Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune file Solo chairlift rides will be more common at Park City Mountain Resort this winter. PCMR’s parent company, Vail Resorts, announced its protocols for protecting guests from COVID-19 during the 2020-21 season. They include, among others, mostly allowing only people skiing together to share a chair lift and no more walk-up ticket sales.
Walk-up lift tickets have become a casualty of COVID-19, at least at Park City Mountain Resort and other Vail Resorts-owned properties.
PCMR announced Thursday it plans to open as per usual on Nov. 20. Yet that date and the ski area’s terrain will be about the only things that will be normal for guests this season. In an attempt to complete a full season during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vail Resorts has instituted several new regulations for its 34 North American ski areas, including PCMR in Utah.
PCMR is the first resort in Utah to announce its protocols for mitigating the virus this winter. Among the changes are:
A reservation system and a limit on daily lift tickets that will prioritize season-pass holders
A mask requirement in all parts of the resort, including in lift lines, on lifts and in gondolas
Chairlift restrictions that allow only guests who are skiing or riding together to board a lift. Some exceptions include: two singles on opposite ends of a four-person lift; two singles or two doubles on opposite ends of a six-person lift and two singles on opposite sides of a gondola cabin.
Lessons, rentals and dining options will still be offered, but some changes will be made to comply with best standards for preventing the spread of the virus.
Skiers who enjoy visiting a certain North Lake Tahoe resort should be prepared to replace their bumper stickers come early next year. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced earlier this month its intention to drop “squaw” from its name. This is the latest name-change announcement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in June, which spurred a general move toward better accountability and inclusiveness in our society as a whole.
SKI applauds this decision made by company leadership after extensive community outreach, including dialogue with the local Washoe tribe.
The terrain and snow will hopefully stay the same. Photo courtesy of Squaw-Alpine
“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen,” said Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in a statement. “While we love our local history and the memories we all associate with this place as it has been named for so long, we are confronted with the overwhelming evidence that the term ‘squaw’ is considered offensive.We will find a new name that reflects our core values, storied past, and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”
For context, “squaw” has long been considered a racist and sexist slur against Native American women, especially when used by non-indigenous people. The matter had been brought to the resort’s attention on and off for years, but current events finally expedited a decision.
A renaming committee is working alongside resort leadership, and a new name will be announced early next year. For more info on the name-change timeline, as well as the etymology of the word in question, check out the resort’s page about the change.