The Holidays Are Past, We Have Data.

There’s been snow from coast to coast over the holiday season, the busiest time of the year for many ski resorts. From what we’ve heard, resort management and staff have done sterling work in preparing for guests, from signage to new structure and policies, to reservation systems and food service options.

Credit: David Zalubowski

In this week’s issue of, we have correspondent Evelyn Kanter’s report card on her pre-holiday season visit to Aspen. From her perspective at this early time in the season, the major destination resort did some things well and others not so swell. Not surprising, considering the magnitude of the adjustments that have to be made in operating a resort with visitors from all over the country.

So here’s our question for you: If you’ve been to a destination-type resort, how was the experience? If you had to give the resort a grade for its efforts in keeping guests safe, what would it be?

Obviously, this is a non-scientific, statistically imperfect look at the “lived experience” of skiing at a major resort. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to hear your stories.

Write comments and “grade” in the Leave A Reply box below.



  1. Rebecca Royston says:

    Mount Snow VT: week after Christmas. More crowded than expected, people sometimes jammed into the Moover buses from the remote lots. Poor snow conditions and fewer runs open made for crowded icy runs, long lift lines. Long slow line standing outside for any pass matters like buddy tickets. Better conditions will help but watch out for those crowded busses.

  2. Hunter Mountain seems to have no interest in making sure people are masked beyond signs everywhere. Other than limited runs open, no complaints with the conditions. But safety remains a worry.

  3. Alan S Cort says:

    Skied Cannon Mt. (NH) yesterday for my first day out. While by no means a “destination” resort, I found the steps taken to keep skiers informed and safe were excellent. 5′-10′ visibility on the top half of the mountain meant the lower Zoomer lift was busy, but everyone kept good spacing and were masked up, without complaints (see that Mt. Hood Meadows has had to take extreme measures because some refuse to mask up and have threatened mountain staff). Yes, it is a change from what we are all used to, but it isn’t really that hard, and certainly beats not being able to ski at all.

  4. Belleayre’s staff are very observant and consistent with friendly reminders to put on/pull up masks. Limited terrain and, of course, some icy surfaces given the number of skiers sharing the trails.

  5. ALTA UT: I feel very safe skiing at Alta. Mask wearing strongly enforced. Hill traffic is controlled with parking limitations. Lift riding as group bubble or up to two singles at opposite ends of chair. Have not used indoor facilities so no comment on that. Warm up and Lunch in car. It works.

  6. Jackson Hole Resort–Grade A.
    They are limiting the number of ski lift ticket sales to 50% to ensure safe social distancing. The tram is running at 25% capacity for the same reason, though didn’t ride the tram this year, as it was at least a 60 minute wait.
    You basically ride with your family or bubble up ski lifts and gondis, and everyone is told to wear a mask while in lines. Ski patrol and lift operators have been good about reminding people to pull up their masks or neck gators. I think JHMR is really trying to keep their season going safely so they don’t have to close early like last year.

  7. Brenda Engelhardt says:

    Summit County Colorado (several locations) Stayed at an Air BnB so I don’t have feedback on the lodging conditions. Loveland ski area was very diligent about people wearing their face coverings over the mouth and nose. A-Basin was almost as diligent but some people (maybe regulars?) were not told to put on masks and it was really weird. Most people skiied with face coverings because it was cold (20’s) At all mountains – my husband and I rode alone on lifts and though singles were allowed and included in the lines (as they should be) -we were never pressured to ride with strangers. Food at all hills was available, hot and tasty. A Basin had food trucks but also offered in restaurant seating with reduced numbers of people. My husband and I were able to get food to go and eat outside comfortably. All bathrooms were accessible and never too busy. I found the lift lines at Loveland and A Basin manageable for the week after Christmas. THEN… we went to Keystone. I have never skiied in Keystone and I will never go again. Huge numbers of people streamed into the lift and ticket area so that huge crowds were gathered at both. The snow conditions were poor and only a few runs were open on Dercum mountain. By 10:00 the few runs were skiied out and the lift line at mid mountain on Dercum was an hour long. Even though we had only had 3 runs – we removed our skis and left. Most disappointing ski experience I have ever had. Next day – we found Ski Cooper which was a trip highlight. It helped because we had 4 inches of snow overnight and another few during the day. This small local hill was well managed and diligent about face masks. They offered a tasty lunch outside a yurt up the mountain and had beautiful powder that didn’t get skiied out even by afternoon. Ski Cooper is our new favorite place. Change of subject…..has anyone been to Big Sky yet? – We are heading there at end of March. Hope we have more snow. Happy New Year!

  8. Alta, Utah: grade D Observing how they handled both Christmas and New Year’s week:
    The signage at the lift lines that ask people to mask up are too bland and too small. Staff rarely ask people to mask up in the lift line. It’s up to the patrons to police their fellow skiers around them. Very stressful.
    Not all the lift and ski school employees wear proper face coverings or even make an effort to cover their nose.
    Albion Day Locker room: no limits on how many people can be in the super small rooms at a time. At the skier services Locker room: no separate entrance and exit doors, so you are right in the face of whomever is opening/coming through the door! No changes made that would encourage guests to social distance.
    Overall, it does not seem that Alta understands the importance of the phrase, “Stay Safe to Stay Open”.

  9. Had to cancel a pre-Christmas trip to Snowmass because of covid testing requirements imposed by Pitkin county. Have skied there since 1969. May not go back again. Ever

  10. Doug Werner says:

    REF: Beaver Creek in Colorado The resort has made many changes to keep guests and employees safe including requiring masks in the lift lines and on lifts; and requiring space between chairlift riders that are not in the same household and limiting the number of people on the mountain. The resort appears to have taken a huge financial hit to keep guests and employees as safe as possible. Unfortunately, some guests seem to think masks and separation on chair lifts do not apply to them and they diminish the hard work by the resort and its employees.

  11. Thomas Walker says:

    We’re long time Alta, Utah skiers and believe the resort is taking health safety very seriously. Signs telling people to wear masks are everywhere you’d expect them, but staff are also monitoring crowd behavior and telling people who haven’t masked up properly to do so. I’ve observed nobody resisting those instructions. Same is true of on-mountain eateries. We’ve skied 10 days so far this season and felt entirely safe throughout the experience.

  12. Patti Farkas says:

    To all those still hiding under the bed – have a good winter. We’re flying off next week to our annual 10-week ski trip to Utah (mostly at Alta) without a care. Vaccine – who knows and who cares? We’ll enjoy ourselves as usual and hope there will be SOME decent restaurants welcoming guests. By the way, we’re 80 and 87 years old. I’ve never used hand sanitizer in my life and don’t intend to. Get your head out of the sand and look around!

  13. Bob Candelmo says:

    Stratton, Sugarbush and Stowe everyone is taking the precautions seriously staff and guests!

    Hunter, Mt Snow lots of nice signs, not so much enforcing of any rules
    the guests are not interested in rules just crowding the lift lines and chairlifts.

    Been skiing 60 years, I know when and where I’m welcome and know when to leave for my best interest. Except for Stowe I’ll think real hard before going to another Epic resort back east. Ikon resorts back east are safer in my opinion.

  14. Stratton, VT: I work as a part time ski instructor at Stratton, and have skied there 8-9 days this season. Mask wearing is being done by pretty much everyone. Lower lift capacities are being observed for the most part, and most importantly, lift operators will accommodate 2 skiers who do not want a single rider on their chair (to make the 50% capacity on a 6-pack). Also, access to the three mountain lodges (base, mid-mtn & Sun Bowl) are available only to people who’ve reserved a table on Open Table. Grade: A

    Ski Butternut, MA: Have skied here 5-6 days. Mask wearing seems to be observed by everyone; ski school employees all wear masks; lodge capacities for snacking/lunching are kept very low, as is the retail store. Grade: A

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