The CEO of Vail Resorts is a beacon of optimism in regard to opening the company’s portfolio of resorts sooner rather than later. In a letter to employees, Katz said, “Our hope is to have our lifts turning, at all of our resorts, by late June or early July and be welcoming people in all our lodging and retail stores by that time as well.” Katz noted this includes both North American resorts that have summer operations and Australian resorts that are about to kick off the winter season. Apparently the folks at Burton were not as bullish and they cancelled the Burton U.S. Open scheduled for March 1 – 6 at Vail. But, that’s jumping ahead.
In recent years, ski/snowboard resorts and surrounding communities have expanded warmer weather recreation with Alpine slides, golfing, disk golf, mountain biking, hiking, camping and scenic tours accessible from lifts. Lodging and dining have become a big part of the resort social scene.
Now, they are cautiously rolling out an array of summer offerings and some have even re-opened their slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin reopened on May 27 with strict guidelines including hosting a maximum of 600 people per day and requiring online reservations.
The demand for day one was so high that it crashed the resort’s online system, so A-Basin had to change how it’s filling those 600 spots. An article in Ski Area Management provides details.
The Coronavirus abruptly cut short the season for many major resorts but a few such as Timberline and Mt Bachelor (both in Oregon) opened for at least a while in mid May for skiing and snowboarding. California’s Mt Baldy, which was the first ski area in the country to reopen for winter with experimental guidelines, has shifted to summer operations. The ski area started spinning lifts for scenic rides this weekend, giving visitors access to the newly reopened hiking trails in Angeles National Forest. Baldy and other reopening resorts all have significant guidelines in place. Here are a few examples of openings.
Oregon’s Tamarack started a phased reopening, May 16 with lodging and dining operations. Tamarack reopened its hiking and biking trails for complimentary use. Tamarack has opened scenic lift rides, boat rentals, and lift-served mountain biking. Zip line tours start June 6 (snowmelt allowing).
Wyoming’s Snow King has opened its Cowboy Coaster, Summit Scenic Lift, Mini Golf, and Amaze’n Maze for regular operating hours. The Treetop Adventure ropes course and zip lines are open weekends only by reservation, with limited harnessing times and group sizes. Snow King plans to open this activity and others for daily operation June 13. It will offer bike, SUP, and kayak rentals, guided hikes for small groups, and custom experiences for small groups with advanced reservation.
Utah’s Sundance started summer operations, with precautions, on May 15, Offerings include lodging, dining, spa services, scenic lift rides, mountain biking and zip tours by reservation only. Activities are running at limited capacities.
New Mexico’s Angel Fire opened its golf course with new check-in measures and golf cart limitations, and it is offering takeout from its Par & Grill restaurant.