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So what's going to happen next season?

Chris W

Certified Ski Diva
IBut will anything be available fairly last minute? Maybe not, judging by how booked up vacation properties have been in the PNW this summer and fall.
Right. I just have no idea what the season will bring and think it will be very hard to predict. My son especially lives for the ski season so I am trying to remain optimistic.

With middle-school and high-school kids, we floated the idea of - if the school switches to fully-remote some time prior to the season, what about packing up, driving out to UT (from NJ), and renting a place in SLC for a couple of months (with the idea of getting lots of days in the Cottonwoods, maybe a Brighton pass...). It would mean being very far from home should something happen healthwise so I doubt this plan will come to any fruition. And, while I'd say we could think about doing the same but with a place in VT, I know that all of the NE will have that same thought and will have likely already grabbed up the rentals!
 
Right. I just have no idea what the season will bring and think it will be very hard to predict. My son especially lives for the ski season so I am trying to remain optimistic.

With middle-school and high-school kids, we floated the idea of - if the school switches to fully-remote some time prior to the season, what about packing up, driving out to UT (from NJ), and renting a place in SLC for a couple of months (with the idea of getting lots of days in the Cottonwoods, maybe a Brighton pass...). It would mean being very far from home should something happen healthwise so I doubt this plan will come to any fruition. And, while I'd say we could think about doing the same but with a place in VT, I know that all of the NE will have that same thought and will have likely already grabbed up the rentals!
We have thought of this too, going to Sun Valley which we love. No kids here so that part is easy but finding a dog friendly rental for a month or two and one with 100% reliable internet are the hard parts. Sure there are nightly dog friendly rentals but that quickly becomes cost prohibitive, and I'm not sure our anxious dog will do well in a condo where he hears things from other units anyway. And we need fast reliable internet for work and in my experience, that is always iffy with the many vacation rentals we've stayed in.
 

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Likewise, I thought about renting a place for December and working remotely. My main concern is reliable internet connection. I wonder if you ask rental owners before booking, how "honest" they will be with you?
How about hotels, will internet be more reliable? Referring to hotels like residence inn, with kitchenette facilities.
 
Likewise, I thought about renting a place for December and working remotely. My main concern is reliable internet connection. I wonder if you ask rental owners before booking, how "honest" they will be with you?
How about hotels, will internet be more reliable? Referring to hotels like residence inn, with kitchenette facilities.
In terms of honesty, it would probably depend on if the rental owner (if you are even dealing with an owner, rather than a property management company) actually stayed in the unit sometimes themselves, or if it were purely an investment. They might not really know. Reviews could be helpful I suppose, although working from a vacation property isn't typically something people probably have done much, so whether or not you have enough to do video calls may not be apparent.

With hotels, it's hard to say. I'm sure we've all been in hotels where we had a particular room that didn't have great internet service, but the lobby did.
 
Apparently NH is working on a document that provides guidance for ski areas/resorts. Didn't see any particularly unusual but didn't read very carefully yet. Includes detailed guidelines for gondolas. As of late August, only people traveling from other New England states (Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island) are allowed enter without a 14-day self-quarantine after arrival, applies to any form of transportation.

https://www.nheconomy.com/getmedia/...ki-area-proposed-opening-guidance-9-22-20.pdf
"SKI AREA DRAFT GUIDANCE
For decades in the Granite State, ski areas have provided outdoor opportunities for visitors to enjoy New Hampshire’s wide-open natural settings in a safe and responsible manner. Today, with a new challenge facing the State, the snow sports industry and ski area owners stand ready to prepare and implement further safety measures for the experience of our guests and employees, through best practices that have worked in other outdoor settings as well as adopting guidance from public health officials.
. . . "
Screen Shot 2020-09-26 at 11.57.36 AM.png
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
Likewise, I thought about renting a place for December and working remotely. My main concern is reliable internet connection. I wonder if you ask rental owners before booking, how "honest" they will be with you?
How about hotels, will internet be more reliable? Referring to hotels like residence inn, with kitchenette facilities.
I won’t know until I get to Vermont how steady the Internet connection will be for my teaching. Today I zapped an email to the owner of my place offering to pay for an increase to better service while I am renting. Only if necessary, of course.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Abbi, in the past I've had to arrange internet service on my own when I rented a place for the winter season in NH. Maybe you can find an internet service on your own and pay for it separately from the rent if the service provided isn't strong enough.
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
Abbi, in the past I've had to arrange internet service on my own when I rented a place for the winter season in NH. Maybe you can find an internet service on your own and pay for it separately from the rent if the service provided isn't strong enough.
unfortunately Comcast will not provide me service because the building already has service. I was amazed they didn’t want to take my money somehow! I will dance around options as I determine what I need. I can go through the local phone company but they are looking for a contract. One step at a time!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
My rental didn't not come with internet, phone or cable. For years I used internet through cellular coverage. I could use the same box at my cottage in the summer. But it was too slow at the cottage and I was always going over the usage.

I switched up to the cable internet, got an android box for the TV. There wasn't really a contract for it, so I just sent it back in the spring when I was done. I have the android box, but the internet at home isn't fast enough for it.

Phone I just use my cell.

I'm still not sure what do about the rental. The Premier of Quebec just shut down the 2 major cities and another area because of the increased cases. He's right to do it, but where is everything going. I just don't want to lay out a big bunch of money and not be able to use it.
 
My rental has cable and internet included. Will be interesting to see how fast it is as well. Last season it was fine to work from the condo a few times, so here’s hoping this year’s location is just as good.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
Heard an interesting segment on Vermont Public Radio today on how the state's ski industry is preparing in the pandemic. If you'd like to listen, go here. It's not that long, and there's a transcript, too.

I also did a blog post this week on how three Vermont ski areas plan to deal with social distancing this season. It was based on a panel discussion hosted (virtually) by the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, and features representatives from Bromley, Sugarbush, and Smuggs.
 
I know this is kind of a downer post but I was thinking today about the massive increase in SARs this summer due to all the new/uneducated/unprepared hikers. I have to think a lot of new people will get out backcountry skiing/snowshoeing/snowmobiling/etc for the first time. (We already know that AT gear had record sales.) I think it's going to be bad out there. At least in summer a lost hiker can survive for a certain amount of time, and they don't have to worry about avalanches. That's not the case in winter in the mountains of course.
 
I know this is kind of a downer post but I was thinking today about the massive increase in SARs this summer due to all the new/uneducated/unprepared hikers. I have to think a lot of new people will get out backcountry skiing/snowshoeing/snowmobiling/etc for the first time. (We already know that AT gear had record sales.) I think it's going to be bad out there. At least in summer a lost hiker can survive for a certain amount of time, and they don't have to worry about avalanches. That's not the case in winter in the mountains of course.
BF and I were having that discussion the other night. The Sierras receive heavy snowfall at times and the backcountry is no joke. Also hate to be a downer but totally agree with you.
 
I'm having such a hard time figuring out what my game plan is. Buy a Crystal "hall pass" that my husband and I can split? There won't be walk up tickets, so it might be the only way to ski Crystal. But without any kind of reservation system and with full access on the IKON pass, I think it's entirely possible there are going to be ridiculous, horrendous crowds this year (meaning, I drive 2 hours and can't even get a parking spot). Knowing that weekdays are as crowded as weekends on hiking trails, I think even weekdays could be bad.

Should we plan a ski trip to someplace normally uncrowded? But does "normally uncrowded" mean uncrowded this year? We're kinda thinking about staying in McCall and skiing both Brundage and Tamarack, but I don't know if this is a good idea. With access to BC cut off, I think WA people are going to flock to Idaho. Maybe OR people too. And my husband looked at the Brundage trail map and noticed it's not all that big, and that that they essentially only have 2 lifts up the mountain. So if it gets busy, and we aren't sharing lifts, what is that like? I hate making reservations too far in advance in case its a bad snow year, but I bet if I don't make them early things will book up.

Then there's our good ol' favorite, Sun Valley, which says we have plenty of room and lift access so we aren't worrying about reservations. But they saw huge crowds in the surrounding mountains this summer. People came from all over. Will it be the same this winter? Should I just take a break from skiing and buy a horse? Maybe I'll float that by the Mr. tonight. :tongue:
 
I'm having such a hard time figuring out what my game plan is. Buy a Crystal "hall pass" that my husband and I can split? There won't be walk up tickets, so it might be the only way to ski Crystal. But without any kind of reservation system and with full access on the IKON pass, I think it's entirely possible there are going to be ridiculous, horrendous crowds this year (meaning, I drive 2 hours and can't even get a parking spot). Knowing that weekdays are as crowded as weekends on hiking trails, I think even weekdays could be bad.

Should we plan a ski trip to someplace normally uncrowded? But does "normally uncrowded" mean uncrowded this year? We're kinda thinking about staying in McCall and skiing both Brundage and Tamarack, but I don't know if this is a good idea. With access to BC cut off, I think WA people are going to flock to Idaho. Maybe OR people too. And my husband looked at the Brundage trail map and noticed it's not all that big, and that that they essentially only have 2 lifts up the mountain. So if it gets busy, and we aren't sharing lifts, what is that like? I hate making reservations too far in advance in case its a bad snow year, but I bet if I don't make them early things will book up.

Then there's our good ol' favorite, Sun Valley, which says we have plenty of room and lift access so we aren't worrying about reservations. But they saw huge crowds in the surrounding mountains this summer. People came from all over. Will it be the same this winter? Should I just take a break from skiing and buy a horse? Maybe I'll float that by the Mr. tonight. :tongue:
I have no sage advice, but just wanted to empathize. It’s so hard to make any decisions right now with so much uncertainty. Everything we usually think we know is just out the window about everything, even these activities we are so passionate about. I also wonder what crowds will do this season based on the crazy “get outside” movement this summer. I’ve been wondering what will happen if a crap ton of people, who have no idea what’s going on in the ski industry, start just showing up at mountains clueless that they won’t be able to just walk up to the window and buy a ticket/lesson/rental gear, etc. I can see that going badly with lots of angry people who may have driven from very far away. Not that it wouldn’t be their own fault for failing to do research on anything you want to do during Covid times. I really hope that majority of the people who don’t usually brave the outside in the winter just hunker down like usual..
 

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think the slopes are likely to be emptier this winter because the casual skiers may not want to deal with the restrictions and advance planning required this season. Though for large metro areas like Seattle, SLC and Denver it's hard to say what happens, maybe they will be more crowded indeed.

As for the trip planning I think the best approach is to plan trips that are fully refundable. SW and United allow to cancel flights for future credit or reschedule flights for no fee. There is also plenty of lodging with good cancellation policies. In addition there is the "Cancel for any reason" trip insurance. They are pricey, but in the current situation they may be worth it.

The bigger issue are the travel restrictions in the states one wants to visit to ski. The travel restrictions vary from state to state and they also change with time. I know this was a hot button issue on this forum recently so I will not further comment on that.

I have planned 2 trips, both are fully refundable. For lodging I am looking at ski in ski out lodging where possible, that resolved the lunch issue and the boot up in the car issue. Arguably booting up in the car is not so bad though.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
I think the slopes are likely to be emptier this winter because the casual skiers may not want to deal with the restrictions and advance planning required this season. Though for large metro areas like Seattle, SLC and Denver it's hard to say what happens, maybe they will be more crowded indeed.
I think it's going to be busier. Between virtual learning and working at home, I think more people than ever are going to have the opportunity to ski during the week. So I think weekdays will definitely be more crowded. Also in the East, I think fewer people will be flying out west for ski vacations. They'll be more likely to take drivable trips, which means the slopes could be busier especially during holiday times.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
I had an email this morning from one of the smaller Quebec hills. It appears that each resort has to send their action plan to the government for approval. So that explains why there has been no communication from the Quebec area resorts. Ontario has probably the same issue. So ASSQ and OSRA are waiting on their respective provincial bodies to give the go aheads.
 

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