehicle to stash your clothing and gear.
- Expect lodges to be taking enhanced cleaning measures.
- Bring extra face coverings or neck gaiters in case yours get wet or dirty. You will be expected to wear them outside while on the mountain and always when you are indoors.
- Chairlifts and gondolas will likely only load family members (or others in your party) together. The seats should be sanitized between riders.
- Shuttle buses will likely be running with limited capacity.
- Gloves or mittens are required at some resorts.
Trip Tips to Know Before You Go
- If available, download the app to your ski destination in advance for on-mountain information (like ski lift status), placing orders for grab-and-go food and many other options.
- Make restaurant reservations for times that are less busy, to avoid crowds and wait times.
- Instead of using vending machines, pack your own snacks and bottled water.
- Encourage non-skiers in your group to find other things to do, such as building snowmen, sledding, or shopping.
- Most resorts no longer offer childcare for guests.
- Free cookies, s’mores, or other snacks may not be offered in lodges or while out on the mountains.
Opening Dates and COVID Updates at Colorado Ski Resorts
- Status of opening dates for all Colorado ski resorts.
- COVID updates at most all Colorado resorts.
Insure Your Ski Equipment with Farm Bureau Insurance
If you’ve invested in your ski equipment, you should protect it with an affordable policy from Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance. To learn more, speak with a Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance agent. Use our Agent Finder to locate one near you.