A September Message from General Manager, Ken Rider
Summer season came to a successful close earlier this week. This year more than ever, it was rewarding to see so many of our loyal guests, along with many new guests, up here on the mountain enjoying all the summer recreation and relaxation opportunities that our area provides.
As always, the passing of Labor Day weekend also reminds us that winter is right around the corner.
Three months of successful summer operation allowed us to make adjustments, learn a LOT, and get a window into what it will be like to run a successful ski season under the new COVID-19 reality. We have had many conversations with our resort team, medical experts, industry partners, other resorts, local community organizations and with many of our guests. In conjunction with NSAA’s “Ski Well, Be Well” program, we will be sharing our operating plans as they continue to evolve over the next few months.
This winter will look different, but it is our plan to do everything we can to be able to operate the entire season and deliver a great and safe experience on The Best Snow in Idaho TM . Our focus will continue to be the health and safety of our employees, guests, and communities. That is and will continue to be our #1 priority.
With that in mind, our next biggest goal this season is to NOT limit access to skiing and riding. We do not currently plan on having a reservations system for season passholders, Select Card holders or daily ticket purchasers. If it becomes necessary to limit capacity at some point due to CDC or local Health Department guidance, our goal would be to require advance sales and reservations on daily ticket products, but not season passholders or Select Card holders.
We will continue to fine-tune our operating plans based on the best data available as we get closer to ski season, but we know you are eager to get a picture of what it will look like, so we are sharing some initial details here.
Parking – Parking attendants will be on staff on busy days and as recently as last year implemented many new parking lot rules and regulations that will continue to be more diligently enforced.
Shuttles – The in-resort parking lot shuttle connecting the Main Lot to the Centennial Lot will continue to operate on weekends and holidays. Face coverings will be required. The local Brundage Express Shuttle from McCall has been upgraded in partnership with the City of McCall and Mountain Community Transit to a brand NEW 33 passenger 2020 Ford Aerolite shuttle. This service will continue to be offered for free and face coverings will be required.
Season passes, Select Cards and Tickets – All season pass products and Select Cards will be printed and available at the On-Mountain Guest Service location.
New this year: All Select cards will provide direct-to-lift access. Select Card holders no longer need to stand in a ticket line to redeem a ticket, so these will work very similar to a season pass (but without any of the benefits). Additionally, our lift operators will be scanning all guests this year on Bluebird, Centennial and Bear lifts, so please have your passes, cards and tickets accessible every time you load the lift.
Lift operations – Guests will see several big changes on the lift operations front:
- We will open the main lifts at 9:00 am and close at 4:00 pm daily.
- The Centennial Triple will operate seven days a week beginning Mid-December and running until end of March to better disperse crowds every day.
- Our lift attendants will be instructed to load different groups of people together but will accommodate those who would prefer to ride as individuals or couples without sharing a chair with someone they don’t know. Please be patient as we learn the best ways to streamline this process.
- Face coverings will be required in lift lines and lift loading areas as well as where people can’t physically distance.
Lodge Facilities – Face coverings will be required to enter all lodge facilities. Guests will not be allowed to leave personal belongings in the lodge. However, we have added 150 brand new day lockers which are accessed through a credit card pay station and will be available on the west side breezeway on the first floor of the lodge. Several unit sizes will be available and overnight storage is an option.
Food & Beverage Operations – All Food & Beverage outlets will be open. However, each location will offer Grab and Go or a quick dine-in option with very limited seating. Face coverings will be required to enter all facilities and should be worn until you are seated and ready to eat.
Specific changes to our Food and Beverage operations include:
- There will be NO outside food and beverage allowed with in any of our facilities at any time.
- Guests will not be allowed to hang out inside for extended periods of time or bring any personal belongings into the lodge. No exceptions.
- Additional seating will be added to outdoor locations around the lodge and at the Bear’s Den to provide more options for outdoor seating.
- Guest WiFi will not be available inside the lodge. WiFi will be redirected to outdoor areas on the Plaza Level outside of Guest Services and the Easy Street ticket booth.
Ski & Ride School – This season, the Ski & Ride school will offer private lessons only. Individuals (or family members in a combined private lesson) will meet their instructors on the snow. Kids Club and Day Care will not be offered this season. Additional information coming soon.
Retail & Rental – Face coverings will be required to enter the facilities. Those planning to rent gear are highly encouraged to make advance reservations, especially during traditionally busy time periods. Additional information coming soon.
Snowcat Adventures, Snowmobile Tours & Rentals, and Activity Barn Snow Tubing – We do plan to offer these amenities with detailed plans forthcoming.
Overnight RV Camping – Overnight camping will be allowed in designated areas with registration via Guest Services. Overnight camping will NOT be allowed during holiday periods. The Holiday blackout days include: Dec 26 – Dec 31, 2020, Jan 16 – 18, 2021 & Feb 13 – 15, 2021.
Events – At this time we are not planning on hosting any major events that tend to draw large crowds, such as Pray for Snow, Light up the Night or Beer & Gear.
As you can tell, a lot of our indoor operations will be different. Please remember that we are doing this to ensure that we can all enjoy a full season of skiing, riding and enjoying the beautiful mountain environment that we all love so much.
We ask that you, as guests, do your part. Please check back closer to your arrival for the latest plans and updates. As the COVID-19 landscape changes, we may need to make further adjustments. Our goal will continue to be to provide a safe and fun skiing and riding experience while protecting the health of our employees, guests and communities.
We hope you will support us in these efforts and we hope to see you up here soon on the Best Snow in Idaho TM!
General Manager, Ken Rider
And the entire Brundage Mountain Team