A Rocky Mountain Ski Resort Guide to Skiing Safely in the Coronavirus Era

This year, ski resorts will welcome skiers and snowboarders with ski resort coronavirus protocols that balance safety, prevention, and enjoyment. Remote ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains, where a traveler can rent a private chalet, and stay safely distanced most of the day while skiing, are an appealing option for avid skiers.

Skiing and boarding already offer advantages as far as activities go. These winter sports are enjoyed outdoors in fresh mountain air.  Skiers and boarders are already used to covering their faces from sun or cold, and wearing goggles and gloves, and the act of downhill skiing is one that naturally distances one from others.

Ski Well, Be Well


The National Ski Areas Association’s Ski Well, Be Well campaign offers best practices for resort operators and guests this winter.

  1. Face coverings must be worn whenever physical distancing cannot be achieved
  2. Physical distancing protocols will be in place for both indoor and outdoor spaces
  3. Ski area staff commit to increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas.


What to expect when you go skiing this winter

Distancing, distancing, distancing. Ski resort restaurants will feature more outdoor seating, less indoor seating, with tables spaced further apart, and more food-to-go options. Ski lines will have markings to keep skiers well separated in lines, and there will be far less mixing of people on chairlifts and gondolas. Expect the Apres Ski bar options to be limited if not non-existent.  One positive is that you will have many more online options for ordering food and tickets. One thing to watch out for, some mountains may enforce a strict limit on the number of ski passes sold each day, so plan ahead, and reserve your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Detailed information for ski resorts in Rocky Mountain destinations where WIMCO Villas represents private mountain chalets and vacation homes for rent.


Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah – Ski Pass Purchase Details for the 2020/2021 down hill ski season

Opening Date for ticket purchases:

Epic Passholders – November 20th
Single Ticket holders – December 8th

Ticket Info

Reservation Process

For increased guest safety, the Vail Corporation which manages the Park City ski resort will be implementing a new mountain access reservation system for the 2020/21 season, which will require you to reserve your ski dates in advance.

You will be able to view real-time availability and make reservations all in one place, on EpicPass.com. The reservation window opened on November 6, 2020.

COVID Safety Measures

  • Masks required in designated areas
  • Physical Distancing on Chairlifts and Gondolas
  • Physical Distancing in On-Mountain Restaurants
  • Physical Distancing in Ski & Snowboard Rental Locations
  • Health Screenings within Ski and Ride School

Park City Ski Resort Operating Plan

In a letter to passholders, Rob Katz, Vail CEO, shared the new winter operating plan with a focus on safety, opening dates, and answers on COVID-19 procedures.


Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky, MontanaSki Pass Purchase Details for the 2020/2021 down hill ski season

Opening Date for ticket purchases:

Opening Date – November 26th, 2020

Closing Date – April 18, 2021

Tickets are currently on sale.

Reservation Process

In general, there is no intent to limit access to the mountain. Following are details by pass-type:

Big Sky Season Passholders are welcome to access the resort any day of the season their pass is valid, at any time during operating hours, and walk up to the lifts as usual.

Lift Ticket holders can purchase their desired days of skiing at this time, with no anticipated restrictions. Purchasing your lift tickets online, and before the start of the season will assure access to the mountain for your desired days of skiing.

Ikon Passholders can ski when their passes permit access and must use Ikon’s reservation system to reserve ski days. Details are forthcoming.

Mountain Collective Passholders will also have access to Big Sky Resort when their passes permit access. Mountain Collective pass holders may be required to make a reservation before their visit.

COVID Safety Measures

  • Masks required in designated areas
  • Physical Distancing on Chairlifts and Gondolas
  • Sneeze guards at point-of-sale locations
  • Cashless transactions highly encouraged.

Big Sky Ski Resort Operating Plan

Click through to see Big Ski’s winter operation update.

Sun Valley Resort  Ski Pass Purchase Details for the 2020/2021 down hill ski season

Opening Date for ticket purchases:

Bald Mountain – November 26th
Dollar Mountain – December 12th

Closing Date: April 17th, 2021

Reservation Process

Currently, Sun Valley Resort does not plan to implement a reservation system or limit visitation for Sun Valley Season Pass holders on Bald Mountain or Dollar Mountain. If necessary, Sun Valley Resort will manage peak day access through day-ticket restrictions. With that in mind, we highly recommend that you purchase day tickets (if needed) online in advance of your trip. Lift tickets will go on sale in early October and can be purchased online.

COVID Safety Measures

  • Masks are required in the City of Sun Valley by city ordinance
  • On-mountain lodges and restaurants – indoor seating has been reduced in all lodges and we will add to our outdoor dining options.
  • Equipment rentals will be available through online reservations. Children’s and adult SnowSports offerings will continue on Dollar and Bald Mountain with an emphasis on pre-arranged private and limited group instruction.

Sun Valley Ski Resort Operating Plan

Click through to see Sun Valley Ski Resort’s operation plan.


Taos, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley   Ski Pass Purchase Details for the 2020/2021 down hill ski season

Opening Date for ticket purchases:

November 26th, 2020

Closing Date: TBD

Ticket Info

    • Season passes are on sale now, and only a limited number of passes are available at the prices offered during the Early Fall Pass Sale
    • If demand is high, passes may go off sale. Passholders may ski any day their pass allows.


Travel Guidelines

Important COVID-19 Travel Requirements: At this time, if you are traveling from out of state into New Mexico, you must self-quarantine for 14 days. As you get closer to your vacation, please be sure to check the New Mexico Department of Health Travel Restrictions page to understand the travel restrictions in place that may impact your stay.

Stay informed about local COVID-19 impacts through the VisitTaos.org travel website for information on the State of New Mexico Public Health Order prior to your trip. Learn about the mandatory quarantine/testing requirements, air travel details, restaurant operations, retail updates, and details on salons, spas and gyms.

Reservation Process

Lift tickets must be purchased online, in advance of any visit. Tickets may sell out during peak times, including holidays and weekends, so you are encouraged to book tickets as far in advance as possible. Tickets will go on sale October 15 for the four weeks of early season and October 22 for the prime season.

COVID Safety Measures

  • The mountain will be limited to 50% of peak capacity of skiers and riders, allowing for social distancing.
  • All guests must wear a face-covering in all public places.
  • Guests must social distance six feet, avoid gathering in groups, and follow the resort procedures, which are clearly marked throughout the resort.
  • Cashless transactions – Payment for all dining, rentals, ticketing, and retail will be via smartphone, credit, debit, or prepaid card only.
  • Only private lessons will be offered this season. These can include up to five guests visiting together.
  • There will not be a parking lot shuttle this season, but there is a new, skier drop-off area where guests and gear can be dropped for convenient access to the base area.
  • Public, indoor gathering places throughout the resort will be significantly limited, so skiers and riders will need to put on boots and gear in designated outdoor areas, in their cars, or in their lodging. Although there will be no locker access, a no-touch basket check will be available to guests for a fee.

Taos Ski Resort Operating Plan

Click through to see Taos Ski Resort Operating Plan.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Aspen Snowmass   Ski Pass Purchase Details for the 2020/2021 down hill ski season

Opening Date for ticket purchases:

Aspen Mountain & Snowmass – November 26, 2020
Aspen Highlands – December 12, 2020
Buttermilk – December 18, 2020

Closing Date: April 18th, 2021

Ticket Info

Reservation Process

  • Reservations may be required based on prevailing state and local Covid-19 metrics as determined by health and government agencies.
  • If the COVID-19 metrics show an increased rate of community spread that initiates additional restrictions and regulations, the resort may implement a reservations system across all products.
  • If this happens, Aspen/Snowmass cannot guarantee that every passholder will be able to obtain a reservation on the days they want.

COVID Safety Measures

  • Reduced lift and restaurant capacity.
  • Advance purchase of all tickets and services is highly recommended.
  • Additional information to be announced at a later date by Aspen/Snowmass

Aspen-Snowmass Ski Resort Operating Plan

Click through to see Aspen-Snowmass Ski Resorts operating plan.


Villa Hygge House, Sun Valley


A Rocky mountain ski vacation at a ski resort that has a thoughtful operating plan in place to protect the health of all skiers could be just the thing you need this winter. Contact WIMCO about renting a private mountain chalet at any of our Rocky Mountain destinations.


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