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Many Utah ski resorts plan to re-open with COVID-19 in mind

Posted at 9:17 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 00:17:40-04

PARK CITY, Utah- The ski and snowboard season was cut short earlier this year as Covid-19 began to spread and subsequently close ski and snowboard resorts in Utah early. Park City Mountain announced it will re-open Nov. 20, 2020 but with some changes.

“We want people to come up here and have the peace of mind that they can stay safe and they can distance,” Jessica Miller, Park City Mountain Communications Manager, said.

Some of the key changes include face coverings will be required, chair lifts will have distanced seating, there will be changes to on-mountain dining and ski schools, as well as a cap on the number of people allowed on the mountain each day. To ensure social distancing can be achieved, Park City Mountain, along with all Vail Resorts will be implementing a reservation system.

People who have an Epic Pass, which is a season pass to Vail Resorts, will be able to make reservations online beginning in Nov. People can also opt to buy one or multiple day passes.

The news of the reservation system has come with many concerns and some anger in online Park City related Facebook groups.

FOX13 News spoke with a pass holder who says he doesn’t plan to purchase a pass this year.

“When you buy a season pass you want to guarantee that you can ski whenever you want,” David Marshall said.

While the reservation system is help manage capacity, Miller said she doesn’t believe it will be an issue.

“Most of the days we do anticipate that everyone who wants to will be able to get on the mountain,” she said.

People will also be able to reserve day-of and a certain number of days in advance. Read more on the reservation system here: https://www.epicpass.com/info/reservation-details.aspx

Brighton Resort up Big Cottonwood Canyon is also planning to re-open this year with some changes. The final plan is still be worked out, Jared Winkler, Brighton Resort Dir. Of Marketing, said. They do have some ideas of what will be implemented though, he said.

“We are encouraging people to download a new app we will be launching pretty soon where you can order your food from the chair lift and we will have it waiting for you in a bag to just pick up,” he said in an effort to promote social distancing.

There will also be a reservation system for ski/ snowboard lessons and rentals, he said but they aren’t planning a reservation system for lift tickets.

Brighton will be monitoring capacity more than in the past, Winkler said, and a lot of that will come from the parking lot. When the parking lot is full that pretty much sets capacity, he said. Brighton often faces issues with limited parking.

“This year may be tough because some people may not be willing to carpool or may not be willing to use ride-share apps or even take public transportation,” Winkler said.

Both Park City Mountain and Brighton Resort are offering Covid-19 inspired assurance policies.

For more information on Brighton Resort Covid-19 response, click here. https://brightonresort.com/covid-19

For more information about Vail Resorts reopening plans, click here. https://www.epicpass.com/info/reservation-details.aspx