Covid-19 has changed the way we all experience things and how we go about our day-to-day lives. Jackson Hole skiing will be no exception for the 2020-21 season. Expect mask-wearing, sanitizing protocols, some social distancing in lift lines and more. But also expect lots of powder on the slopes and epic ski days. After all, that's what makes Jackson Hole skiing so terrific!
Here's what each of our three area ski resorts will be doing to make sure you stay safe and healthy during this time of Covid-19.
Jackson Hole Skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
This world-class ski resort located in Teton Village plans to open on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, with new safety protocols and procedures in place to ensure that guests can safely recreate on the infamous mountain. The procedures Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has developed are provided with the guidance and knowledge from the CDC, State of Wyoming, Teton County Public Health and Jackson's St. John's Health.
Skiers will be required to wear face coverings in most, if not all, areas. This includes in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, gondolas and inside the Aerial Tram and in all indoor resort facilities including retail, restaurants, guest services, ticketing, administrative offices and restrooms.
The Teewinot, Sweetwater and Après Vous lifts will start running a bit earlier — at 8:30 a.m. — so that skiers can move out of the base area earlier and enjoy more time on the slopes.
One of the biggest changes in terms of getting up to the summit of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the fact that the Aerial Tram will operate at a significantly reduced capacity (just 25 people) and basis — first come, first served. For additional access to Rendezvous Bowl and the backcountry, a boot pack will be introduced from the top of the Sublette lift.
And speaking of reduced capacity, the resort will limit the number of tickets available for purchase each day to enable sufficient physical distancing in the base area, buildings and facilities. The afternoon ticket start time has been adjusted earlier to noon, with same- day afternoon tickets on sale at 11 a.m. Guests are incentivized to purchase online before their visit with a 10% discount on purchases made outside 14 days or more and a 5% discount for purchases made within 7-14 days. If capacity limits are met for a specific day, tickets will no longer be available for purchase.
For more specifics, visit jacksonhole.com.
Snow King Mountain
Following a successful summer season managing the spread of Covid-19, Snow King is ready for winter, with opening day set for December 5th, weather permitting. The lack of lines, few people on the chairlifts and on the mountain in general, make this in-town, family-friendly ski resort a great alternative to JHMR and a place for outdoor social distancing for this upcoming Jackson Hole skiing season.
To prevent the spread of Covid, the ski resort will be requiring the standard best practices for use of masks while indoors, standing in line and within six feet of other people on the hill. All staff working directly with the public within 10 feet or without a plexiglass or plastic barrier will wear a mask. Social distancing measures are encouraged via signage, and Snow King management asks that guests please respect these rules.
Limited indoor seating and warming space are available on the mountain. Frequent sanitization of all high-touch man-made surfaces will occur as much as possible throughout the day.
Like Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, all visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online via the “Buy Tickets” link on Snow King’s website and sign their liability waiver before arrival. A 24-hour free cancellation policy has been instituted as well.
*UPDATE as of 1/26/21: Covid-19 cases are currently on the rise in Teton County. If you arrive and the activity you would like to partake in (Cowboy Coaster, tube park) is not open due to last-minute staffing shortages you will receive a refund. Call 307.201.5667 for real-time activity updates.
For more information, visit snowkingmountain.com.
Grand Targhee Ski Resort
Located over the Teton Pass from Jackson Hole in Alta, Wyoming — and on the snowier side of the Tetons — Grand Targhee Resort will open November 20th.
Skiers are asked to minimize their time in the buildings and maximize the time outdoors. “Please use your cars as a basecamp while gearing up for the morning,” according to Targhee’s website. There will be additional outside seating and heaters, but access to buildings will be limited due to capacity restrictions. Mandatory face coverings will continue throughout winter and are required inside all buildings, while waiting to load the lifts, riding the lifts and when six-foot distancing cannot be maintained.
CDC approved disinfecting solutions will be used to clean throughout the resort and vacation rentals, and electrostatic sprayers will be utilized in public areas.
Advanced lift ticket purchase — online only — is mandatory every day this season at Targhee. Lift tickets will be limited.
Visit grandtarghee.com for more specifics.