With COVID-19 still present in North America, ski resorts are having to take the necessary steps in order to secure everyone’s safety on the mountain while opening this year. These new rules are being implemented across all 34 Epic Resorts and should be things to keep in mind while booking your ski vacation this winter.
Epic Resorts are requiring all skiers and snowboarders to place reservations before arriving at the mountain. This system is being put into place by Epic to ensure the safety of all their guests while they’re visiting the mountain and to manage the amount of people who are on the slopes on any given day. With how big all of Epic’s resorts are, we are not thinking they are going to have much of a problem with reaching max capacity, but with capacity maximums varying from resort to resort those busy times during the winter could fill up.
How do I make a Reservation?
Reservations are going to be a bit different depending on if you are an Epic pass holder or just buying a few lift tickets for vacation. The good news is that if you are buying lift tickets in advance it includes a reservation, with tickets available starting December 8th. Keep in mind that Epic Resorts won’t be selling lift tickets physically this year, but only through their website and call centers.
For pass holders, there’s a bunch of added advantages this year that make buying an Epic Pass pretty desirable if you’re trying to get your days in. A new pass holder reservation system has been put in place that now requires holders to make a reservation before every visit to the mountain this year. Let’s break this down a bit, pass holders will be able to reserve up to 7 “priority reservation days” at a time over the core season or as many days as your pass allows. Reservations for the core season (December 8th to April 4th) will open up for pass holders starting on November 6th and non pass holders on December 8th. Once you’ve used one of your priority reservation days, you’ll be able to reserve another priority day to keep your total to seven. If your pass has blackout dates you won’t be able to make reservations within those time frames.
I know for some people, planning that far ahead to ski can seem daunting. It is for me, especially on days when I decide to spontaneously get some hot laps in before work. Thankfully, along with priority reservation days, Epic is also allowing pass holders to make as many week-of reservations as available based on the resort and it’s capacity. These reservations will be made available the week prior and won’t have any effect on a person’s priority reservations. Epic has also stated that they believe for most of the winter skiers, “will be able to make a reservation within their desired days”.
Epic is also expanding their Epic Coverage program to allow guests to refund their pass if they are not able to get their preferred reservation dates during the early reservation period. For more on what’s new with Epic Coverage Terms and Conditions click here.
Face Mask and Physical Distance
Along with reservations, Epic Resorts are also going to be requiring guests to wear face masks throughout the resorts and will be promoting social distancing. I don’t see social distancing being an issue at ski resorts except when it comes to lift lines. Epic has explained that they will only be allowing related parties on lifts together or smaller parties with space between them. I don’t think this is going to cause too much of an issue with lift lines but should be something to keep in mind on those busy days.
I praise Epic Resorts for taking the safe and honest steps in order to make sure everyone is comfortable while hitting the slopes this year. I have a feeling reservations are going to be a hard thing to get used to for anybody who loves to ski but as skiers we’ve always been determined to find ways to get on to the mountains and this year will be no different. Check out Epic’s Winter Experience to learn more about what they’re doing to help keep you safe this winter and if you’re planning on heading out on a ski trip this year, make sure to use Ski Butlers for all your ski rental needs.