Aspen Skiing Co. Tells Skiers to Temper Expectations Ahead of 2020-2021 Season

Clay Malott | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Aspen Snowmass resorts were shut down by a mandatory closure order from the state government on March 15. Photo credit: Aspen Daily News.

Aspen Skiing Co. CEO Mike Kaplan wrote a letter to guests on Tuesday regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 ski season.

Kaplan says that the pace of the sport could slow down, due to decreased capacity and therefore longer wait times. But despite this, he thinks it may add value to skiers when Kaplan said:

“Like everything in our lives pre-COVID, skiing and snowboarding had become somewhat frantic. Many of us were caught up in the conquests—tracking our bowl laps and vertical—rather than fully appreciating the moments. I’m looking forward to refocusing on the core of what this sport is all about, what this place enables: a chance to connect deeply—with nature, with our physical selves and movements, and even with our sense of purpose and our roles in society. No doubt, next ski season will be more of an old school experience, but that could also translate to less noise, fewer distractions and, hopefully, more meaning.”

Kaplan also mentioned some of the procedures that Aspen Snowmass will employ during the 2020-2021 season:

“Loading and riding lifts and gondolas will have guidelines that limit contact between unrelated individuals. Social-distancing measures and facial-covering requirements will be in place in all restaurants, ticket offices, ski school facilities and other indoor or congested areas. We are looking at expanding outdoor seating, adding coverage and heat where possible. New technology will allow most transactions to take place online prior to or during each visit, with ticketing, waivers, menus, ordering and payments all moving to digital formats as much as possible. This will allow guests to enjoy more time recreating by getting on the mountain quicker and will limit the need to wait in lines or spend time in congested areas.”

Kaplan finished the letter by making it clear that Aspen Snowmass will not open until it is 100% safe to do so:

“I want to be clear: We will only go back to business as usual at the ski areas and in our restaurants and hotels when the science and health experts give us the unanimous “all clear.” Until then, we’ll be serious and vigilant about keeping one another safe. Just like in skiing, we each must take responsibility for our own safety and absolutely avoid endangering others.”

You can read the full letter here.

Next season will look different for everyone; resorts, customers, employees. In the next couple of months, like Aspen Snowmass, resorts will start to put forth detailed COVID procedure plans on how to operate during the imminent threat of the virus. The season will look very different, but it is good to hear that resorts are trying to keep public health and safety as their first priority.

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