How Is This Going To Work?

Everyone in the ski business has been puzzling about next season and how it will unfold. Uncertainty brings with it lots of speculation about if, when, and how the ski industry will re-open. Even if it does re-open, whatever that means, will people show up? So our first Question For You this month is asking for specifics from your point of view.

Please write your response in the Reply Box below.

What will you need to see ski resorts do to make you feel comfortable about coming back next season?



  1. Bruce P Coffin says:

    Go back to single chairs
    Close gondos

    • Steve masse says:

      No. Ridiculous

    • Dave Walsh says:

      You can’t be serious-The resorts wd not survive the financial impact. If there is still a threat, which may or may not occur, then maybe 4 per gondola and less people per chair.

  2. Howard Geller says:

    All they have to do for me to go back is OPEN.

  3. Cansnowplow says:

    The enormity of this question! The problems is the compactness of the sport. Riding a lift and being exposed to the person sitting on the same chair, tramway, gondola is not cool. Only Single chairlifts, j-bars lifts and poma lifts would be the safest to ride and ski areas should invest in these lifts or limiting only 1 person per chair, etc. Maybe a 6 pack chair or larger can maintain the 2m/6ft with 2 person. Chairlift with hoods need to limit the rider to 1. The lodge staff needs to escort you to your properly situated single table and avoid improper crowding. All boot changing and street shoes deposit should take place in their vehicle or hotel room. Food and drink should be pre ordered and given to you curbside(ie: outside of the lodge) and you should eat in your vehicle. Restrooms should be managed similarly as the way airports are administering them. Lift ticket sales must be via a website and spatial distancing managed by selecting a number and awaiting your number to be called to receive your lift ticket. Ohhhh, the lift line! In order to keep at least 2 meters/ 6 feet apart, lift line corrals needs to be reconfigured to requires you to go single file, 2/6 distance apart, each line 2/6 apart. Alcohol swipes instead of tissue boxes at the base of the lift in order for the customer being able to wipe down the safety bar. Or require everyone to just climb the mountain and lock all buildings.

    • Everett E Bedenbaugh says:

      I’ve reserved IKON & EPIC pass and hope to ski but am concerned about flying and the drive from SC is so far. Will wait to November to make decisions and even then plans will be flexible.

    • Steve masse says:

      Why don’t you just give up and go live in a bubble. This is SKIING!
      If you are too afraid of dying to LIVE, well, all should just take up tv watching instead of SKIING!

      • Your answer is the reason people don’t want to travel to ski. Caution is important or we go backward. Ask Crested Butte and Sun Valley how their town was devastated

    • Dave Walsh says:

      This is unworkable-Maybe you shd stay home!

    • Frank Scharo says:

      I love it! Maintaining a sense of humor in these times helps get us through. Truth is ski season is months away and a lot will change, what we will face in November may be quite different from what we expect. Vail Resorts seems to be in a cooperative spirit, we were just offered a 50% discount on next years passes. That’s a good sign of a large corporation making an effort to smooth things along. I think it will all work out.

  4. Alyce Perez says:

    If they open I am skiing. I am purchasing both an Epic and Ikon pass. Life is too short.

  5. Ted Eshbach says:

    Just have good snow and I’ll be there. Unless there’s a significant resurgence in viral infections, I’d prefer normal practices – no masks, normal seating on lifts and in lodges.

  6. Herb Gliick says:

    The same cautious nature that keeps me off black pistes will keep me away from the mountains until medical science has bested the virus. I survived
    a few non-skiing years during several years of near poverty and would hope to survive another year of non-skiing next winter.

  7. For some perspective – I am a European tour operator. I was moved by a recent article in the Financial Times; Is it safe to go to the shops, see a friend or get on a plane? Gillian Tett on how to assess risk in the age of coronavirus May 8, 2020 10:46 am by Gillian Tett

    “In a city such as New York, where I live, there is obsessive media coverage of the Covid-19 crisis, which has killed some 65,000 people so far in America. But previously there was little focus on seasonal flu (which killed 34,000 in the US in the 2018-19 season, according to the CDC); nor on traffic accidents, diabetes or smoking, which respectively kill around 36,000, 84,000 and 480,000 each year.”

    We will be skiing. As for our guests, it is a personal choice.

  8. Gerald Rehkugler says:

    If the virus is still very active I’ll ski if I can still practice CDC guidelines at the time. As long as I wear a mask and have opportunity to social distance I’ll be there. I’m hoping there will be adaptation to keep this 85 year old safe. I haven’t that many years left to wait out a season!

  9. Elizabeth Seiler says:

    My husband and I (83 and 77 years old) plan to ski this coming winter if there is not a serious outbreak. The resorts should follow physical distance requirements in food service area, ticket purchase, and in lift Lines allowing people to ride single if they choose. If not in a booth, lift operators should wear a mask. Inside the lodge. employees and guest should be required to wear masks Except in the specified eating area with tables being continually disinfected. An area Identified for seniors only for equipment and on/off of boots. Beyond this person are responsible to do what they think is necessary to stay protected.

  10. Scott Jimmerson says:

    The areas need to open up as usual. The “scientists” say being outside is safer than inside. Small print on passes and tickets telling purchaser that the ski area is not responsible for buyer getting China virus. Ski at your own risk, as usual. With global warming quickly creeping up on us, we only have a couple more years of skiing left anyway. I’m waxing.

    • Steve masse says:

      Do you believe, really believe that global warming is so quick that there will be zero snow at ski areas inside say 10 yrs? I can’t believe that anyone would believe that.

      • Scott Jimmerson says:

        Hi Steve….I should have phrased my comments better. I believe in global warming and global cooling all caused by solar cycles, not the very tiny amount of human produced carbon dioxide. There, that’s better.

    • I love the way you put “scientists” in quotes, like they are some sort of mythical beast. Much better to take our cues from a realty show huxter who seems to know everything.

  11. Just open.
    I’m sure we’ll follow what ever requirements there might be, but we can only do that if the resorts open.

  12. Ed Schultz says:

    I’m skiing but glad I go to smaller areas with tbars, smaller lifts etc. But let’s see what happens with the science and medical developments. To Tim Hudson I’d say part of the reason so many have died is because our healthcare system especially for minorities & the poor is lacking. And yes media should be prioritizing this. Government needs a heads up too.

  13. Here in Oregon Timberline reopened for the last 3 weeks of the season. They have instituted several changes, the main one is limiting the number of riders by having a reservation system. No reservation no ticket. Also ride the chair with your party or ride alone. Everybody must wear masks in the lodge and in the lift lines. Food to go only and eat outside or in your car.

    • Connie Grodensky says:

      Here at Mt. Bachelor, in Oregon, they opened from 5-15 through 5-24, with only 500 passholders each day allowed up. Those 500 people got to ski each day with proper social-distancing methods put in place along with no food or beverage service, only restrooms open in the lodge, and restricted parking at the lodge. I was not one of those as there were only two lifts open, marginal snow and not worth the risk of being injured at this late day in the non-season! I will wait until next winter to enjoy my sport, however it is presented. We will purchase our season passes as usual, with a credit on our accounts from THIS season, and ski as usual.

  14. Nashville Katz says:

    Outdoors. Cold. I am wearing a mask and goggles anyway. It’s a personal decision, with all the concomitant risks. I am looking forward to my first year as a 65+ skier. And, I will not be avoiding people completely 6 months from now…I don’t avoid them now, just careful. By then, I should be back at my job in NYC…if that doesn’t Covid me, then skiing won’t.
    Ski large areas during the week, and there are no lift lines anyway.

  15. If the resorts open, I will be there.

  16. Bought my passes, will be there if they are open.

    Would like to see reduced density in the lodges, fewer people on a chair. Kind of worried about riding the gondolas though. Plan to do more on the mountain lunches from the back pack. Adding yerts/tents for increased covered lodge seating might be a partial answer.

    Personal defense for insuring a ski season. Went and scoped out several drive to ski lines where several people and a pick-up truck could put down a nice day of skiing. If still breathing, I will ski.

  17. James W Barber says:

    Ski at smaller ski areas a.k.a. Retro areas like Mt. Baldy B.C.

  18. Peter Burkett says:

    I’ve just come back from skiing a few days at Timberline on Mt Hood, Oregon. Tickets are sold only to those with reservations. These reservations are limited and go very fast, as in less than a minute. You ride alone or with the party you came with. Everyone wears masks. This is probably the template for the future at all ski resorts.

  19. Just open.

  20. Vail Resorts is going to have a season at their ski resorts down under to field-test approaches that we’ll probably be seeing this winter.

  21. Richard Goode says:

    Let’s remember that what we do affects others and pay attention to what the guidelines will be next Winter .

    • Steve masse says:

      Look, if a person is old or has conditions that may result in virus infection, then those persons should stay home in a bubble until a vaccine in 2 yrs, if ever.
      If you enjoy outdoor winter skiing, be smart, don’t ski sick, use new gaiter on lifts and don’t worry too much about dying that you forget to Live!

  22. Encourage bag lunches with more seating outdoors, less group seating. For those that prefer purchase meals, individual condiment packets instead of pumps. Staffing to disinfect bathroom surfaces, especially hand touch surfaces. Ski goggles, neck/face gators, and ski gloves at all times on lift lines and chairs/gondolas. Be infection smart when at ski resorts.

  23. Kelli Majiros says:

    I’m with others who say just open! There are so many things you could die from, what’s one more thing? None of us is getting out of this alive anyway.

    • Steve masse says:

      Yes! Mosquitoes carry killer diseases, we have ticks and now murder hornets! What the … just Live! Quit letting liberal media scare you into a box!

      • Dave Walsh says:

        Well said Steve!!

      • Scott Jimmerson says:

        Well said! With the new death numbers coming out, we old folks are much more at risk staying inside, let alone driving to the area. Or getting hit by an out of control skier from behind.

  24. Nothing. I’m planning to skip the 2020-21 season.

  25. Each one that ski just basically adhere to basic requirements. “UNDERSTANDING ” if your different from the normal group then adhere to your own requirements strictly. PPE’s ,Distancing and Proper Hygiene-disinfection/Cleaning etc. this is so easy-no brainer compared when you contracted the virus due to negligence.
    We should be aware some Ski’s outfit are already set for safety like the googles, the Gloves, among others things plus the updated Safety -eventually..

    • I have a tendency to wipe my nose drips with my glove on. The glove has a felt on the thumb just for that purpose. I am sure this would transfer the virus from safety bar to glove to my nose. Or, vice-versa if I already had caught the bug. Me and others like me are all part of the ski system. Nose drips are a carrier. So quite dangerous, regardless whether I am wearing my goggles, gloves and neck warmer.

      • Steve masse says:

        I never read runny noses juices were proven infection points. Most scientist say it is mainly aerosol spray via coughs and sneezing. CDC just revised about hard surfaces be far less likely transmission points.

  26. Well I live down under. The ski season is with us in the next month or so. Vail. owns one of the larger resorts in my area. They say operating procedures will be announced by mid June. Some of our States have closed borders so this may affect on those who do not live close to the snow. For me, a day tripper, the main point of interest is how Vail figure out the lift protocols. And the kind of (season) passes that will be on sale. Also access to their resort is by either driving in, or catching a train from below the snow line. The latter makes life a good deal easier for someone of my age (e.g. suiting up in a dry parking area). But whether that is possible with social distancing remains to be seen.

  27. I expect to ski unless back surgery puts me out for a year.

  28. David Hoffman says:

    My wife and I have the Epic Pass. We plan on skiing this coming season with some changes. We will drive to Colorado from Western NY. We will also drive to Vermont. We would be more comfortable not using a Gondola, and not sharing a lift with multiple strangers. Normally we dine outside but social distancing may make that hard. We rent a house for two weeks in Summit County but our landlord doesn’t know if short term rentals will be available in March 2021.
    I work in a ski shop and we are wondering how we will deal with boot fittings and retail ski sales.

  29. Steve masse says:

    Nothing different. This is SKIING folks! If you think you may die, stay home. If not, enjoy the less crowded and better priced tickets at slopes.
    My God. How did media and government scare the crap out of so many so quick?

    • Cansnowplow says:

      Check out the fact that ski areas in Summit County Colorado, Northern Italy, for example, were the C-19 transmission hotspots. Knock yourself out next season and God save those you may contaminate. Go ahead, Live the dream. Your attitude makes me want to stop at all the green traffic lights when you’re driving in town.

      • Cansnowplow, Interesting points. But, where did all those C-19 skier’s infected people come from? You guessed it many came from “China” or were infected by people from China who visited those areas. Look at the travel of people from Wuhan following their festival in Feb to other parts of the world North Italy was a top spot. Consider this if China had been “HONEST” with the world about the virus and not let so many travel to other parts of the world the story and the USA story would be a lot different.

    • Not media and government but knowing the statistics locally and the victims personally is convincing enough. Down the block, around the corner, a mile away. My local hospital is still dealing with COVID patients. You may doubt but don’t call for help if you or yours are unlucky enough to get the virus.

  30. All they have to do is OPEN the ski areas. I’ll be there.

    In fact, I have great plans for next winter, skiing not only locally but also visiting several ski areas in the western part of North America (from New Mexico to British Columbia). I will focus on ski areas that are part of the Powder Alliance and the new Indy Pass. Smaller and mid-sized areas tend to be much less crowded to begin with, so maintaining a physical distance is easy.

  31. Dave Walsh says:

    I ski at a less crowed resort. Sierra at Tahoe. I have no worries, mate!
    Just can’t wait.

  32. Steve M. says:

    Not a thing. Don’t change the resorts for the virus. Trying to “control” the virus is folly and prolongs its natural disappearance via herd immunity. Sadly, the resorts as businesses have had to fall in line with the media-driven public and government obsession with virus countermeasures. Enough already; protect the highly vulnerable and move on!

    • Agree with you. I am 77 and will do the things that protect me and be responsible for myself.

    • Have you really thought through “herd immunity”? And how it is attained? Who is to say who may be sacrificed for the good of the species. Is it always the other person?

  33. Timberline, Mt Hood Oregon has just reopened. Take a look at their policies for opening. Keep in mind that they in the past many years are open almost year around for skiing and boarding. Full summer ski and snowboard training camps/race camps. Clearly, the largest risk is not when your on the hill it’s in the lodges and protection can be used by all when in these close situations when 6′ distancing will be harder. This virus may be different than those in the past so more protective measures may have been needed. But, consider 2.8 million people die in the USA every year data from the CDC. And, heart disease in 2017 was 647,457 or 23% of the total. And, for reference 1918 Spanish Flu 675,000 people died in the US with a much lower population. All more recent flu’s have been much less deadly by comparison. It will be interesting to see what the annual death numbers are for 2020
    compared to 2018, 2019 or even 2021 in the US. Then we’ll have better idea of how did and if what we did was worth it. I am 77 so in 10 more years hope to still be able to ski…and if the snow is gone and ski area’s are all closed those that are still here may well have much bigger problems.

  34. Not at all concerned about the skiing aspect but I’ll need to be assured that the airlines will be up to the task come Jan. I am confident the resorts will figure everything out; they can’t risk being sloppy.

  35. Our Wengen (Switzerland) Ski Club is pondering over this right now. Main issues are likely to be crowded trains (Wengen/Grindelwald use trains as well as lifts), packed cablecars, gondolas and places to have lunch. Infection outdoors is uncommon. Adding a mask to my balaclava is no great problem. Those of us who love skiing will adapt to sensible precautions and abide by ski area rules.

    Apres ski bars and restaurants will not doubt see fewer customers.

  36. Particularly, since I ski only on week days, with essentially no lift lines,
    providing a safe outdoor experience for me seems feasible; not so for
    the resort lodging. Renting a studio condo for a night is a bit too risky for
    me. At 77 years young, I will most likely extend my sailing season and see what next year brings to the Sierra Nevada.

  37. Tom Weller says:

    Just turn the lifts on. Age 78. If the lifts are not turned on, then please clear a place for me to park and I will skin up the hill. I worked for 19 years as an Industrial microbiologist researcher so I am not naive about infection.

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