Even as temperatures drop, the demand for ski holidays is increasing.
Travelers who skipped the runways last season are driving pent-up demand, and those who booked but canceled trips amid COVID-19 concerns are cashing in.
In many destinations, this season is very similar to the pre-pandemic ones. While last season skiers saw masking – even outdoors – as well as lifts operating at limited capacity to accommodate social distancing, those practices are largely over. The vast majority of ski resorts are running the lifts at full capacity and masks are no longer mandatory on the slopes.
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Inside is another story and varies by destination. Vail Resorts in Colorado, which operates 34 destinations, requires indoor masking and requires all guests 12 and older to be vaccinated to dine indoors. All employees must also be vaccinated.
“In line with many other large-scale indoor operations and sites, we believe the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of our customers and employees, given the number of people using these facilities and the fact that customers will not be wearing a face covering during This is currently the only part of our experience that will require proof of vaccination unless required by local public health,” Vail states on its website,
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In Deer Valley, Utah, masks are required indoors, but proof of vaccination is not.
Susie English, director of marketing at Deer Valley Resort, told Fox News: “Across the industry, we’ve seen a huge increase in people wanting to be outdoors. [since the pandemic began]. People feel safe outside, they can get take-out food and it’s a relatively COVID-conscious experience.”
Many ski destinations removed the advanced reservation system that controlled capacity last winter, making a last-minute ski trip a possibility that largely did not exist last season. It is important, however, to check this policy during peak periods like President’s Week.
English said the resort is still limiting the number of skiers, but those numbers are in line with pre-pandemic levels.
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4 tips for planning a ski vacation in 2022
Buy early and plan ahead.
Although many resorts no longer limit lift ticket sales, there are exceptions. For example, Deer Valley is limiting ticket sales – not as a COVID practice, but as part of the customer experience. It is especially important to plan ahead if you plan to ski during a peak period, such as President’s Week.
Be upfront about your comfort level.
If you don’t feel comfortable riding in an elevator with someone you don’t know, just let the elevator operator know, in English suggested. If eating indoors isn’t your thing, research outdoor takeout options before deciding on a destination.
Book off-peak to save.
Target mid-January as a potential time to save during peak periods.
Book lessons well in advance.
Staffing shortages are just as prevalent in the ski industry as anywhere else. If you or your child need ski lessons, book those places before booking the rest of your trip or run the risk of being excluded.
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