Perfectly timed with the first snow of the season, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY yesterday announced further details to their operating plan for the upcoming winter. In an open letter to the community, pass holders, and guests, President Mary Kate Buckley detailed the measures the resort would be implementing to ensure a healthy, safe, and successful season for all.
While mostly in-line with plans unveiled by other large resorts across the country, the resort did reveal that season pass holders will not be required to make reservations, and should access the mountain as they normally would. However, they have put a hold on season pass sales.
Guests who have already purchased any Season Pass product from JHMR to date will have full mountain access without limitations this winter per the terms under which their pass was purchased.
The way the resort will manage a limited capacity will be through the sale of day tickets. Skiers will be incentivized with discounts to buy their tickets as far in advance as possible.
Tickets will be sold through an online advanced ticket purchasing system for day and afternoon tickets. Guests will be incentivized to purchase online before their visit and will receive a 10% discount with advanced purchases made outside 14 days or more and a 5% discount for purchases made within 7-14 days.
The aerial tram will run, on a first come first served basis, and for additional access to Rendezvous Bowl and the backcountry, they will introduce a boot pack from the top of the Sublette lift.
Other operational changes, such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and lift operations are all covered in the letter, in full, below:
Dear Community, Passholders and Guests,
Monday we saw a fresh dusting of snow on our mountain, setting the stage for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) to open for the 2020/21 winter season just 78 days from today.
Many of you have reached out wanting to know more about JHMR’s winter operations, and I would like to provide you with more information pertaining to our plans. First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for your loyalty to and passion for JHMR. When we launched our Spring Season Pass Sale, we all faced tremendous uncertainty. To reduce risk for Season Pass purchasers, we introduced a payment deposit plan as well as the option to request a refund for any reason by October 15. So many of you have purchased our Season Pass products already — thank you! We will release our full operational plans in October and to provide more flexibility for our pass holders, we are extending the refund date to November 16.
Modified Mountain Winter Operations
We are modifying many facets of our operations this winter to accommodate the need for physical distancing to reduce crowding and to keep everyone safe. We will be implementing the following:
- Reduced capacity in each of our restaurants, supplemented with heated tents and additional tables for dining.
- Reduced crowding in the base area through queue management and maze configurations, along with increased lift speeds when possible to move our guests more rapidly uphill.
- Commencing with the holidays and continuing as long as necessary and when possible, we will start the Teewinot, Sweetwater and Après Vous lifts at 8:30 a.m., subject to snow control efforts so that our guests can move out of the base area earlier and enjoy more time on the snow.
- The Aerial Tram will operate but at a significantly reduced capacity on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional access to Rendezvous Bowl and the backcountry, we will introduce a boot pack from the top of the Sublette lift.
Daily Capacity Limits
We have established a maximum daily capacity for guests at JHMR and will limit the number of tickets available for purchase each day to enable sufficient physical distancing in our base area, buildings, and facilities to keep our guests safe.
Season Pass Products
Guests who have already purchased any Season Pass product from JHMR to date will have full mountain access without limitations this winter per the terms under which their pass was purchased. To be clear, same as any other year, a Rendezvous Peak, Grand, 7-Day, or 10-Day Season Pass or ByPass affords access to JHMR without any need for a reservation. Season Pass products also include a START bus pass for the winter.
As of today, we have temporarily paused selling all public Season Pass products while we work with our lodging partners to assist those guests who already have made reservations to come to Jackson this winter. Passes sold through participating JH AIR merchants will still be available. We intend to resume selling public pass products on October 5, noting that 7- and 10-day pass products will no longer be offered.
Advanced Ticket Purchasing
Starting October 5, tickets will be sold through an online advanced ticket purchasing system for day and afternoon tickets. Guests will be incentivized to purchase online before their visit and will receive a 10% discount with advanced purchases made outside 14 days or more and a 5% discount for purchases made within 7-14 days. Advanced purchasing also allows pre-arrival fulfillment, mailing, and lodge delivery with the added convenience of direct-to-lift access. Same-day window and online ticket sales will be offered based on availability. If capacity limits are met for a specific day, tickets will no longer be available for purchase. To keep everyone safe, all day tickets will be associated with an individual to allow for contact tracing in the event of COVID-19 exposure using our radio frequency identification (RFID) lift ticket system.
Further details may be found in our FAQs section on www.jacksonhole.com/winter-faq.html. We will release additional information regarding our operations in October and will rely on our free app, JH Insider, as a critical tool to receive real-time updates regarding mountain operations. We will also be introducing SMS text notifications, an improved online store, QR codes for hands-free information, mobile payments, and much more. We understand communication is key, so we will keep guests informed through as many channels as possible.
Our priority is to create an environment that protects the health and safety of our guests and employees with the baseline requirements to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing. We are adopting the best practices and direction from the National Ski Areas Association, the CDC, Wyoming Department of Health, Teton County Health Department, and St. John’s Health. To further advise us as we develop our health and safety protocols, we have engaged Dr. Paul Beaupré, CEO of Jackson’s St. John’s Health, to evaluate our operational plans to ensure compliance with all health guidance. “JHMR is being very thoughtful and deliberate in their plans to open the resort this winter. It remains the responsibility of the patrons to wear face coverings while in lift lines. Their plans should allow for a safe and successful ski season.”
We will be open, safe, and ready for you this winter. Together with your vigilance and compliance, we will have another great season. Thank you again for your support, and we look forward to seeing you on the slopes soon.
Mary Kate Buckley