On September 2, 2020

Reservations, masks required at Okemo this winter

By Katy Savage

If you want to ski or ride at Okemo this winter you’ll have to make a reservation first.

Vail Resorts, which owns Okemo, Mount Snow and Stowe along with 31 other resorts, released its winter operating plan on Aug. 27. Guests will be required to wear facial coverings at all times and encouraged to plan days they want to ski weeks or months in advance.

“I realize not everyone will agree with our approach – some feeling we are being too conservative or aggressive,” Vail CEO Rob Katz said in a letter to guests. “I recognize the changes we are implementing will be an inconvenience.”

Additionally, Vail’s resorts won’t accept cash anywhere and you won’t be able to walk up to a ticket window to buy a daily lift ticket unless you pre-pay. Though people seeking single day lift tickets will be welcome, season pass holders and Epic day pass holders will be given priority for reservations. Those with season passes can start making reservations starting Nov. 6 and can reserve up to seven priority days before traditional lift tickets go on sale.

“It’s a bit confusing, there are a lot of moving parts to it,” said Okemo Communications Director Bonnie MacPherson. “Ultimately we’re trying to reward our season pass holders.”

The reservation system will allow Vail to monitor crowd capacity at each resort. Though reservations are required, MacPherson said the chances of reaching capacity on any given day are low.

“Chances are pretty good there’s going to be availability,” MacPherson said.

Besides the new reservation system, there could be longer wait times to get on chairlifts, as guests won’t be able to sit next to strangers. However, two single riders will be placed on opposite sides of a four-person lift, two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift or two singles on opposite sides of gondolas.

There will also be dining changes. There will be fewer tables in lodges to encourage social distancing, MacPherson said. Most dining venues at Okemo will be open, but the majority of food service will be grab-and-go. Vail is encouraging guests to bring their own food and water.

Those who want to participate in the ski and ride school will be required to complete health checks. Lesson groups will be kept to six people maximum.

“Given how fluid and ever-changing the situation with Covid-19 is, it has also been our goal to design an approach that can remain in place for all of this season,” Katz said. “We do not want to be caught off guard or find ourselves needing to make reactive changes.”

Vail is offering a refund on 2020-21 season passes up until Sept. 17 for guests that don’t want to be at the resorts with all the changes.

“There is no doubt this season will be different, but we are committed to what matters most: working to protect your safety and wellbeing and providing you with great skiing and riding this winter,” Katz said in the message to guests.

Suicide Six and Killington have yet to release winter operating plans, though Killington Communications and Social Media Manager Courtney DiFiore expected Killington to release plans by mid-September.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Wellness Revolution Rutland welcomes women to join the August session

July 17, 2024
Biking program builds health, empowerment, and community  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (Blue Cross VT) and Terry Bicycles are welcoming the return of the Wellness Revolution Cycling Program in Rutland for the 2024 season. This free program serves those who identify as women to help them break through barriers that keep them from getting…

‘They threw up a white flag’

July 17, 2024
Saving Evergreen for posterity By Julia Purdy When the Vermont General Assembly approved the bylaws for the then Pine Hill Cemetery in Center Rutland, the bylaws allowed lot owners to hold meetings if warned 15 days ahead. That was in 1860. That right was exercised 164 years later, on May 22, 2024, when 75 current…

Sunnymede Farm Store wins summary judgement

July 17, 2024
By Curt Peterson UPDATE, July 18: The HPC has chosen not to appeal the summary judgment regarding the Sunnymede store. On July 8, the Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division, issued a summary judgement in favor of Sunnymede Farm’s application to construct a “farm store” on the former Lamb Farm property on Route 5 in Hartland.…

Rutland runway reopens, more upgrades on the way

July 17, 2024
After a seven-week closure, a newly renovated runway at Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT) is now open, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) reported, July 3 in a Facebook post.  “The runway has been rehabilitated with fresh pavement and LED runway edge lights, which are already a hit with pilots touching down and taking…