In the previous years, anyone who wanted to ski in Tahoe either purchased a season pass or went to the ticket window and purchased a day pass there and then.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the Tahoe ski resorts change procedures to limit the number of people on the mountain to allow social distancing.
Vail Resorts, owners of Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood, have announced that a reservation system will be in place for the season. Season ticket holders will be required to make a reservation online and non-season ticket holders need to purchase a day pass for a specific day prior to going to the resort.
Sugarbowl has suspended season pass sales as the demand was higher than expected, which resulted in requiring day passes to be purchased online. This allowed Sugarbowl to make sure it can accommodate all the season ticket holders.
Squaw-Alpine stated they will not use a reservation system but will require day passes to be purchased online to limit the number of people in the mountain. No “walk-up” tickets will be sold.
Boreal announced that they will not limit the number of days a season pass holder can ski or ride but will limit the number of day tickets sold.
Homewood will reduce capacity of the mountain by 25% on busy days to allow social distancing. Other Tahoe resorts have yet to announce any changes.
At all resorts, expect changes. Masks will be required while in buildings, lift lines, on lifts and gondolas. Social distancing will be required. Food service may be limited to grab-and-go type food. There may be limits on the number of people on a lift. For example, a four person lift will be limited to two people sitting on the outboard positions unless they are related parties.
Vail Resorts expects all restaurants at Northstar, Heavenly and Kirkwood to be cashless, making them credit card or debit card required. Bars will be closed and masks will be required, except when engaged in eating.
Skiing or snowboarding will be different this season, but the resorts are putting in place changes to allow social distancing in hopes of keeping people safe. Patrons may need additional patience and understanding to ski this winter.
Alan Lewis is the photo editor of The Express. Follow him @alolewis1.