Dear BV Community,
I’m wearing a sweater today, which means it won’t be long until the ground turns white and I’m buckling my ski boots. Yes, buckling my boots and getting back on the chairlift. Which is really what I’m reaching out to talk about with all of you: this winter at Bolton Valley – what we know (or think we know) and what we’re still trying to figure out.
First and foremost – all of us up here at BV are confident that we will be spinning lifts and skiing. Thankfully, outside is the safest place to be during this pandemic and face coverings are the best way to curb the spread. Take those together and it sounds like skiing is the best thing you can do to stay safe this winter!
Of course, there’s a lot more to the experience than just the skiing and we know there are a lot of questions out there about how we will manage our indoor spaces and programs. Our top priority remains your safety and the safety of our staff and community. Ensuring that safety means that things will be different, and we will have to work together to make this winter a success.
Rest assured that we have a plan and, while everything in the COVID world is always subject to change, we are confident that we can have a great ski season this year.
So read on to see how we’re planning to ski and ride this year at Bolton Valley and what it means for you.
Now, let it snow and I’ll see you on the hill!
Our #1 priority this season is the safety of our staff, guests and community. The science is clear that wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance are the best measures we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, therefore:
- Face coverings will be required at all times in all of our indoor spaces, per the State of Vermont. The only exception will be when you are seated to eat in a restaurant or otherwise designated dining area.
- Additionally, we will require face coverings outside as you move around the resort, interact with our staff, stand in lift lines, and ride on the chairlifts.
- You will be reminded politely to wear your face covering should you forget and we will have face coverings available for purchase on site in case you need one.
- The only places you will not be required to wear a face masks is while you are skiing or riding (whether uphill or downhill) or while sitting at a designated eating and drinking area.
Capacity Limitations & Physical Distancing Inside & Out
In addition to face coverings, the other thing we can all do to keep each other safe is maintain appropriate physical distancing whenever and wherever possible, including on our chairlifts, in our lift lines and our lodges, therefore:
- We will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the State of Vermont which currently restrict the number of people allowed inside our restaurants, retail and rental spaces.
- We are in the process of updating our IT system to support online pre-purchase of products and services across the resort. This will include:
- Lift tickets: Please pre purchase and pick up tickets at a pickup box or re-load your card on-line and go straight to the lift.
- Rentals: Please reserve your alpine, snowboard, AT, or split rental gear in advance and we’ll have your gear ready to pick up when you arrive.
- Ski and Ride Instruction: All lessons will be reserved in advance on-line – we will not offer in person reservations for instruction or guiding services.
- When we are busy, base lodge space will be limited. We will ask guests to be in the base lodge only for the time it takes to eat or, if you are warming up, for no more than 15 minutes at a time. We have to share space!
- Please dress warmly this winter and be prepared to spend more time outside while you’re here.
- On lifts we will allow guests to group themselves with their own party to fill a chair, however: we will not require more than two singles to ride a quad together and we will allow singles on our double chairs.
- We have increased our cleaning staff to ensure all indoor spaces are cleaned and sterilized on a regular basis throughout the day. We are also providing all staff with renewed training and cleaning supplies to continually maintain sanitation in their space.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in high traffic areas and touch free sensory units have been installed at several entrances to indoor spaces.
- We are adding two more bathrooms in the coyote lounge and are encouraging people to access all bathrooms in the base lodge through outdoor entrances rather than the main base lodge interior stairways to reduce congestion.
Tickets, Passes, and Information
- We encourage everyone to buy their tickets online this year and, once you have a BV MTN CARD to reload lift tickets online as well. Go straight from your car to the lifts!
- All in person ticket sales will be done at our outdoor windows, but we prefer that you skip the ticket window and buy in advance before arriving at Bolton Valley.
- Guest Information and changes to any operating protocols will be continually updated online. When you have a question, even while physically at the resort, the most efficient path to your answer will be on your phone. We have been strengthening our wifi across the resort to better accommodate the anticipated demand of our network.
Ski and Ride School
We will teach your kids (and you) to ski this season at Bolton Valley!
- Private and group lessons will be offered at Bolton Valley this season.
- Season long programs will be adapting to COVID by offering half day sessions. If you want your kid to have a full day of skiing, enroll them in the morning and afternoon session! But know that they will be returned to you for lunch.
- Current rules for childcare include a restriction against physical contact. As a result, group lessons and season long programs will be limited to children who can ride the lift safely by themselves, put on their own skis or board, and stand up independently if they fall.
- Private lessons for children who need assistance riding lifts, putting on gear, or standing up will be available when accompanied by a parent or other trusted adult.
- All lesson and season long programs will meet outside on snow.
- All bookings will be done online or by phone – no in person bookings will be available this year.
- Physical distancing will be practiced in all lessons – which means there will be no physical assistance from instructors.
Rental and Retail
- The Big Rock Mountain Shop and BV Rental Shop will be open this year.
- The rental and retail shops will abide by the State of Vermont’s capacity requirements.
- Rental & season leases are available for pre-purchase online. Pre-purchase is strongly recommended. This includes all alpine, nordic, and backcountry products.
Food & Beverage Service
- We anticipate the State of Vermont will continue to limit indoor seating capacities and restrict bar seating. We will follow all capacity requirements in our sit-down dining areas.
- We are expanding our take-out dining options to include the ability to order on your phone and pickup when food is ready to limit congestion in our dining areas.
If the past five and a half months are any indicator, we anticipate things will continue to evolve and we will continue to adapt our operations as regulations and guidelines continue to change. We will do our best to keep you informed at every turn. We know it’s a lot to take in and we all have to adapt and it’s not all great (to say the least), but we can make it work if we stick together, have a little patience, and stay flexible. We got this. 😊