2020-21 Ski Service

Old Jul 28, 20, 7:20 am
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2020-21 Ski Service

Delta appears to have dropped Steamboat Springs (HDN) entirely next winter, both from ATL and MSP. It appears JAC (Jackson Hole) service from MSP has also been dropped. JAC will keep SLC, SEA, LAX, JFK and ATL as of now. EGE (Vail) and MTJ (Telluride) get only ATL. ASE (Aspen) will see ATL and LAX but no SLC. SUN (Sun Valley) is only SLC and LAX. Pretty random which ski routes Delta flies and which ones it doesn't these days. Seems to me all of these could have successful links to the SLC hub. Skiing may actually be one of the more popular types of vacations in a pandemic winter. The ski towns sure are slammed with visitors right now. I have never seen SLC-JAC go 5x daily until this month.
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Old Jul 28, 20, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by DLASflyer View Post
Delta appears to have dropped Steamboat Springs (HDN) entirely next winter, both from ATL and MSP. It appears JAC (Jackson Hole) service from MSP has also been dropped. JAC will keep SLC, SEA, LAX, JFK and ATL as of now. EGE (Vail) and MTJ (Telluride) get only ATL. ASE (Aspen) will see ATL and LAX but no SLC. SUN (Sun Valley) is only SLC and LAX. Pretty random which ski routes Delta flies and which ones it doesn't these days. Seems to me all of these could have successful links to the SLC hub. Skiing may actually be one of the more popular types of vacations in a pandemic winter. The ski towns sure are slammed with visitors right now. I have never seen SLC-JAC go 5x daily until this month.
It's anybody's guess how the ski resorts will do this coming ski season. Vail Resorts is learning how to run socially distant ski ops right nowwith their Australian operation (Perisher and one other, I believe; it's winter there right now, and Perisher is the largest on the continent).
Lessons learned from Australia resorts by Vail will impact what skiing will look like at the US Ski Towns. Even if airlines add their normal flights to ski towns, they may cancel quite a bit if the resorts drastically limit capacity on lifts etc. Apres Ski will not be the same for the next ski season either, so the whole thing is a wait and see. I wouldn't jump to too many conclusions just yet. I have a season pass out West every year but I'm waiting to renew till there's more info
I agree with your idea though: being outside spread over thousands of acres of land is a great activity in a pandemic winter. The crammed food and bev outlets and restaurants during breaks, however, not so much
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Old Jul 28, 20, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by DLASflyer View Post
Delta appears to have dropped Steamboat Springs (HDN) entirely next winter, both from ATL and MSP. It appears JAC (Jackson Hole) service from MSP has also been dropped. JAC will keep SLC, SEA, LAX, JFK and ATL as of now. EGE (Vail) and MTJ (Telluride) get only ATL. ASE (Aspen) will see ATL and LAX but no SLC. SUN (Sun Valley) is only SLC and LAX. Pretty random which ski routes Delta flies and which ones it doesn't these days. Seems to me all of these could have successful links to the SLC hub. Skiing may actually be one of the more popular types of vacations in a pandemic winter. The ski towns sure are slammed with visitors right now. I have never seen SLC-JAC go 5x daily until this month.
Folks in SLC generally don't board planes if they want to ski. Folks in ATL do.

And I agree with LovePrunes that this coming ski season is a huge question mark. Capacity is likely to be limited and if there's a 2nd wave, many resorts may close completely like they did last year.
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Old Jul 28, 20, 5:10 pm
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They always wanted go on skiing. The flight should be just fine. Isn't too many people who are going to Colorado or Wyoming or Montana. They surely loves to go on skiing and else. That was so much fun!
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Old Aug 4, 20, 8:57 pm
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Flights to ski destinations are sometimes not added to the schedule until the Fall even during normal years. If they aren’t on the schedule by October 1 then it might mean something. For now I don’t think we can assume it means they won’t operate.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 9:10 am
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Steamboat service cuts are no surprise since Steamboat Springs voters struck down a tax that funded subsidized flights to HDN.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 11:53 am
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Skiing and Snowboarding strike me as pretty easy sports to be socially distant with. The Mountain West also has some of the lowest numbers of COVID-19 as well. I honestly think it's just too early for DL (or any airline really) to be launching Ski Routes for 2021 at the moment. These routes usually don't get solidified until the Fall anyway.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER View Post
Skiing and Snowboarding strike me as pretty easy sports to be socially distant with. The Mountain West also has some of the lowest numbers of COVID-19 as well. I honestly think it's just too early for DL (or any airline really) to be launching Ski Routes for 2021 at the moment. These routes usually don't get solidified until the Fall anyway.
Skiing and snowboarding themselves are fine. But have you ever been to a ski lodge at lunchtime? Way more crowded than a HS cafeteria!! Have you ever been in a ski locker-room just before the lifts open when 5000 people are crammed together putting on their boots?

These are the reasons they shut down last season. Unfortunately, if the resort operates at 20% capacity to have some hope of distancing in the lodges and locker rooms, then they cannot recoup the cost of lifts/grooming so they either operate at a loss, or don't operate.

Last edited by kjnangre; Aug 7, 20 at 12:07 pm
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Old Aug 7, 20, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
Skiing and snowboarding themselves are fine. But have you ever been to ski to lodge at lunchtime? Have you ever been in a ski locker-room just before the lifts open when 5000 people are crammed together putting on their boots?

These are the reasons they shut down last season. Unfortunately, if the resort operates at 20% capacity to have some hope of distancing in the lodges and locker rooms, then they cannot recoup the cost of lifts/grooming so they can either operate at a loss, or not operate.
Oh absolutely. It's disgusting, but it can certainly be regulated should the mountains want it to. That was more of a problem in places like NH or PA over CO in terms of reckless dining hall behaviors. Vail, CO itself is largely connected to hotels at the base, IIRC which is easier for Social Distancing.

I wouldn't hold out much hope for Vail Resorts. I used to work in that building and the people who seemed to work there were always taking breaks walking around the pond outside and just seemed useless.
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Old Aug 7, 20, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER View Post
Oh absolutely. It's disgusting, but it can certainly be regulated should the mountains want it too.
Yes but I don't think it can regulated and still be profitable. Unless they get some subsidy, they generally need packed lodges in order to be profitable
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Old Aug 7, 20, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
Yes but I don't think it can regulated and still be profitable. Unless they get some subsidy, they generally need packed lodges in order to be profitable
They don't need packed lodges, but food and beverage (especially alcohol) along with ski school are major economic engines for ski resorts. Those will both be heavily impacted as long as Covid is rampant and most predictions have it picking up steam in the winter months. Also, while many will still vacation during the pandemic there is a portion of the population that will not. That could potentially mean a reduction in skier numbers from 25-60% or more no matter the precautions mountains take, especially with the cost of skiing and how many older people go on ski vacations.
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Old Aug 8, 20, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
Skiing and snowboarding themselves are fine. But have you ever been to a ski lodge at lunchtime? Way more crowded than a HS cafeteria!! Have you ever been in a ski locker-room just before the lifts open when 5000 people are crammed together putting on their boots?

These are the reasons they shut down last season. Unfortunately, if the resort operates at 20% capacity to have some hope of distancing in the lodges and locker rooms, then they cannot recoup the cost of lifts/grooming so they either operate at a loss, or don't operate.
I live in Tahoe and honestly, I'm really not looking forward to the massive headache this ski season will be. This summer has been horrendous with the overwhelming amount of traffic as more Bay Area/Central Valley people are driving up to Tahoe instead of traveling by air like they may have otherwise. This will continue once the ski resorts open but at this point there is little chance the resorts will be able operate in any sense of normalcy. The Epic/Ikon season pass holders haven't stopped complaining since the shutdown in March because their season got cut short (even though they had 4 months to use it), and they seem to think the resorts owe them something, regardless of the economic realities of operating in the COVID environment. Indoor facilities at the resorts will have to be severely limited which means limiting the number of people on the hill each day.

Originally Posted by LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER View Post
Oh absolutely. It's disgusting, but it can certainly be regulated should the mountains want it to. That was more of a problem in places like NH or PA over CO in terms of reckless dining hall behaviors. Vail, CO itself is largely connected to hotels at the base, IIRC which is easier for Social Distancing.

I wouldn't hold out much hope for Vail Resorts. I used to work in that building and the people who seemed to work there were always taking breaks walking around the pond outside and just seemed useless.
If Vails stranglehold on the industry takes a hit, that will be one of the few good things to come out of this pandemic.

Originally Posted by Tatoosh View Post
They don't need packed lodges, but food and beverage (especially alcohol) along with ski school are major economic engines for ski resorts. Those will both be heavily impacted as long as Covid is rampant and most predictions have it picking up steam in the winter months. Also, while many will still vacation during the pandemic there is a portion of the population that will not. That could potentially mean a reduction in skier numbers from 25-60% or more no matter the precautions mountains take, especially with the cost of skiing and how many older people go on ski vacations.
Unfortunately, many people are woefully out of touch with the realities of operating a ski area. Pass holders seem to think their discounted $400 pass actually covers the resorts operating costs for the entire year, but in reality that money barely gets the resort open for the year, especially if mother nature isn't cooperating and the resort is reliant on snowmaking. Food and bev and ski school are critical to keeping the lights on and lifts spinning a just about any ski area and I just don't see how the resorts can offer those services in any meaningful way at this point. The big resorts will be fine as they can afford to take the hit and operate at a loss for a year or two, but smaller areas will struggle, further contributing to the consolidation of the industry.

The other thing that worries me will be the influx of resort skiers trying to 'socially distance' by backcountry skiing. We saw this briefly in March after the resorts closed in March, and I can only assume it will get worse this coming winter. Novice users packing popular trail heads after big storms will almost certainly lead to an increase in avalanche fatalities.
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Old Aug 14, 20, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by TuxTom View Post
I live in Tahoe and honestly, I'm really not looking forward to the massive headache this ski season will be. This summer has been horrendous with the overwhelming amount of traffic as more Bay Area/Central Valley people are driving up to Tahoe instead of traveling by air like they may have otherwise. This will continue once the ski resorts open but at this point there is little chance the resorts will be able operate in any sense of normalcy. The Epic/Ikon season pass holders haven't stopped complaining since the shutdown in March because their season got cut short (even though they had 4 months to use it), and they seem to think the resorts owe them something, regardless of the economic realities of operating in the COVID environment. Indoor facilities at the resorts will have to be severely limited which means limiting the number of people on the hill each day.



If Vails stranglehold on the industry takes a hit, that will be one of the few good things to come out of this pandemic.



Unfortunately, many people are woefully out of touch with the realities of operating a ski area. Pass holders seem to think their discounted $400 pass actually covers the resorts operating costs for the entire year, but in reality that money barely gets the resort open for the year, especially if mother nature isn't cooperating and the resort is reliant on snowmaking. Food and bev and ski school are critical to keeping the lights on and lifts spinning a just about any ski area and I just don't see how the resorts can offer those services in any meaningful way at this point. The big resorts will be fine as they can afford to take the hit and operate at a loss for a year or two, but smaller areas will struggle, further contributing to the consolidation of the industry.

The other thing that worries me will be the influx of resort skiers trying to 'socially distance' by backcountry skiing. We saw this briefly in March after the resorts closed in March, and I can only assume it will get worse this coming winter. Novice users packing popular trail heads after big storms will almost certainly lead to an increase in avalanche fatalities.
if anyone can make the ski business work, Vail Resorts can. Love em or hate em (as tuxtom obviously does), they will figure out what works. Since this was first posted, Perisher in Australia has opened and they've published a bunch of stuff about changes for skiing there due to COVID.
https://www.perisher.com.au/plan-you...covid19-update
there was a news article about Vail Resorts for Park City's plans, and you can read that article to know they'll repeat that at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breck, Heavenly, and everywhere else they run. https://www.parkrecord.com/news/a-va...ty-ski-season/
Some of the changes may make annual visitors skip a season (such as no child care), or because a lot of wealthy skiers are older and at higher risk, they may opt out. So even at reduced capacity for everything, it's a question how big the lift lines will be. Apres ski will suck.
Oh, and tuxtom, the passes you mention for $400 are local access with restrictions. Their full season passes are actually $1000 and with that cover much more of their operating expenses, but not much if any profit. The F&B and lodging and lessons and services etc (spa, childcare etc) are the money makers. They'll be getting creative about that but overall a great activity to be physically distant and active this winter. Think of it this way, if Vail wasn't in it to run a profitable business, there's no way small mom and pop operations would be able to afford to run their own ski resorts safely and profitably, so there'd be no skiing at all.

I just renewed my epic pass again and will be doing my share of traveling with family & friends, but will wait till much later in season to decide where to go , when to go, lodging and flights, etc
There will be ski town air service no doubt, and many may prefer the smaller airports than big hubs like Denver with mass of humanity, or Salt Lake even. Reno may be the way to go being it's such a tiny airport as it is, relative to DEN, SLC. But ASE and EGE and Jackson Hole will I'm sure get flights
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Old Aug 14, 20, 11:08 am
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Skiers are a passionate buch. If this summer is any indication, mountain town are going to be absolutely crushed again this winter. Every flight I take in and out of JAC these days is Delta full.

Last edited by DLASflyer; Aug 14, 20 at 11:33 am
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Old Aug 14, 20, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Tatoosh View Post
Steamboat service cuts are no surprise since Steamboat Springs voters struck down a tax that funded subsidized flights to HDN.
Southwest is going to be flying to Steamboat this upcoming Ski season.
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