Colorado resort officials acknowledge that brainstorming for the 2020-21 season has stretched their minds more than ever. With Epic and Ikon pass protocols in place, the more independent mountains are rolling out their plans.
Start with Aspen Snowmass, which teased its plans for the four-mountain complex this summer. No reservation system except for through Ikon Pass system, but officials may require all pass-holding skiers and riders to reserve a spot if crowding or protocols dictate.
To placate Aspen-area locals who feared restrictions -- and smooth out high-volume times -- Aspen Ski Corp. has these options for residents of Pitkin, Gunnison, Eagle and Garfield counties:
The Valley Weekday Pass offers unlimited skiing and riding at all four mountains Monday through Friday -- with blackouts during Christmas week and President's Day weekend.
The Valley 7-Pack gives seven days of skiing and 'boarding anytime except during same blackouts as Weekday Pass. Additional days can be purchased for at least half of window price.
At Telluride, all day, multi-day and season passes must be bought online ahead of time, as same-day sales have been suspended. The ski school has reduced group sizes to 2-4, depending upon age.
Purgatory will put a cap on daily skiers and riders each day, but officials are still working on how to accommodate season pass holders. An online food ordering system is in the works.
Monarch's making a personal "plea" that skiers and riders come on weekdays, not weekends or holiday times. Regardless, season and Blue Card transferrable pass holders will be welcome every day, no blackouts. Day or multi-day tickets can be purchased online the night before arrival -- or at onsite windows during the non-holiday weekdays only. No sack lunches in the lodge, and child care.
At this time, none of Steamboat's season or multi-day passes have restrictions or reservations systems. No day or multi-day sales for now. Lodging packages purchased before Nov. 2 guarantee tickets on desired days; after that, it's variable. And, a "queue time" system may be installed for all during peak times. Night skiing is still on.
Earlier this fall, Wolf Creek announced a daily volume cap and aggressive season pass pricing scheme to limit weekend and holiday traffic.