Vail Resorts’ (VR) 2021-22 winter operating plan for its 34 North American resorts includes a variety of new Covid safety measures, such as requiring vaccinations for all staff, requiring proof of vaccination for anyone age 12 and up dining at certain indoor outlets, and mandating masks in all indoor spaces. Unlike last season, guests will not need to make a reservation to ski or ride, all lifts will load at normal capacity, and masks will not be required in lift lines.
“We are fortunate that the core of our experience takes place outdoors in vast mountain settings,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. “However, as we welcome guests from around the world to the indoor experience at our resorts, we feel it’s important to do our part to combat the spread of Covid-19. We all need the opportunity to enjoy and experience the great outdoors, and we could not be more excited to welcome guests back to our resorts for the 2021-22 ski and ride season.”
VR said all safety protocols outlined are subject to change based on the evolving nature of the pandemic as well as federal, state, and local public health guidelines. Key details include:
Employee vaccinations: All Vail Resorts employees will be required to have Covid-19 vaccinations for their safety and protection as well as the safety and protection of guests and resort communities, and in compliance with the recent rules announced under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Indoor face coverings, enhanced hygiene practices, daily employee health screenings, and other health and safety measures will also continue.
Dining: Guests will need to make a reservation to eat at any on-mountain restaurant. Indoor spaces are expected to have higher capacity and reservations will open one day prior. Guests ages 12 and over will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to dine at indoor, on-mountain quick-service (cafeteria-style) restaurants. This does not apply to bars or hotel restaurants. The vaccination requirement includes guests 12 and over in ski and ride school programs that provide lunch. More details on the verification process will be released ahead of the season on resort websites.
“Consistent with many other large-scale indoor activities and venues, Vail Resorts believes the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of its guests and employees, given the number of people using these facilities and the fact that guests will not be wearing face coverings while eating and drinking. This is currently the only part of the resort experience that will require proof of vaccination, unless required by local public health. (For example, Whistler Blackcomb requires proof of COVID-19 vaccinations in all indoor restaurants, restaurant patios and bars due to orders from the Provincial Health Authority of British Columbia),” the company said.
Ski/ride reservations: Vail Resorts will not have a mountain reservation system this season and will load lifts and gondolas at normal capacity, optimizing guest movement around its resorts.
Face coverings: Face coverings will be required in indoor settings, including in restaurants, lodging properties, restrooms, retail and rental locations, and on buses. Face coverings will not be required outdoors, in lift lines, or on chairlifts or gondolas, unless required by local public health. For example, Whistler Blackcomb requires face coverings on gondolas due to orders from the Provincial Health Authority of British Columbia.