Fall is upon us as we begin to experience the long hot days of summer being replaced with warm afternoons and cold crisp evenings. The drop in temperature has both visitors and residents alike planning out their ski season as everyone is looking towards winter. Each resort is making plans and preparing for a historic upcoming Lake Tahoe 2020/21 ski season. Here’s the latest information on what you can expect at Lake Tahoe ski resorts for the upcoming winter.
All Ski Resorts General Policies For COVID-19
Things can change quickly during this pandemic, but for now, every ski resort around Tahoe is planning to open. Required policies involve everyone is to wear face coverings to access the mountain, lift lines, and while loading, unloading, and riding on chairlifts and gondolas. How they will be handling capacity and other variables varies by resort and can be found below.
Tentative Opening Day: 11/20
Heavenly resort will be implementing a pass holder reservation system this season in order to manage how many people are on their mountain. Fear not, as a season pass holder, if you already have your big trip scheduled, you can reserve up to 7 priority days ahead of time by December 8th. Lift tickets will then only go on sale after December 8th, once season pass holders have had time to make their priority day reservations.
What If You’re Not A Season Pass Holder?
If you don’t want to get a season pass, you can still gain the same benefits as a season pass holder, such as getting lift tickets for 50% off and the flexibility of picking between one and seven days of skiing/riding, by purchasing an Epic Day Pass.
Once On The Mountain
Vail Resorts guidelines instructing to maintain physical distancing on chairlifts and gondolas will only be to seat related parties (guests skiing and riding together) or:
- Two singles seated on opposite sides of a four-person lift
- Two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift.
- Two singles on opposite ends of larger gondola cabins.
Tentative Opening Day: 12/4
Vail Resorts also owns Kirkwood so the same rules apply when it comes to safety policies, reservation system, and rules about chairlift loading policies. These policies affect the following chairs: Cornice Express (Chair 6), Sunrise (Chair 4), and Timber Creek Express (Chair 7), two singles could be seated on opposite sides. For all other chairlifts since they’re doubles or triples, expect only your group to be loaded on the lift.
Tentative Opening Day: TBD (last year was 11/30)
Unlike Vail Resorts, Sierra-at-Tahoe has no plans of implementing a reservation system. The lack of a reservation system does not mean they will relax on policies; their focus will be on making sure and enforcing physical distancing protocols. These protocols include asking visitors to self-group with members of their party. Sierra-at-Tahoe’s restaurants are still open and re-designed so you can get food grab and go style.
Tentative Opening Day: TBD (last year was 12/6)
Reserve your spot now because Homewood is focused on reducing the number of skiers per acre by capping the number of skiers on the mountain per day AND reducing the amount of season passes that are up for sale. What these new policies mean is if you can get on the mountain this year, you’ll be able to indulge on ample amounts of fresh snow. Like Sierra-at-Tahoe above, they’ve also designed their food options so you can use your car as the tailgating spot.
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Tentative Opening Day: November 25th
Currently the plan for Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows is that they will not be utilizing a reservation system, but will instead focus on reducing volume while temporarily eliminating the sale of walk-up tickets and reducing the amount of advance purchase tickets available for a given day.
You can still have you ski vacation in this winder wonderland if you don’t wait and plan ahead. If you know when you want to come up, book the tickets, reserve the days, and get your lodging reserved with us so you won’t have any stress once you get here.