The guidance covers everything from chairlift and gondola lines to employee housing.
Recognizing that the caseload and incidence of the novel coronavirus is different from county-to-county and ski town-to-ski town, all Colorado ski areas and resorts have to create plans that are approved by their local public health agencies and then submitted to the state.
Out-of-state visitors may want to check the COVID-19 status of the county which you are planning to visit before making plans and initiating travel.
How Will Skiers and Snowboarders in Colorado Be Impacted?
Here’s a quick rundown of what most of us are interested in — how this will impact each of us this winter.
- The state of Colorado recommends all visitors check resort websites before making plans. Ski resorts are encouraged to begin communication with visitors before they arrive, for example when reservations are booked.
- Expect in-person symptom and screening questions in-person or prior to arrival.
- Resorts are encouraged to promote rescheduling and refund flexibility to encourage guests to stay home when sick.
- Masks are required in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. There are exceptions for safety (say you need to take cover during a blizzard), dining and while skiing and riding in a socially distant manner.
- Masks are required in all lines and while riding chairlifts and gondolas.
Chairlifts and Gondolas
- Guests are not required to ride on lifts with people outside of their immediate party. Guests from unrelated groups, or single guests, can ride together with a minimum of one seat separating them.
- Gondolas will keep windows open in all weather. Gondolas are limited to no more than two separate parties and not more than 50% capacity.
- Seating distance is not required for ski school groups with young children or children too young to ride chairlifts by themselves.
- Six-foot spacing in lift lines is required.
- Social distancing is required in parking lots, as is mask wearing.
- Drivers are encouraged to drop off guests and then park, so that only one person has to ride a shuttle.
- Social distancing in all indoor and outdoor venues must be ensured.
- Remote purchase of lift tickets online or by phone, to avoid lines at ticket windows.
- To rent gear, reservations may be required. Rental pick up should be outdoors or at a drive-up site.
- Restrooms will be socially distanced and masks will be required.
- Port-a-potties are encouraged to reduce indoor congestion.
- Additional hand washing stations are encouraged outside of restaurants.
- Air hand dryers will likely be disabled.
Ski and Ride School
- Ski and ride school groups are limited to no more than 10 people and resorts are encouraged to create smaller groups.
- Ski and ride school and kids’ programming may be limited to help prevent overcrowding.
- Instructors and students 11 years of age and older must wear masks.
- Information for contact tracing will be collected from all students.
- Outdoor dining is encouraged and resorts are encouraged to created weather-resistant outdoor capacity, including proper ventilation and space heaters.
- Hotels and lodging are expected to manage guest volume, limit congregating and adhere to social distancing. Face-to-face interactions should be limited. Generous and flexible cancellation policies are encouraged to prevent symptomatic people from arriving or staying even if they become ill.
- Warming huts must follow state and county guidance on indoor capacity limitations.
So, this is just an overview, but I tried to hit the highlights, by focusing on those requirements which will impact the skiing and snowboarding experience.
What do you think? Does this make you feel safer and reassured? Do these requirements seem like overkill to you? Or maybe not enough?
I’d love to hear what you think!
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