Vail Resorts will require proof of vaccination for guests to dine at cafeteria-style restaurants inside the mountain this winter and vaccinations will be required for all employees, according to protocols announced Monday.
The Broomfield-based industry giant which owns three dozen resorts – including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado – also reiterated that reservations won’t be necessary for skiing and snowboarding, a decision that was announced last spring. Reservations were required last season due to COVID-19.
An email from General Manager Rob Katz to Epic Pass holders sent on Monday indicated that elevators and gondolas will be loaded at normal capacities this season, but face coverings will be required indoors, including in areas. accommodation properties, restrooms, stores and rentals and shuttles. They will not be obligatory in the ski lifts or on the chairlifts, except if the local public health policies require it.
Some mountain restaurants will require reservations, the email said, but Katz noted “we expect significantly more dining and seating capacity than last season.”
The company said details of mandatory vaccinations for customers will be posted on resort websites before those mountains open for the season.
âConsistent with many other large-scale indoor activities and sites, we believe the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of our guests and employees, given the number of people using these facilities and the fact that guests will not wear face coverings while eating and drinking, âKatz’s email said. “This is currently the only part of our experience that will require proof of vaccination, unless local public health requires it.”
Other major Colorado resort operators have yet to announce COVID protocol plans. Alterra Mountain Company, based in Denver (15 North American destinations including Winter Park and Steamboat in Colorado) “is currently assessing” the situation according to a spokesperson. The same goes for Powdr (10 stations including Copper Mountain and Eldora in Colorado).
“COVID continues to be extremely dynamic and we will respond to evolving pandemic circumstances and the health requirements of federal and local governments with appropriate measures,” Powdr said in a statement.
Aspen Snowmass requires employees to be vaccinated, but has not made an announcement regarding guests visiting its four mountains (Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk).
“We are still discussing possible guest policies,” Aspen Snowmass spokesperson Jeff Hanle said. “We didn’t need reservations last season and are not planning this season, although we have a system in place if needed.”
Loveland has not made an announcement, but spokesperson John Sellers said there are no plans to require reservations for skiing and horseback riding.
âWe will continue to assess our options and do what we can to make sure we are able to operate safely for another full season,â said Sellers.
Arapahoe Basin announced last week that it would require employees to be vaccinated.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Adventurist, to get outdoor news straight to your inbox.