Skiers and snowboarders who want to hit the slopes will be required to wear masks if they’re within six feet of other people.

By Alison Fox
May 26, 2020
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A snowboarder heads down the High Noon run at the Arapahoe Basin ski area on opening day in October of 2019.
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A Colorado ski resort will reopen for spring skiing this week with a reservation-based system aimed at limiting the number of people on the slopes.

The Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which sits just over 60 miles west of Denver, will reopen on May 27 after being closed due to COVID-19.

“The re-opening is new ground for us in terms of policies and procedures,” the mountain’s chief operating officer, Alan Henceroth, wrote in a blog post. “This is going to be very different.”

Skiers and snowboarders who want to hit the slopes will be required to wear masks if they’re within six feet of other people and are asked to stay home if they’re feeling sick. Additionally, the mountain will offer 600 daily reservations: 570 for pass holders and another 30 as pre-reserved day passes for $99.

Skiers and riders will have to show their reservations before even entering the parking lot. Additionally, lift lines will be redesigned to create distance between people. The mountain also won’t serve any food and won’t provide rentals, lockers, or run lessons.

Reservations will only be accepted online, not over the phone.

Arapahoe Basin has trained staff on local health orders as well as cleaning and disinfection procedures that are wearing masks.

“A-Basin has adopted CDC guidelines including enhanced sanitation procedures designed to combat the transmission of COVID-19 for restrooms, door handles, counter tops, tables, chairs, benches and other high touch surfaces,” the mountain wrote on its website.

Spring skiing is typical for the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area with the ski season lasting from mid-October to early-June. The mountain features a summit elevation of just over 13,000 feet with 147 trails and more than 1,400 acres to traverse.

Colorado has recorded more than 24,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The state is currently under a "safer at home" order, which is less restrictive than its previous stay-at-home order.

Colorado originally closed ski resorts as the virus spread, but the order has since expired. Ski resorts can now apply for approval to reopen, according to the governor’s office.

While Arapahoe Basin is ready to welcome ski bums once again, other resorts aren’t as enthusiastic. For its part, Breckenridge Ski Resort, which is owned by Vail Resorts, will not reopen for spring skiing and instead will focus on summer operations with a start date of late June or early July, The Associated Press reported.

In a letter to employees, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz wrote, “Our goal is not to win the race to reopen, it’s to look back one day with great pride in our track record on safety."