Will Ski Resorts Open in 2021?
Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2021 Ski Season Rules
The last two ski seasons were rudely interrupted by a global pandemic, so skiers and snowboarders everywhere are looking forward to a robust ski season in 2021-2022. While ski resorts are definitely planning to open this year, there will naturally be some covid ski restrictions as a result of variants and low vaccination rates in various parts of the country. Luckily, this season is going to be a lot less restrictive than last season, but here are some of the rules and regulations you can expect to encounter when hitting the slopes this season.
Will Ski Resorts Open in 2021?
Yes! All of your favorite ski resorts are planning to open for a busy winter season. With vaccinations on the rise (and many communities even moving on to booster shots), the ski season in Colorado and beyond is looking promising. Many mountains, especially those owned by Vail Resorts, are loosening their COVID ski restrictions and looking forward to more apres-ski fun. Of course, each resort will have its own rules, so it’s important to do some specific research on your chosen ski area before purchasing a pass or planning your winter vacations.
Apres-Ski Fun with Proof of Vaccination
While most resorts won’t require proof of vaccination to ride the gondola, ski the slopes, or enjoy a beer on one of the resort’s patios, you can enjoy more cozy apres-ski fun indoors and by the fire with a COVID vaccination card. Indoor restaurants and establishments at many resorts including Vail will require proof of vaccination to eat indoors at quick-service restaurants on the mountain this year.
Mask Requirements Are Unlikely
Unlike last season, the 2021 ski season rules at most resorts will not require masks outdoors for the ski season. Sugarbush Resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and Vail Resorts will not require masks in lift lines or while riding the slopes. That said, each resort will have different policies regarding masking up indoors.
Update: until Dec. 29, face masks were not required on Vail Resorts’ gondolas at their 37 ski resorts. That requirement has now changed, with an update to their policies: “Due to the recent spike of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, we are taking additional safety precautions. Beginning tomorrow, Wed. 12/29, guests and employees will be required to wear face coverings on gondolas at all of our North American resorts. Thank you for your understanding.”
Full Capacity Gondolas
Most riders can look forward to shorter lift lines for the 2021-2022 ski season because gondolas and lifts will be operating at full capacity. Vail Resorts, which owns 37 ski resorts across the US, Canada, and Australia, has announced that they will be filling up every machine that goes up the mountain. That means you’ll be able to get more runs in each day!
No More Reservation Requirements
In an effort to curb crowds last year, many resorts instituted a reservation system for lift tickets and day passes. This was perhaps one of the most inconvenient of the COVID ski restrictions, preventing winter lovers from making spontaneous trips to their favorite slopes. But riders and skiers rejoice: it’s not looking like reservations will be necessary this year. Vail Resorts, along with some of the less crowded ski resorts like Big Sky and Steamboat, will not require reservations.
Although reservations won’t be required, we are seeing a lot of pent up demand and anticipate this year to be busy at ski resorts, so we suggest booking online in advance as much as you can. You can book your ski and snowboard gear easily online in advance with TripOutside. TripOutside offers an exclusive 10% off of Black Tie Ski Delivery at 39 ski resorts, so you can avoid the crowds and lines, and have your gear brought directly to your accommodation. In addition, booking online in advance saves you up to 20% at most ski shops.
Here’s To A Long, Active Ski Season 2021-2022!
Here at TripOutside, we are excited to get back to tearing it up on our favorite mountains this year. The unique mountain communities around the ski slopes are part of the experience, too, so the lifting of last year’s COVID ski restrictions is good news for everyone. And no matter which resort you decide, you can rent gear for your ski season from our top-rated outfitters at ski resorts across the country!
Post contributed by Emma Castleberry. Emma is a writer and road warrior, living out of her cozy Honda Element (the Brave Little Toaster) as she travels the US in search of the perfect backpacking loop, the most elusive wildlife sightings, and as much glorious outdoor adventure as she can handle. A hiker and backpacker foremost, she also loves kayaking, SUP, and the occasional mountain biking adventure.