By Jamie Leary

KEYSTONE, Colo. (CBS4)– Vail Resorts Announced plans Thursday for its upcoming ski and ride season but with no specifics on capacity, it’s not clear if everyone will be able to get the exact days they want.

“You know, for the vast majority of the season, we really anticipate that guests are going to be able to ski and ride on the days that they want to ski and ride,” said Sara Lococo, Senior communications Manager for Vail Resorts in Summit County.

There’s no question, if the resort wants to open, it must manage the number of people on the hill. One of the biggest changes is to its ticketing system. There will be no in-person tickets, only online reservations and season pass holders get priority.

(credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

“When guests go to book a reservation online, they’ll either see that days are available or not available at all of our resorts and kind of decide when they want to go, when they want to make a reservation, for our pass holders, they’ll be able to make as many reservations as they want throughout the season,” said Lococo.

The Epic Pass FAQs online specifically state:

Every Pass holder will be offered Priority Reservation Days for the Core Season for the number of days of access on each of their passes up to 7 Priority Reservation Days. As pass holders use their Priority Reservation Days, they can book additional reservations, maintaining up to 7 reservations (or however many days of access are remaining on their pass(es)) at a given time.

Epic Pass says that reservations can be made on a weekly basis for the upcoming week of skiing and will not count towards pass holders Priority Reservation Days for the Core Season.

The reservation system is perhaps the biggest change, but all changes revolve around safety for guests.

Vail Resports Headquarters in Broomfield

Vail Resorts Headquarters in Broomfield (credit: CBS)

“We want to have a successful season from start to finish,” said Lococo.

Other changes? Skiers and riders must wear face masks while in line for the lifts or gondolas. You’ll have to ride up with the people you came with and singles will have to sit at either end of the chairs.

Ski and snowboard school will have physical distancing rules as will dining.

“We expect to have all of our on-mountain dining facilities open. It will definitely look different this year and be more, kind of, ready to-go options. We’ll space out tables for physical distancing and, you know, we’re really focused on keeping people outside on the mountain. Going back to really the basics of skiing and riding,” said Lococo.

While there aren’t specifics regarding capacity, Lococo said announcing early allows guests to be prepared for the season.

“By being proactive and going above and beyond now, we’re planning for every day of the season and making sure we don’t have to be reactionary during the season. So we feel like doing this now is setting our resorts, our guests, our communities up for a successful ski and ride season,” she said.

Full details on what to expect can be found here: https://www.epicpass.com/info/winter-experience.aspx

Gov. Jared Polis shared the following statement about Vail’s plans: “We were the only state to get skiing open successfully last June. In this coming season, I’m confident that once again Colorado resorts will lead the way in providing a safe skiing and boarding experience in our majestic world class mountains.”

Jamie Leary

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