The big question on everyone’s mind this winter is: What will skiing be like during the pandemic?
And, beyond that, will ski areas even be able to stay open?
These are fair questions, since ski resorts shut down prematurely in the spring because of the coronavirus. But during the longest off-season ever, the resorts had plenty of time to brainstorm, plan and prepare to make this season as safe as possible.
Boulder’s closest ski resort, Eldora Mountain Resort, has been open since Nov. 23 and has instituted an array of new rules and precautions intended to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you haven’t gone skiing yet, here’s what you can expect at Eldora this year.
This is a big one: Eldora is now requiring skiers to make parking reservations. The reservations, which are free of charge, are meant to help the resort keep tabs on the number of skiers and snowboarders on the slopes at any one time. You can book up to seven parking reservations in advance online: https://www.eldora.com/plan-your-trip/getting-here/parking-reservations
You probably already wear a balaclava or buff while skiing anyway, but this year, face coverings are mandatory. You’ll need to wear a facial covering whenever you’re indoors, except when you’re seated and actively eating and drinking. You’ll also need to wear one outdoors when you cannot ensure that you’ll remain six feet away from other people. Face coverings are also required on shuttles, in lift lines and while on the chairlift. Eldora staffers are also required to wear face coverings, too.
You’ll notice more space, extended maze designs and more signs near the lift lines, all changes intended to encourage social distancing on the mountain. While waiting to get on a lift, do your part to stay six feet away from everyone who’s not in your party. You should also try to ride the lift only with members of your own party, except on Alpenglow, the six-person lift that offers a bit more room to spread out.
You can still grab a bite to eat and a drink this year, you’ll just be using Eldora’s new touchless technology. The same goes for retail shopping.
Food and Beverage
Like many businesses, Eldora has added more sanitation stations and is cleaning its facilities more often.
Nordic and Uphill Access
Eldora’s Nordic Center will open as soon as snow conditions permit. The resort will begin allowing uphill (skinning) access after Jan. 5.