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What’s the Deal with Ski Season 20/21 in Colorado?

Posted in: Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Colorado Rockies Activities, Copper Mountain, Frisco Colorado, Keystone, Loveland, Media, Silverthorne, Summit County Colorado, Top Vacations Destinations, Travel News, Vail, Wildernest Colorado- Oct 16, 2020 No Comments
Keep in mind that skiing as am activity is set up to be safe.  We mostly already wear a mask and travel or ski with people we know.  With that in mind Resorts are implementing other guidelines to help us all be safer!
We’ve put a lot of things we love on hold this year, but ski season is not going to be one of them. Life on the slopes might look a bit different this season due to COVID restrictions and precautions, but resorts will be open in 2020-2021. Here’s what ski season is going to look like:

Masks

One of the big rules you’re going to see at every major resort in Colorado is a mask or face covering mandate. Both staff and guests at virtually every ski resort in Colorado will be required to wear a face covering over their mouths and noses, whether you’re in line for the lifts, entering the lodge, or riding a shuttle bus. Some, like Copper Mountain, require face coverings in any indoor area, while others, like Breckenridge, recommend or require them at all times except while actively skiing and snowboarding.

When not being worn, face coverings should be kept somewhere very easily on hand, and should cover both your mouth and your nose.

Physical Distancing

Lifts and gondolas at most resorts will only be seating related parties together, and leaving plenty of space between singles or doubles by spacing them out. At Breckenridge, for example, two single riders can be seated at opposite ends of a four-person chairlift, or on opposite sides of a larger gondola, and two doubles will be allowed on a six-person chairlift, but that’s about as close as you’ll get to someone who isn’t part of your group. At Copper Mountain, they’ve extended the maze for the queues, and no one will be required to ride the lift with someone they don’t know, except for in cases of high-capacity lifts and gondolas, which will still operate at reduced capacity and be spaced appropriately.

Most resorts are also instituting a lower capacity limit this season, meaning there will be fewer people on the slopes, in the facilities, and on the lifts, making it easier for you to maintain social distancing from other patrons. In places where avoiding other people isn’t always possible, or in high-traffic areas like locker rooms, lifts, and bathrooms, resort staff will be working hard to make sure the areas are sanitized often throughout the day.

Reservations

Some resorts, like Aspen Snowmass, haven’t released their plan for the season yet, in part because they would like to avoid a reservation system. As of yet there’s been no word as to whether you’ll have to plan ahead for your Aspen trips, but if all goes well, there’s a chance that not all resorts will require you to make a reservation. Other resorts that won’t require a reservation this year include Ski Cooper

Lessons, Group Tours, & Rentals

This is another one of those case-by-case basis deals, but most resorts are hoping to operate with lessons and tours as usual, albeit at a reduced capacity. When it comes to renting equipment, resorts are still doing their best to make sure you have access to everything you need, which means increased sanitation regulations as well as asking both staff and guests to wear face coverings at all times during their interactions.

Uphill Access

For many, uphilling is an essential part of ski season, and some resorts aren’t quite sure how they’re going to handle it yet, since it limits their control when it comes to capacity. Some, like Aspen Snowmass, are planning on allowing it, but ask that those seeking uphill access stick to designated routes, which may be closed at will to meet capacity restrictions.

Dining

Contactless dining and transactions are going to be the name of the game this season. At most resorts, expect to wear a face covering unless you’re actively eating, and anticipate limited capacity (including on days when the weather outside isn’t exactly picnic-worthy!), grab-and-go options so you can avoid seated dining, limited menus, contactless payments, and in many cases, the closure of full-service bars for the season.

What Do These Changes Mean?

If you’re a local, then these COVID-19 changes to the upcoming season might actually work in your favor. Reservation systems and capacity restrictions mean you’ll probably experience fewer crowds than usual, which means a lot more time on the slopes for you. There will probably be a lower volume of people coming from out of state this year, since the travel industry is still not back on its feet yet, so the people you do encounter out on the slopes are more likely to be locals or day trippers from in-state as well.

The restrictions do mean that you might have to plan ahead a bit more for your ski trip. Check and see whether you’ll require reservations before you go, so you don’t run into any trouble on the day of. Again, these reservations might actually work in your favor, as many resorts—even the big ones—are making changes to accommodate locals this year, since they’re anticipating less of a tourism boom. Aspen Snowmass is offering the discounted Valley Pass for residents of the Roaring Fork Valley (with valid ID and proof of address), and Winter Park is prioritizing access for passholders above all others this year.

The “What If” Factor

No one expected last year’s ski season to end the way it did. COVID-19 threw a wrench in everyone’s ski plans last spring (among other things!), and even with the slew of new restrictions and precautions, there’s no way to guarantee there won’t be another lockdown. Before you buy your passes this year, check to see if there are any policies or precautions in place. Loveland is offering discounted passes for those who weren’t able to use theirs last year, and if they are forced to shut down again, they will prorate their passes for the 2021/22 season. Ski Cooper is also offering to transfer pass value to the following season if they are forced to cease operations due to COVID-19, and anyone who purchases a pass for Winter Park (Ikon or Local Pass) is automatically covers under the Adventure Assurance plan, which ensures you’re protected if resorts are forced to close. Others are offering cancellation policies for a 100% refund if your plans are forced to change, so do your research before buying your passes this year in order to get the best bang for your buck, as well as the best peace of mind in these confusing and scary times.

For more information, check out the CDPHE website.

Vail Resorts Announces Opening Days For Sking!!

Posted in: Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Breckeridge Ullr Festival, Colorado Rockies Activities, Copper Mountain, Dillon Colorado, Frisco Colorado, Keystone, Loveland, Media, Silverthorne, Summit County Colorado, Top Vacations Destinations, Travel News, Vail, Wildernest Colorado- Aug 27, 2020 No Comments

Vail Resorts announces opening dates for 2020-21 season, plans reservation system

Vail Resorts announces opening dates for 2020-21 season, plans reservation system | SummitDaily.com
Skiers and riders are pictured on Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8 on March 12 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down ski areas across the state. Vail Resorts, which owns and operates Breckenridge and Keystone Resort, has announced its plans for the upcoming ski season.

Liz Copan / [email protected]

DILLON — After months of anticipation about the upcoming ski season, Vail Resorts announced Thursday its operating plan, including a reservation system and opening days.

It looks like there won’t be the usual race to open this year between Keystone Resort and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area as Vail Resorts already has set Keystone’s opening date for Nov. 6 — weather permitting. Breckenridge Ski Resort is expected to open Nov. 13. In nearby Eagle County, Vail is scheduled to open Nov. 20 and Beaver Creek is planning for Nov. 25.

Reservations will be required to access Vail-owned mountains, and the company said in a news release that it intends to limit lift tickets and prioritize passholders. According to the website for the Epic Pass, Vail Resorts’ pass system, the company anticipates being able to accommodate everyone who wants to ski or ride for the “vast majority of days.” The site also notes that the reservation system was designed to make people feel safe.

Passholders will be able to make reservations at EpicPass.com, on each ski resort’s website or over the phone. Additional information on the reservation system is expected to be provided by early November. Beginning Nov. 6, passholders can start making reservations online for Dec. 8 to April 4. Passholders will be offered seven priority reservation days during that period.

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz noted in a letter published Thursday, Aug. 27, that passholders will be able to make as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allow throughout the season.

Those looking to ski 100 days will need to get in the habit of reserving a new day every day, but those with goals to have a big ski year should be able to do so, resort officials said.

“It is possible that at some point in the season, as we evaluate the dynamics of our operations, we may decide that we no longer need the reservation system at certain resorts,” Katz wrote. “However, with so many uncertainties, we believe it is only prudent to have this system in place now.”

Single-day lift tickets will go on sale Dec. 8, leaving the early season to passholders, according to the release. Walk-up tickets will no longer be available for purchase at the window, but day-of guests can purchase tickets from their mobile devices and pick them up at the window.

 At a glance

Estimated opening and closing dates for Vail Resorts ski areas in Colorado:

  • Keystone Resort: Nov. 6, 2020, to April 4, 2021
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort: Nov. 13, 2020, to May 31, 2021
  • Vail Mountain: Nov. 20, 2020, to April 11, 2021
  • Beaver Creek Resort: Nov. 25, 2020, to April 4, 2021
  • Crested Butte Mountain Resort: Nov. 25, 2020, to April 4, 2021

Source: Vail Resorts

At a Breckenridge Town Council work session Tuesday, Aug. 25, Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula shared details from a meeting he took part in with Vail Resorts leaders, including Katz. Mamula noted that the company seemed to be concerned the state would place capacity limits on all resorts without taking their differences into consideration. Mamula drew a comparison to when indoor restaurant spaces were capped at 50 people, which felt overly restrictive to larger restaurants. The state later amended its capacity limits for restaurants with more than 7,200 square feet.

The state has not publicly issued guidance for ski areas.

When asked whether the plan was developed with guidance from the state, Breckenridge Ski Resort spokesperson Sara Lococo explained via email that the plan was designed to comply with, and in some areas exceed, “all known applicable laws.”

That includes requiring face coverings and implementing physical distancing protocols.

Face coverings will be required to access the mountain and must remain on in “all parts of resort operations,” including when loading and riding chairlifts and gondolas, when inside buildings and during ski and snowboard lessons, according to the release. On chairlifts and gondolas, related groups can ride together or people from different groups can ride together while maintaining the required distance. That means two single skiers or riders can ride on opposite sides of a four-person or larger chairlift or in large gondola cabins. On a six-person lift, two doubles can ride on opposite sides of the seat.

Lessons and on-mountain dining also will be available with some changes. Full-service, sit-down restaurants will operate with reduced seating according to existing state guidelines. Quick-service restaurants will have a cafeteria-style approach, with guests moving through a single-file line and selecting ready-to-go hot and cold food options before moving to the cashier.

For ski and snowboard lessons, instructors will undergo health screenings, and participants are required to confirm an online self-health screening prior to their lesson. Class sizes will be limited to six people, and lessons must be purchased in advance, according to the release.

In preparation for the season, Lococo said the resorts are actively hiring for seasonal and year-round positions. The federal suspension of foreign-worker visas through the end of the year prevents the resorts from hiring international employees using J-1 or H-2B visas, but Lococo said the resorts have a base of seasonal employees and have “additional strategies in place to help staff our resorts appropriately for winter.” Lococo added that employee housing will be offered with safety protocols in place.

The company’s traditional Labor Day Epic Pass deadline, including the deadline to use credits from last season, has been extended to Sept. 17.

The Vail Daily’s John LaConte contributed to this report.

Keystone’s Octoberfest

Posted in: Colorado Rockies Activities, Dillon Colorado, Frisco Colorado, Keystone, Media, Silverthorne, Summit County Colorado, Top Vacations Destinations, Travel News, Wildernest Colorado- Feb 10, 2020 No Comments

Keystone’s Octoberfest

KEYSTONE’S OKTOBERFEST

LODGING

Keystone Oktoberfest is for the entire family! Kids will love Kinderfest, their very own kids Oktoberfest with free face painting, The Frosted Flamingo mobile arts studio, dance performances and lessons from the Bavarian Schuhplattlers, as well as a Root Beer Stein Hoisting contest. Parents will love the Colorado craft beers from New Belgium Brewery that draw from German roots.  Track down some lederhosen and train up for the Das Bier Burner 5K that kicks off the day at 12pm.  The trophy for crossing the finish line is a pint of delicious craft bier.  As an added bonus the River Run Village stores and shops are getting in the spirit and having an Oktoberfest Tent Sale that day so treat yourself to an end of summer goodie from one of the many unique shops.

WE’LL PROST TO THAT.

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

TIME EVENT LOCATION COST
10:00am-6:00pm River Run Merchant Tent Sale River Run Village Varies
12:00pm Summitcove.com Das Bier Burner 5K  River Run Village $15 – $40
1:00pm – 6:00pm

Keystone’s Oktoberfest Beer Tents Open:

Your favorite fall craft beers flowing. Purchase a commemorative stein and included are three New Belgium beers of your choice from the beer garden!

River Run Village Buy Tickets
1:00pm -6:00pm Kinderfest – Free Kids Activities River Run Village – Buffalo Courtyard FREE
1:00pm -2:00pm Concert: Summit Concert Band River Run Village FREE
2:00pm-3:00pm Concert: Those Austrian Guys River Run Village FREE
2:00pm – 2:45pm Bavarian Schuhplattlers – Kids Polka Instruction Kinderfest – Buffalo Courtyard FREE
3:00pm-3:30pm Bavarian Schuhplattlers Performance River Run Village FREE
3:30pm-4:30pm Concert: Those Austrian Guys River Run Village FREE
3:45pm – 4:15pm Bavarian Schuhplattlers – Kids Polka Instruction Kinderfest – Buffalo Courtyard FREE
4:30pm-5:00pm Bavarian Schuhplattlers Performance River Run Village FREE
5:00pm – 5:45pm

Stein Hoisting Contests

Kids Root Beer Hoisting Contest

Women’s Stein Hoisting Contest

Men’s Stein Hoisting Contest

River Run Village Main Stage FREE – 10 Contestants Per Category Sign Up at Day Of Sales & Will Call
5:15pm – 5:45pm Bavarian Schuhplattlers – Kids Polka Instruction Kinderfest – Buffalo Courtyard FREE
5:45pm-6:00pm Concert: Those Austrian Guys River Run Village FREE

KEYSTONE’S MOUNTAIN TOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL

Posted in: Colorado Rockies Activities, Dillon Colorado, Frisco Colorado, Keystone, Silverthorne, Summit County Colorado, Top Vacations Destinations, Travel News, Wildernest Colorado- Feb 10, 2020 No Comments

KEYSTONE’S MOUNTAIN TOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL

MOUNTAIN TOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL
MOUNTAIN TOWN MUSIC FESTIVALSee you on August 15th, 2020 for our 7th Annual Mountain Town Music Festival!
A celebration of all things Colorado. Warm summer days, free live music from national acts and the harvest season for our colorful state. Come spend the weekend in Colorado’s high country and celebrate the waning of summer and squeeze in that one last mountain adventure before the aspens start to turn their golden hues.

National acts grace the River Run Village stage and local food vendors will line the streets concocting their best peach recipes as well as other harvest favorites such as; Rocky Ford melons, Olathe sweet corn & elk. Both the sweet and the savory, for you to enjoy. Dance the day away with free live music, 2019 performers included Josh Hoyer & Soul ColossalJared and the Mill The Brothers Comatoseand headliner The Strumbellas! The festival will also feature vendors from across Colorado highlighting hammocks, original art, pet goodies, jewelry, clothing and more! As always there will be activities for the kiddos with face painters and The Frosted Flamingo mobile art studio.  Join us for this family-friendly, music-filled day at Keystone and help us welcome in the cooler days!

Saturday, August 15th

TIME EVENT LOCATION COST
1:30pm – 9:00pm

Mountain Town Music Festival

Free Live Music and Beer Garden

River Run Events Plaza Prices Vary
1:30pm-8:00pm Colorado Food, Farm and Merchandise Vendors Open River Run Events Plaza Varies – tasting tickets can be purchased onsite
2:00pm – 7:00pm Kidtopia KidZone – facepaint, crafts and Cave of Confusion Buffalo Courtyard Free
1:30pm – 3:00pm Concert:  River Run Main Stage Free
3:30pm – 5:00pm Concert:  River Run Main Stage Free
5:30pm-7:00pm Concert: River Run Main Stage Free
7:30pm-9:00pm Concert Headliner:  River Run Main Stage Free

Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer Festival

Posted in: Colorado Rockies Activities, Dillon Colorado, Frisco Colorado, Keystone, Silverthorne, Summit County Colorado, Top Vacations Destinations, Travel News, Wildernest Colorado- Feb 10, 2020 No Comments

Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer Festival
Keystone’s Bluegrass and Beer FestivalBuy Tickets

There’s so much to do you’ll want to make a weekend out of it.  Book your weekend lodging package early at Summer Festivals & Lodging

A whirlwind of hillbilly luxuries, folks gather while 40+ craft breweries from Colorado and beyond showcase their unique blends of hops and barley.  Live bluegrass music kicks up on three stages and the “best of the best” grace us with their presence through the festival bluegrass workshops taking place in Warren Station throughout the weekend. This year’s 2018 rocking Bluegrass Line-Up includes Monocle Band, Old Salt Union, Ragged Union, Masontown, Cicada Rhythm, The Lonesome Days, Head for the Hills, White Water Ramble, Brett Cobb, The Lil Smokies, and Mandolin Orange taking the bluegrass stage both Saturday and Sunday! Keystone’s restaurants are out in force showcasing their best mountain meals that pair perfectly with the 100’s of craft brews that fill the River Run Village.

There’s so much to do you’ll want to make a weekend out of it.  Book your weekend lodging package early at Summer Festivals & Lodging.

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

TIME EVENT LOCATION COST
11:30am-12:30pm Concert:  Montezuma Stage FREE
12:00pm – 1:00pm Beer Seminar: “New Belgium Seminar” Warren Station Center for the Arts FREE – Sign Up Now
12:00pm-1:00pm Concert: River Run Stage FREE
12:00pm-5:00pm New Belgium Beer Garden Between The North Face and Zuma Roadhouse Priced a la carte
12:00pm-5:00pm Festival Food and Merchandise Booths Open River Run Village Varies – tasting tickets available for purchase onsite
12:30pm-2:30pm Concert: Quaking Aspen Amphitheater FREE
1:00pm-2:30pm Concert: Montezuma Stage FREE
1:00pm-5:00pm Kidtopia KidZone Ina’s Bridge Free & Paid Activties
1:00pm-5:00pm Unlimited Craft Beer Samples River Run Village Buy Tickets
1:30pm-3:00pm Concert: River Run Stage FREE
3:00pm-4:30pm Concert:  Quaking Aspen Amphitheater FREE
3:00pm-4:30pm Concert:  Montezuma Stage FREE
4:00pm-5:30pm Concert: River Run Stage FREE

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

TIME EVENT LOCATION COST
11:30am-12:30pm Concert: Montezuma Stage FREE
12:00pm-1:00pm Concert:  River Run Stage FREE
12:00pm – 2:00pm New Belgium Cornhole Championship Warren Station Center for the Arts Patio $30 per team (2 people) – Buy Tickets
12:00pm-5:00pm New Belgium Beer Garden Between the North Face Store and Zuma Roadhouse Priced a la carte
12:00pm-5:00pm Festival Food and Merchandise Booths Open River Run Village Varies – tasting tickets available for purchase onsite
12:30pm-2:30pm Concert: Quaking Aspen Amphitheater FREE
1:00pm-2:30pm Concert:  Montezuma Stage FREE
1:00pm-5:00pm Kidtopia KidZone Ina’s Bridge Free & Paid Activities
1:00pm-5:00pm Unlimited Craft Beer Samples River Run Village Buy Tickets
1:30pm-3:00pm Concert:  River Run Stage FREE
3:00pm-4:30pm Concert: Quaking Aspen Amphitheater FREE
3:00pm-4:30pm Concert: Montezuma Stage FREE
4:00pm-5:30pm Concert:  River Run Stage FREE

KEYSTONE’S RIVER RUN VILLAGE ART FESTIVAL

Posted in: Dillon Colorado, Frisco Colorado, Keystone, Media, Silverthorne, Summit County Colorado, Top Vacations Destinations, Travel News, Wildernest Colorado- Feb 10, 2020 No Comments

 

KEYSTONE’S RIVER RUN VILLAGE ART FESTIVAL

 KEYSTONE’S RIVER RUN VILLAGE ART FESTIVAL

On July 25th and 26th, 2020 over 80 artists from throughout the country convene in the beautiful River Run Village at Keystone.

Come ready to shop until your heart’s content and come home with that one of a kind piece of art to always remind you of Keystone and your time in the mountains. The art festival is a juried event so artists will be showcasing their finest works. Join us for a mountain weekend with an artsy twist and enjoy all that Keystone summer has to offer.

ARTISTS

This outdoor gallery style art festival will showcase a variety of handmade art and unique gift items as well as functional pieces.

The Festival appeals to all tastes and budgets, offering a wide array of artistic media. Art enthusiasts will be able to explore the diverse exhibits and learn more about the artists and their creative processes. The exhibiting artists, both local and national, will be present for the duration of the festival and welcome the opportunity to discuss their work.  The vast array of original art will include paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, glass, wood, handmade jewelry, collage, mixed media and much more. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information visit www.artfestival.com.