BIG SKY — Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away and that means opening day is right around the corner in Big Sky.
While the slopes will look and feel different with safety protocols in place, the resort is ready to welcome back skiers after having to shorten last year’s ski season due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s been almost full-time in our planning since we closed on March 15,” said Big Sky Resort general manager Troy Nedvad. “Obviously our summer has been a lot of opportunities to test our operations on a smaller scale. We’ve obviously been working on all the industry data - both state and county information - as to figuring out our operating plan for this year.”
Big Sky will be offering many of the same winter activities from previous ski seasons, but there will be a few operational changes and requirements for guest
“First and foremost, [we’re] asking people to stay home when they’re sick,” added Nedvad. “When on property, wearing facemasks is a requirement and expectation. Beyond that, [we’re] social distancing everywhere we can and giving people plenty of space.”
With almost 6,000 acres of skiable terrain, Big Sky has plenty of room to spread out on the slopes this season. As an added precaution, the resort is replacing their traditional singles line with a friends and family line.
“We have a normal zone for people that are comfortable riding with others and friends and family, which you ride with those that you travel with and those that you’ve already spent time with, keeping your circle pretty tight.”
Big Sky won’t be limiting their daily hours because of COVID-19. Instead, they’re allowing a limited amount of skiers to get a head start on the slopes before opening them to the public.
“That is access to a limited number of people to ski fresh corduroy early morning from that zone of eight to nine o’clock. That’s going to be something that will help spread out crowds early, extend our daily access, and give a little bit more room to all the skiers.”
If you’ve been unsure about buying a season-pass because of the current circumstances, Big Sky is offering “Worry-Free Winter Assurance” with each purchase, which provides credit towards next year’s season pass if the resort were close because of COVID-19.
Ticket sales are currently unavailable online, but the resorts say they will be opening them soon.