Alterra Mountain Co. makes announcement on winter operations
Alterra Mountain Co., which runs the Ikon Pass and is a family of 15 North American resort groups, will focus on “controlling resort visitation levels to avoid overcrowding” for the 2020-21 ski season, its CEO said in a statement released Monday.
CEO Rusty Gregory said access to the mountains will be prioritized for season pass holders, and the number of daily lift tickets will be tightly regulated and those will only be available through advance purchase.
Walk-up window sales will be eliminated, as well as the sale of undated lift ticket products.
“The health and wellbeing of Alterra Mountain Co. guests, employees and local communities has and will always be our company’s highest priority,” Gregory said. “Since last winter’s resort closures, our teams have been working to develop operating plans and protocols designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Gregory said the company is focused on complying with public health regulations.
“The effectiveness of these plans will rely on your cooperation with our enforcement of face coverings, social distancing and crowd management on and off the mountain,” he said. “These unprecedented times will continue to challenge us and will require tolerance and effort by all of us to help keep each other healthy and our destinations open for your enjoyment.”
Alterra, which sells the Ikon and Ikon Base ski passes, is a sister organization to Aspen Skiing Co. Skico is expected to announce information about its winter season operating procedures and local season passes by the end of the month.
Ikon Pass members were reassured Monday that reservations for lift access will not be necessary at most resorts where it is accepted, at this time. But, things could change, they added.
“… currently most Ikon Pass destinations feel confident they can elevate the guest experience and eliminate the need for lift access reservations by addressing social distancing concerns through other operational changes,” according to a statement released on behalf of Ikon Pass.
It said the 38 North American resorts on the pass do not require reservations at this time, however, the “rapidly evolving circumstances may cause plans to change without notice.”
Vail Resort said recently it favor season pass holders for the upcoming season. Its plans will be to implement a reservation system to access the mountain, according to the company, and pass holders will be able to reserve up to seven days in advance on their passes and as many week-of reservations as their pass product allows.
Walk-up tickets also will no longer be available for purchase at the window of Vail Resorts. Vail has since released its expected date of opening as Nov. 20.
While new restaurants enter the Aspen scene, there are several spaces that will remain empty this winter. Meanwhile, the retail market remains extremely hot.