What Should I Expect for this Year's Ski Season in Park City, Utah?
A Guide on Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons, and Deer Valley Resort Ski Season for 2020/2021
Winter has arrived in Park City with a robust pattern of storms headed this way. Nearly 30 inches fell in the Wasatch mountains over the past few days, and more is coming! The abrupt end to last year's ski season has added more anticipation than usual, as people are counting down the days to the season-opening of local resorts.
As with most things this year, skiing may look a little different than usual. Below is a run-down of the information provided by all the nearby resorts on how they're handling this year's ski operations. Find mask policies, lift practices, ski school availability, and more in the summary. So boot up, mask up, and get to the slopes!
If you visit Park City and love it enough to stay or if you'd like to make it your second home, I'd be happy to help you find the perfect property.
What to Expect at The Resorts
All resort opening dates stated below are based on current projections, are weather-dependent, and are subject to change.
Park City Mountain Resort Opening Day: November 20th, 2020
PRIORITY RESERVATIONS ARE NOW OPEN This season, Pass Holders get priority access to reservations and exclusive Early Season access. Reserve Your Days.
View Old Town and The Canyons Village Properties for Sale
TICKETS + ACCESS: For guests' safety, Vail Resorts are managing on-mountain access this season. Therefore, reservations will be required at Park City Resort (and all Vail resorts) this season, and pass holders will get priority access. Lift tickets will go on sale Dec. 8 after pass holders reserve their priority days. Lift tickets will not be sold for the early season, but Epic Day Passes are available. More info about reservations can be found here, or check out the video link here:
FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings will be required in every part of operations, including while loading and riding on chairlifts and in gondolas, inside all buildings, and during all ski and snowboard lessons. No one will be permitted on the mountain without a face covering. More specifics on face-covering requirements can be found here in the "Safety Protocols" section.
LIFTS: To maintain physical distancing on chairlifts and gondolas, the resort staff will only be seating related parties together (guests skiing and riding together), or:
- Two singles seated on opposite sides of a four-person lift
- Two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift
- Two singles on opposite ends of the larger gondola cabins
DINING: Restaurants will be open, including full-service, sit-down restaurants. Vail Resorts will be managing capacity and spacing out seating indoors and outdoors. Full-service bars will be closed, and all transactions will be cashless. At quick-service restaurants only ready-to-go, hot and cold food options will be available in order to accommodate as many people as possible.
EQUIPMENT RENTALS: All ski and snowboard rental locations are expected to be open this season and will be set up to allow for physical distancing. Employees will take additional precautions during portions of the process that require close interactions with guests, equipment will be fully sanitized between each guest's use, and rental delivery services will be expanded.
SKI & RIDE SCHOOL: All adult and child lessons will have a maximum class size of six. Other class limitations/policies are as follows:
- Children age 3-4: one-on-one, one-hour lessons
- Children age 5-6: maximum class size of four
- Children age 7+: maximum class size of six
- Children are also welcome in a family private lesson
Face coverings will be required this season, and all participants will be required to complete a pre-arrival self-health screening on the day of each lesson. If you have a minor in a lesson, please review the resort's Child Sickness Policy. All lessons will meet outdoors and practice physical distancing. Lessons should be booked at least 48 hours in advance. Each lesson comes with mountain access for the lesson taker(s) only. A pass or lift ticket will be required for all lesson participants.
OTHER NOTES/POLICIES: All transactions at the resort will be cashless. This includes transactions at hotels, restaurants, Ski and Ride School, and all other points of sale. Guests are strongly encouraged to book and pay online in advance.
Deer Valley Resort Skiing for 2020/2021 Opening Day: December 5, 2020
NEWSFLASH! The sale of Locals Only Passes had been temporarily paused, but they are now back on sale at deerlocals.com. At this time, reservations will not be needed to use your Locals Only Pass, but please remember that all applicable restrictions by Locals Only Pass product still apply.
TICKETS + PASSES: Reservations are not currently required for Deer Valley Season, Ikon Pass, and Ikon Base Passes. For those using daily lift tickets, please purchase online well in advance of your visit to guarantee the best rate and avoid the potential disappointment of your preferred day(s) being booked to capacity.
CAPACITY LIMITS: Deer Valley will continue to limit daily winter guest capacity to provide a quality ski experience and to provide space for guests to physically distance. On-mountain guest capacity will be based on local health regulations and conditions at the time. The resort will closely monitor advance purchase lift tickets and other undated products in an effort to limit on-mountain capacity, especially during holiday and peak periods. The projected capacity limit will not be announced to the public, as the resort needs to be flexible and continuously monitor spaces and experiences.
FACE COVERING: While on Deer Valley property, masks or face coverings are required when waiting in line, interacting with Deer Valley staff, riding, loading and unloading chairlifts, and at all times indoors (unless actively eating or drinking while seated at a table). Per a Summit County Public Health Order, single-layer face coverings that can be seen through, such as neck gaiters, and face coverings with two-way valves are not approved. N-95 and KN-95 masks with valves should not be used by the general public. Guests unwilling to comply with the Summit County Order and Deer Valley guidelines will be asked to leave Deer Valley property.
LIFTS: While in the chairlift maze, physical distancing naturally occurs from tip to tail when wearing skis. Guests will also notice spacing measures in the maze lines and at ticket checkpoints. Gondola cabins will be sanitized regularly with an electrostatic sprayer. Deer Valley’s lift policy limits chairlift occupancy to people from the same guest party; two willing individuals or staff, not from the same party, seated on opposite sides of a quad or triple chairlift; or one individual guest per double or gondola cabin.
DINING: Daytime dining will look quite different this winter, with tables placed to allow for physical distancing as required by current health orders. Day lodge cafeterias in Snow Park, Silver Lake and Empire Canyon Lodges will feature table service, and Snow Park Restaurant will also be open for breakfast. These restaurants will only be available with advance reservations, and no walk-ins or non-dining guests will be allowed in the restaurants at any time. More information will be communicated to guests about making day restaurant reservations in coming weeks. Deer Valley Grocery Café will not require reservations for breakfast and lunch.
Evening dining reservations are now available for the winter season. However, to control limited capacities, reservations are required. Please call 435-645-6632 Monday through Friday from 9 am - 5 pm to book.
SKI SCHOOL: The number of participants in a lesson at any given time will be limited to maintain physical distancing. Single household groups are recommended, whenever possible. Advance reservations are required for all ski lesson products. Reservations for group lessons can be made online or by calling 435-645-6648. All private lessons need to be booked over the phone. A lesson reservation does not guarantee a lift ticket, so if you are not a Deer Valley Season, Ikon or Ikon Base Pass holder, please plan to purchase your lift ticket well in advance. Lift tickets will not be available for purchase on the day of a lesson or at the ticket window.
Lessons not offered this season include:
Steeps and Stashes
Max 4 Group Lessons
Youth Specialty Programs
Lessons currently available for reservations include:
Private Lessons for adults and children including Adaptive and Telemark instruction
Afternoon Adventure Club
Afternoon Teen Escape
Mahre Training Center Camps
Women’s Ski Clinics
PARKING + TRANSPORTATION: Deer Valley Resort will continue to offer complimentary parking at the five Snow Park base area parking lots as well as the complimentary tram-shuttle to Snow Park Lodge. The tram-shuttle will operate with reduced seating to accommodate physical distancing, with a bench per party or two individuals on opposite sides of a bench. Face coverings are required to ride the parking lot tram. The parking lots will be anticipated to reach capacity quickly this winter. If you want to park at the resort, please plan to arrive early to ensure a parking spot. Additionally, all guests are requested to be fully dressed and ready to ski when they leave the parking lots.
Woodward Park City, Utah Opening Day November 20, 2020
TICKETS: To encourage safe spacing and distancing, Woodward is requiring online reservations for all activities. Mark your calendars, and set your phone reminders because Hot Laps Quad is scheduled to begin operation for skiing and riding on Friday, November 20th. Ski and snowboard terrain will open in phases as conditions allow during November and December. See the Woodward Daily Operating Report for what’s open during the early season.
The tubing lanes are anticipated to be fully operational on opening day. New this season, all tubing tickets purchased online in advance can be printed by guests and picked up at the outdoor tubing pick-up boxes.
ACCESS: This winter, Woodward Park City will limit the number of guests in order to facilitate appropriate physical distancing. Throughout the indoor Action Sports Hub, in the lift line at the Hot Laps Quad, and on the tubing hills, 6 feet of distance is required.
FACE COVERINGS: Face coverings are required to be worn by all guests and staff in accordance with Summit County guidelines. Neck tubes/gaiters/buffs worn as face coverings must be doubled over in order to provide adequate protection, as single-layer face coverings are not compliant with county health guidelines. Masks with two-way valves are not approved for use.
DINING: Tables and chairs at both the Hive and upstairs in the Grind are reduced and spaced out to allow for appropriate social distancing.
Backcountry Set to be Busier Than Ever This Year
With the resorts operating differently this year due to COVID, Utah anticipates more visitors to its backcountry this year. The importance of being prepared and educated cannot be overstated. Learn more here about what you need to know before you go!
What to Expect in Park City
Many of the things you love about Park City this coming winter will remain the same as usual: incredible mountain views, great snow, and outstanding recreation and entertainment. However, it is also essential to keep in mind that our local resorts are going to be a little different this year.
As you've read, there is significant variance in how each resort is handling their respective operations, including ticket sales, equipment rentals, transportation/shuttles, ski school, lift lines, on-mountain restaurants/bars, lodging, and parking. However, there are some common themes:
- Masks are required everywhere, except when actively skiing on the slopes. Gators must be doubled over to qualify.
- Social distancing and touchless transactions will be emphasized
- Capacities have been reduced (to allow for more social distancing)
- The best advice is: plan ahead, be patient, allow extra time, and by all means make reservations whenever they are available. Lastly, keep in mind that this season's changes are a minor inconvenience in exchange for the opportunity to hit the slopes this winter.
Note: Every effort has been made to ensure that the info contained in this newsletter is as accurate as possible, but you should always check directly with the respective resorts, businesses, and other entities mentioned herein for the most up-to-date information. Direct links can be found at skiutah.com.
Quarantine is not required for travelers from outside of the state.
There are currently no COVID-19 travel restrictions in the state of Utah. Visitors to Utah, or those returning home to Utah after traveling, are not required to quarantine upon arrival.
Face Coverings are Mandatory
On November 8th, Utah's governor declared a two-week statewide mask mandate which requires individuals to wear a mask in public and when within 6 feet of anyone they don't live with. Summit County also has a Face Covering Order, which requires all individuals to wear face coverings while inside publicly accessed indoor establishments. The Summit County order is set to extend at least through January 8, 2021.
Transportation & Transit in Park City, Ut
Early Winter Service begins Sunday, November 15.
- The 1 Red, 2 Green, 4 Orange, 5 Yellow, and 9 Purple will resume service for the season.
- The 6 Lime, 10 White, and 11 Black will continue regular or increased service.
- The City-Wide and On-Demand will begin modified service.
Park City is known for its wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities, which are an outstanding way to relax in a safe and socially-distanced manner. But even when you are outside please remember to take COVID-related safety precautions, including:
- Remain at least 6 feet apart from individuals from other households while engaging in outdoor activities.
- Avoid contact with high-touch surfaces, including handrails, trail signs, and maps.
- Do not congregate at trailheads, parks, or other outdoor spaces.
- Follow guidelines for state parks.
Restaurants, Cafes, & Bars
Many restaurants in Park City are open and available for dine-in eating, and many continue to offer take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup options as well.
- Parties must be seated at least 6 feet apart.
- Customers may be asked to provide contact information to assist with contact tracing efforts.
- Until further notice, bars must stop serving liquor at 10 pm. Think of it as an opportunity to get more sleep before you hit the slopes!
- View the full list of open restaurants.
Salons, Spas, & Personal Services
Both the service provider and customer must wear face coverings.
Customers must have their symptoms checked before service is rendered.
Services by appointment only. No walk-ins allowed.
When services are not being directly provided, all staff and customers must maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more.
This article was originally posted on September 10, 2020, and fully updated on 11/13/2020.Posted by Derrik Carlson on