Yes, these are indeed unprecedented times that have called on all of us to re-evaluate what’s important and make changes to provide the safest experience for all while still trying to keep the stoke alive. And while health and safety are the top priority in everything we do right now, we are also excited that a lot of the changes we’ve been able to make will also be great for the long term future, vision and growth of Bolton Valley.
- Our new backcountry lease program – let’s face it, everyone’s looking to get some distance and where better to be than deep in the woods of our legendary backcountry? As anyone that tried to find a mountain bike this past spring already knows, demand for gear that will take you deep into the woods is in short supply and we’re happy to provide this additional access point. I mean, we’re already a pioneering ski resort on the backcountry front after all… what other ski resort in the U.S. has backcountry clinics, lessons and group tours led by trained professional guides that utilize our day rental and season long bc lease equipment? We’ll wait…
- IT investments – we are super excited that are new investments in IT will allow you to more easily buy in advance online and skip the lines and ticket counters. Need a BV MTN Card? Buy online and pick up at a pickup box. No over-the-counter interaction with our staff necessary. Already have your RFID card? Great, reload online and go straight from the car to the lift.
- Don’t like buying online? Fine, we set up a call center for you. For obvious reasons, we’d really prefer not to see you across a counter whenever possible this winter, for obvious reasons. If you do need in person assistance, it will be via an outside facing guest services window in the vast majority of cases so we can keep congestion down indoors. For more on our health and safety measures, go here.
- The hotel – yeah, this is a fun one. Not only did we renovate a bunch of rooms this summer and fall, (talk about good timing there!), but we also decided to offer up season long “Ski Cabanas” for nearly a 1/3 of our hotel room pool for this winter. One quick email to our beloved season pass holders and they were gone nearly overnight. Who knows if we’ll continue offering such things in the future, but we were pretty blown away by the demand and think it will be really fun to have some of our hotel rooms occupied by local families for the season and it’s certainly expanded our thinking of what’s possible in the future.
- Season Long Programs – okay, we’re not gonna lie… it’s been challenging to come up with a program that fits within the necessary safety precautions, but then again, because we now have to go to half day sessions to keep everyone safe, we can now serve more families this winter. And let’s face it – that is absolutely core to everything Bolton Valley stands for. It’s why Ralph DesLauriers put those night lights in some 50 years (+/-) ago. It wasn’t just to be the only ski resort in Vermont with night skiing and riding, but also so we could unload buses of school children after school to learn to ski and ride with us. We figure we’re not too far from teaching 100,000 students from Chittenden and Washington Counties to ski and ride over the years. So does the notion of being able to teach more children to love the winter slopes get us pretty excited? You bet it does!
- Video conferencing is not so bad after all… from virtual job fairs, to employee onboarding, to those meetings that used to be in person and take 2 hours, but now are just 30 minute web conferencing calls? I mean, we could get used to some of this “found time” frankly.
But nothing beats snow on the ground, that’s for sure. This photo’s from this morning, October 17. Perhaps it seems a little early? Nah, nothing new here, that’s what you get at the highest ski resort base elevation in Vermont – more snow! Wish we could take credit for that innovation, but really gotta tip our cap to elevation on that one.