The best resort experience will be a balance of flexibility, fun, respect, and preparation
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to kick off the 2020-21 winter ski and ride season on Wednesday, November 25, weather and conditions permitting. Operations during COVID-19 will require guests and the resort to work together: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is committed to providing space for physical distancing, adhering to safety policies, and remaining flexible in the face of the inevitable changes throughout the season. Guests must educate themselves in advance about COVID-19 policies, respect those policies while on-site, follow resort communications as they are updated, and remain flexible. Guests should book in advance of their visit and plan to visit midweek for the best possible experience. The most updated information, including Frequently Asked Questions, resort policies, and practices will be available on the 2020-21 Winter Experience page throughout the season.
The resort is spending approximately $1 million to increase physical distancing and sanitizing across both mountains. New hand-sanitizing stations are being installed and bathrooms will be outfitted with hundreds of additional touchless faucets, paper towels, and soap dispensers. Partitions will be installed in the ticket, ski school, and food and beverage sales locations. A fleet of high-demand electrostatic sanitizing sprayers will disinfect areas around the resort, with the ability to sanitize up to 23,000 square feet on one tank. Electrostatically charged disinfectant clings to multidimensional hard and soft surfaces, providing consistent and lasting disinfection.
Guests can expect to find more outdoor seating than ever before, including expanded deck seating at Alpine Meadows Base Lodge, Gold Coast Lodge, and KT Base Bar where hundreds of new tables, chairs, heaters, umbrellas, and fire pits will be available for guests to use. The Mountain Roots food truck will also park right next to the snow in The Village at Squaw Valley. Portable employee locker rooms will be placed in base areas at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley to facilitate physical distancing for staff.
Pass holders will continue to have the best and most flexible access to the resort, with no reservations currently required to access the mountain. The resort will manage general visitation by temporarily eliminating the sale of “walk-up” tickets at the window, and tightly controlling the sale of advance purchase tickets, which are expected to be primarily available midweek. Guests who book a ski and ride school lesson or book lodging directly through The Village at Squaw Valley will have priority access to tickets. Guests can also expect an increased cadence of communications, particularly on days that may be impacted by inclement weather.
This season, guests should plan their visit in advance. Reservations will be required for ski and ride school lessons, rental and demo equipment this season. To help guests plan ahead and reduce in-person contact, all major products will be available to book in advance online and through the Squaw Alpine App, including lift tickets, lodging, ski and snowboard school lessons, rental and demo equipment. Guests can also take advantage of mobile food ordering, currently available at restaurants in The Village at Squaw Valley including Auld Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant, Fireside Pizza Company, Coffeebar, and Tremigo Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar. Rocker@Squaw, Wildflour Baking Company, and MOGROG Café at Alpine Meadows will also be launching online ordering. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to expand mobile ordering to additional locations across both mountains. Guests can check the Dining & Après page for updates.
Face Coverings are Required
At the resort this season, guests will be required to wear a face-covering with two or more layers in any indoor facility or enclosed space, including lodges, restaurants, retail stores, shuttles, elevators, and all lifts. Face coverings are not required while eating or drinking. All guests are also required to wear a face-covering with two or more layers outdoors where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed. Face coverings are required in lift lines, on all chair lifts, while walking through the Village, and in other outdoor areas where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed. Essentially, guests should expect to wear a face-covering almost all of the time. Guests who are opposed to this are asked to avoid visiting the resort this season.
What to expect
While the core skiing and riding experience will be largely unchanged this season, guests can expect to see changes elsewhere on the mountain. On chairlifts, guests will be asked to self-group and load the chair with people who are within their party. The exception will be the Funitel and the Tram, which will be loaded at significantly reduced capacities. Guests can ask to ride chairlifts alone. Lift attendants will not actively work to fill chairs, and will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know.
Capacities and operations at indoor spaces, including restaurants, bars, lodges, and cafeterias will be limited based on the current state and local regulations. Guests will need to limit the time spent inside, and personal vehicles will be a good option for breaks throughout the day. Menus at lodges and on-mountain locations will be simplified, with fresh-made grab-and-go items and hot food ordered to go. Canned beer, wine, and cocktails will be available at locations across the resort.
“Guests should expect COVID-19 related changes to impact a number of aspects of resort operations. The resort team, including the Mountain Operations team, will be facing numerous challenges created by COVID-19 policies and procedures. These may result in delayed lift and terrain openings, particularly on inclement weather days. The resort team will do its best to communicate these in advance, and guests are asked to tune in to the resort website, app, or social media channels in advance of their visit, particularly when inclement weather is predicted. We are excited to deliver an exceptional guest experience, but everyone needs to understand that the operational challenges are huge, and so remaining flexible and understanding will be prerequisites to having a great time.”
– Ron Cohen, president, and chief operating officer at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will continue to update its 2020-21 Winter Experience page as more information becomes available.