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First few opening days in the Rockies coming soon for 2020-21

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
Well, it's past mid-October so from a weather standpoint that normally means the first Opening Days in the Rockies should be happening soon. Of course this isn't a normal year. Good news is that so far American ski areas and resorts intend to open with adjustments to keep staff and customers safe.

Arapahoe Basin announced that their operating plan has been approved by the local health department.

Oct. 24, Al's Blog
Approved to Open
http://arapahoebasin.blogspot.com/2020/10/approved-to-open.html
" . . .
Details about operations can be found at COVID-19 Operations. Opening in the COVID-19 era involves a lot work for A-Basin staff. It also involves the need for appropriate behavior by our guests. In essence, we all have to minimize our exposure to others. We need to wear our face coverings, maintain our distances and keep our groups small. At its most basic level, this is not that complicated. If we are all a little more careful and a little conscientious, we can ski and ride with minimal exposure to COVID-19 transmission. Every one of us has to do their part for us to enjoy the ski season.

Friday night Summit County issued a new public health order. The most notable impact to Arapahoe Basin is the reduction of indoor group sizes from 10 people down to 6 people from 2 different households. We will be making this change in our dining and other retail outlets.

With an excellent weekend forecast for snowmaking and natural snowfall, the outlook for opening just got a little brighter. We do not have an opening day set yet, but the outlook is definitely a little brighter.
. . ."
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
Looks like Trollhaugen in WI opened today. It's on the Indy Pass. Hours for 10/25 are noon-6pm and lift tickets are $35.

Wild Mountain in MN has the terrain park open. Lift tickets are $25. Wild Mountain intends to be open at least 100 days, or else they will offer a credit for days missed due to weather or pandemic closure.
 

StayWarm

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
I'm checking instagram every day to see if Loveland (which often competes with ABasin to open first) is opening yet. That said, today's update from the Denver Post is not very heartening. Summit County (like Denver) is putting more restrictions in place. I thought the comments from ABasin's COO about not blaming tourists for the spread was interesting, too.

In response, Arapahoe Basin chief operating officer Alan Henceroth issued a plea on his blog, urging compliance from county residents.

“If this rate doesn’t go down over the next two weeks, more severe restrictions will be put in place, hampering our ability to ski, work and enjoy life,” Henceroth wrote. “Conventional wisdom tells us that these cases are being brought in by outside tourists. Turns out that is almost completely false. Contact tracing has told us Summit County residents are spreading COVID to other Summit County residents. Nearly all of this is happening through socialization — an evening party, drinks after work, hanging too close with too many people. Many of the transmissions have occurred in the late evening, after partying, when peoples’ guards are down.

“If we want to enjoy winter in Summit County, we are going to have to turn things around quickly,” he wrote.
Denver is moving back to the second-highest level of restrictions today, closing gyms and limiting restaurants and other businesses to 25% capacity. We'll see if it helps.
 

StayWarm

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
And blowing past ABasin and Loveland, Wolf Creek will be the first to open in Colorado this year -- tomorrow! https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020/10/27/wolf-creek-colorado-open-ski-season/247907/

They got two feet in the storm that blew through on Sunday/Monday. The current plan is to be open through Sunday, and then we'll see. They may not have enough snow to stay open consistently. Also: "No amenities will be offered to visitors except lifts and restrooms, so there will be no food service, indoor seating areas, ski school or rentals."
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
No October opening for ABasin or Loveland this season. Apparently water is a problem due to the summer drought.

Here's what Loveland had to say on Oct. 29:
"Our snowmakers have had some amazing nights of snowmaking but we’re still a little ways out from Opening Day 2020. It was a beautiful bluebird day today and our Trail Maintenance team was busy in the snowcats pushing snow around the runs. Loveland will not open this weekend but we hope to open in the next week or two. We’ll email you Monday with an update on the progress we made."
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#10
Epic Reservation system was supposed to be open today for Week Of reservations at Keystone for Nov. 6-13. On hold until the final operating plan is approved by "government officials." They have local approval for both Keystone and Breck, but are waiting on the Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment.

Nov. 3, Summit Daily
Keystone delays launch of reservation system
https://www.summitdaily.com/news/keystone-delays-launch-of-reservation-system/

Nov. 2, Summit Daily
Keystone reservation system opens Wednesday
https://www.summitdaily.com/news/keystone-reservation-system-opens-wednesday/
" . . .
“We created a monthlong booking window for our passholders for a reason, so that you can go in and find the days that you want to lock in,” Roberson said. “And we anticipate there will be no problem getting the days that you want.”
For night skiing at Keystone, Roberson said guests will not need a separate reservation and instead can make a reservation for a single day, which includes night skiing. She said guests can have a reservation for only one mountain per day.
Roberson added that people can change or cancel reservations starting Nov. 17 and that the resort will make sure people aren’t abusing the reservation system, such as booking multiple days and then not showing up."
 

StayWarm

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Winter Park, which is on Ikon, announced yesterday that they are delaying their planned opening from mid-November to the end of the month. The area around the resort was seriously affected this fire season, and positivity rates for covid are climbing.

"The impacts of the East Troublesome Fire on Grand County, home to Winter Park, combined with public health guidelines and restrictions have made this decision necessary and the right thing to do. It is in the best interest of all to allow time for more terrain to open to have more space for skiers and riders on the mountain and within resort facilities."
 

StayWarm

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
And aren't some of the ski resorts having issues with water, because of the fires?
I've seen several resorts referencing the extreme drought across the state as one of the things making snowmaking harder. I haven't heard them reference the fires as a cause of the water issues, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're contributing.
 
#14
Epic Reservation system was supposed to be open today for Week Of reservations at Keystone for Nov. 6-13. On hold until the final operating plan is approved by "government officials." They have local approval for both Keystone and Breck, but are waiting on the Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment.

Nov. 3, Summit Daily
Keystone delays launch of reservation system
https://www.summitdaily.com/news/keystone-delays-launch-of-reservation-system/

Nov. 2, Summit Daily
Keystone reservation system opens Wednesday
https://www.summitdaily.com/news/keystone-reservation-system-opens-wednesday/
" . . .
“We created a monthlong booking window for our passholders for a reason, so that you can go in and find the days that you want to lock in,” Roberson said. “And we anticipate there will be no problem getting the days that you want.”
For night skiing at Keystone, Roberson said guests will not need a separate reservation and instead can make a reservation for a single day, which includes night skiing. She said guests can have a reservation for only one mountain per day.
Roberson added that people can change or cancel reservations starting Nov. 17 and that the resort will make sure people aren’t abusing the reservation system, such as booking multiple days and then not showing up."
If they're still planning to open 11/6, the key point they want to get approval on is probably the number of reservations per day they're going to issue to start the season; it would be irresponsible to turn on the system without that limit being very definite. They probably have approval on a particular target occupancy but will almost certainly want to issue more reservations than that to account for things like no-shows and half-day skiers.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#15
If they're still planning to open 11/6, the key point they want to get approval on is probably the number of reservations per day they're going to issue to start the season; it would be irresponsible to turn on the system without that limit being very definite. They probably have approval on a particular target occupancy but will almost certainly want to issue more reservations than that to account for things like no-shows and half-day skiers.
Not sure about the idea of trying over allocate reservations for early season. Only Epic passholders can ski during that period. Opening days are being delayed so that more terrain will be open. It will probably mostly be locals who are close enough for day trips.

The risk of allowing people to make reservations before getting approval is that they don't get approval by Nov. 6. The only reason for the early start for Keystone first week reservations was to allow Keystone folks to avoid the Waiting Room that will most certainly be busy the first few days as Epic folks make Priority 7-Day reservations.
 

StayWarm

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Keystone is still reportedly planning to open tomorrow, though also still waiting for approval of their plan from the Summit County health authorities: https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020...ummit-county-coronavirus-restrictions/248357/

Summit County put new covid restrictions in place today, including a 10pm curfew. It's curious to me that Keystone is still waiting on county approval. Loveland, which is also in Summit County, posted on Instagram today that their operating plan has been approved by both the county and state, so they're just waiting for better snowmaking conditions.
 

StayWarm

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
Looks like Keystone is in fact opening today -- first Front Range resort in Colorado to make it happen! The comments on their instagram post about opening day indicate that there are A LOT of people in the virtual waiting room waiting to make reservations for the rest of the season -- some commenters claim over 100,000 people are ahead of them in line.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#18
Looks like Keystone is in fact opening today -- first Front Range resort in Colorado to make it happen! The comments on their instagram post about opening day indicate that there are A LOT of people in the virtual waiting room waiting to make reservations for the rest of the season -- some commenters claim over 100,000 people are ahead of them in line.
Glad Keystone managed to get open. I'm sure VR was doing everything they could to get the paperwork approved in time. It's a big deal for the entire ski industry, not just in Colorado.

Not surprised the Queue-It virtual queue is stuffed. Same thing happened in Australia in June. VR keeps saying that there is a full month for Epic holders to get in their Priority 7-Day reservations. But who pays attention to that? :wink:

Good thing the Epic Reservation system opened up yesterday so that people going to Keystone this weekend could get in without any hassle.

Suppose VR sold 1 million Epic passes of any kind, 10% is 100,000. I think 850,000 was the number announced in September. Applying the 80-20 rule with 10% at one extreme and 10% at another, that's about right. Meaning 80% will wait until next week, perhaps because they aren't ready to pick 7 days far out in the future yet. 10% aren't even sure they want to use their Epic pass except for Week Of reservations midseason. So that leaves the 10% who think being first is all important.
 
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