Finally! Some “good news”, like fluffy flakes from heaven… way more uplifting than Covid stats and politics. Here’s your much need alpine anticipation and cold hard hope for our upcoming ski season from Vail Resorts.

Vail announces their 34 ski resort opening plan for ski season 2020-21, which includes face mask wearing requirements, social distancing on the slopes, in lift lines and in lodges, riding lifts with your party only or with significant spacing on larger capacity lifts, and the biggie – mountain access via reservation only at all 34 resorts (not partner resorts). This will limit lift ticket sales to prioritize EPIC Pass holders. This all sounds reasonable, promising and hopeful!

Vail Resorts’ CEO Rob Katz states, “For the vast majority of days during the season, we believe everyone who wants to get on our mountains will be able to,” says Katz. “We want to provide assurance to our guests that we will do our very best to minimize crowds at all times—be it a holiday weekend or the unpredictable powder day. We believe this approach will help ensure a safe experience for everyone, while prioritizing access for our pass holders.”

  • Pass holders will be required to make advance reservations before arriving at any VR resort at Basically, your pass will only work if you’ve made an online resie to ski that day- epic tracking and data, eh?!
  • Pass holders will be able to make as many week-of reservations as their pass product allows
  • In addition to week-of reservations, pass holders will receive seven Priority Reservation Days that can be booked for any days between Dec. 8- April 4. The booking window for Priority Reservation is Nov. 6 – Dec. 7 for pass holders. Epic Coverage will account for days skiers are unable to book, unavailable, in the new res system.
  • No day tickets will be sold to non-pass holders before Dec. 8, giving season pass holders exclusive access to the resort until that time
  • As pass holders use their Priority Reservation Days, they can continue to book new ones as their pass product allows.
  • Families will be able to book reservations together when they log into the same pass holder account.
  • Lift tickets will only be sold online and through VR call centers; pre-purchased tickets may be picked up at the resort lift ticket window.

My thoughts…

Well-orchestrated plan by Vail! Best news of all… we’ll have a ski season!

Local limits – sorry, powder flu mornings won’t be quite so spontaneous based only on your snow dump-o-meter  … rabid locals are going to need to calm down, plan… and probs not ski every day since resies apply to everyone! I’m sure the “ski every day posse” interprets this as Epic restrictions – not “Epic priority access.”

Ski vacation families should do well reserving their designated days in advance, just requires the forethought to login and book skiing, along with flights and lodging.

An uptick in ski face masks…since that’s going to be a thing (a required thing) . You won’t’ recognize me in my new outfit 😉

Wide open skiing is a bonus to limiting the number of skiers visits per day! Hooray! Imagine the jackpot when your reserved ski days is bluebird pow!

Bye Bye singles line? Here’s the lift scenario, for non-related guests, two singles may ride on opposite sides of a four-person lift; two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift; or two singles on opposite sides of larger gondola cabins.

Vail Resorts has extended the Epic Pass purchase deadline to Sept. 17, 2020 also the deadline to use pass credits from last season. Get yours, you have Epic Coverage as your insurance in the event of closures or inability to use your pass. Get all your 2020-’21 Epic Pass details