Vail Resorts Announces Openings and Policy Changes

Vail Resorts announced the opening dates of its North American resorts, offering skiing and riding coast-to-coast and one of the longest seasons in the country. Additionally, the company shared it will limit lift ticket sales throughout the entirety of the 2022/23 season and drop vaccine requirements for its guests.

“We care deeply about our guests’ experience at our resorts,” said James O’Donnell, president of Vail Resorts’ Mountain division.

Vail Resorts released provisional winter opening dates for its North American resorts. Keystone, Colo., is expected to open as soon as weather and conditions permit in October. Additionally, 16 resorts plan to turn lifts beginning in November.

As far as closing dates go, Kirkwood, Calif., aims to stay open to the end of April, while Whistler Blackcomb, B.C., and Breckenridge, Colo., plan to operate into May, weather permitting.

Here’s a list of Western opening dates:

● Mid-Oct.: Keystone, Colo.
● Nov. 11: Breckenridge, Colo.; Vail, Colo.
● Nov. 18: Heavenly, Calif.; Northstar, Calif.; Park City, Utah
● Nov. 23: Beaver Creek, Colo.; Crested Butte, Colo.
● Nov. 24: Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.
● Dec. 2: Kirkwood, Calif.; Stevens Pass, Wash.

The company also plans to limit ticket sales for every day of the season at all 37 of its North American resorts. “Limiting lift tickets throughout the season, alongside the big investments we’re making at our resorts and in our team members, will help us provide our guests with an ‘experience of a lifetime’ this winter,” said O’Donnell.

Last season, Vail Resorts only limited ticket sales at its properties during the three most popular holiday periods: Dec. 25-Jan. 2, Jan. 14-17, and Feb. 18-27. The company faced a deluge of criticism for perceived overcrowding at its resorts last winter.

As with last year, the new policy will not impact passholders (including Epic Day Pass holders), guests who enroll in ski and ride school lessons that include lift access, passholder benefit tickets, or employee and dependent access. Lift ticket availability will become visible on resort websites in the coming weeks. If tickets are sold out online, none will be available at the ticket windows at any of the company’s properties.

Vail Resorts has updated its Covid protocols, dropping vaccine requirements for guests and staff, and will limit day ticket sales for the upcoming winter season, according to its 2022-23 operating plan.Keystone Vail Resorts opening dates

Covid protocols. Across all its resorts, the company will no longer require face coverings, vaccines, or dining reservations for guests. That policy change parallels a decision earlier this year to drop vaccine requirements for Vail Resorts employees. The move follows on the heels of a challenging 2021-22 season, in which CEO Kirsten Lynch noted “our ancillary businesses continued to be capacity constrained by staffing, and in the case of dining, by operational restrictions associated with Covid-19.”

Vail Resorts employees will continue to complete daily health screenings, and the company said it will still apply enhanced cleaning practices at its facilities.

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