Snowbasin's 80th season will have some '80s vibes.
COVID - 19 RELATED UPDATE: The State of Utah’s phased approach to lifting stay-at-home restrictions allows businesses to resume operations under state, county and municipal health guidelines while allowing each business to determine their own timeline and policies. Please refer to the State and County guidelines here for a complete list of recommendations and requirements.
With protocols in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Snowbasin's 80th season is going to feel like a bit of a throwback to '80s-style skiing...and we think that's a good thing! Here are some of the ways to celebrate Snowbasin's 80th year in '80s fashion!
1. A different dining experience
New dining outlets provide fast options that don’t require entering a lodge. Guests can purchase food or drinks at the window, with outdoor seating available. They are located near Earl’s Lodge, the Old Day Lodge and the base of Strawberry Gondola.
All dining areas will feature enhanced cleaning protocols and have reduced seating capacity to allow for social distancing and table space. Snowbasin has expanded their grab-and-go menu options for quicker service and there will be a strict 45-minute table limit as well as assigned table seating. They will also be enforcing the health department’s guidelines for consumption of personal food items inside lodges.
For table-service dining, reservations are recommended for The Cinnabar and new Overlook Bar.
2. Kick it Old School
The upside to Snowbasin’s geography is that it’s pretty hard to get lost. Everything eventually flows to the main plaza surrounding Earl’s Lodge. The downside is that on busy days, the line for the Needles Gondola can start to back up. On those days, take advantage of the chairlifts around the mountain that virtually never experience lines, and make endless laps on Porcupine, Middle Bowl, Wildcat, and Becker.
Snowbasin has even brought back the rope tow, Snowbasin's original lift. A new handle tow has been added at the junction of the Littlecat Trail and Orson’s Terrain Park to provide easier access to Wildcat Express. Guests are encouraged to utilize this new, quick option to skip the base area and access great terrain with the high-speed Wildcat Express.
In lines for chairlifts, skiers and snowboarders will naturally maintain six-feet of distance from the tip of their ski/snowboard to the tail of the ski/snowboard in front of them. Chairlifts will be loaded to design capacity for familiar groups and families.
Non-familiar groups and single riders may ride together to increase line speed, only if both groups are comfortable. Single riders that do not join other individuals or groups will be loaded at pre-determined intervals.
3. Warm Up in the Gondolas or the New Yurt Village
To maintain physical distancing, Needles and Strawberry Gondola users will be asked upon arrival how many people are in their group. Groups will be assigned a lane, depending on size when entering the line area.
Non-familiar groups and single riders will be asked if they are comfortable riding with another individual or group, not to exceed six people per cabin. If both groups are comfortable, they will be grouped together to increase line speed. If not comfortable, they will load their own gondola according to their group size. Single riders that do not join other indivduals or groups will be loaded at pre-determined intervals.
Another way to warm up this year includes the new Yurt Village at the base of Middle Bowl. The Old Day Lodge will also be open for warming and restroom use.
4. Après the Old Way
This is the year to clean the rust off your old hibachi grill, dust off the lawn chairs, and do some après ski tailgating in the parking lot. Of course you can crank up your car stereo or even use a bluetooth speaker, but we'll award bonus points if your tailgating includes an old-school boom box, some mirrored shades and a mullet or two.
5. Ride the Allen Peak Tram
In normal years, we encourage folks to ride the Allen Peak Tram, even if they aren't comfortable skiing its terrain, since it can be ridden down. Due to limited capacity this year, only skiers/snowboarders who are comfortable with expert terrain should board the tram. The tram accesses the highest point possible at Snowbasin. From the top, you can look north into Idaho, east into Wyoming, below at Utah, and west nearly to Nevada. The terrain is “expert only” as it was the start for the Downhill events during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
The Allen Peak Tram will be loaded with familiar groups to a capacity of up to 15 individuals. For non-familiar groups and single riders, it will be loaded to a capacity not to exceed six guests per tram car, a reduction in capacity of over 50%.
6. Carpool for Better Parking
Start your day right by carpooling like you used to do. Snowbasin provides preferential parking for carpools (three or more people in the vehicle). And with anticipated restrictions on lodge access and indoor dining, you'll be better set up to enjoy some old-school tailgating in the parking lot (more on that later). If you want to avoid the parking thing altogether, you can get dropped right at the curb by the UTA ski bus.
Finally, a message from Snowbasin General Manager, Davy Ratchford:
"With these new upgrades and enhancements and the support of our guests to follow these protocols, we believe our plan should allow for a safe and successful ski season. I can readily say that nobody enjoys wearing a face covering and changes to things we are used to is challenging, but we have to do this to get open and stay open. We truly appreciate the support and respect of our new policies, in these unprecedented times, as we strive to create another great year of skiing and riding. I look forward to seeing our loyal pass holders both old and new joining us for a brilliant 80th year on our slopes when we open on November 27th."
- Davy Ratchford, VP & General Manager