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September's President Letter

5 Sep 2020 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The latest activity to fall victim to the Covid-19 pandemic is the Crescent Ski Council’s Fall Convention and Trade Show that was scheduled for late October.  However, we still are doing what we can.  Several of us floated down the Hiwassee River on Sunday August 16th.  It was a beautiful day, plenty of water, and everyone had a great time.  We have some other special activities coming up including a trip to Bardstown KY (September 11-13) and hiking to Georgia’s Len Foote Hike Inn (October 16-17).  It seems like it is a long way off, but you need to make your lodging reservations now for the Virginia Creeper Bike Ride, May 21-23, 2021, as accommodations in Abington fill up fast.

Speaking of trips, time is running out to sign up for this winter’s ski trips:  the Crescent Ski Council’s Steamboat Colorado Race and Ski Camp (https://www.crescentskicouncil.org/TripFlyers/2020_Steamboat_Flyer.pdf),

our Taos New Mexico (https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-3833281),

 and Mt. Bachelor Oregon (https://chattanoogaskiclub.org/event-3833375) trips.

I realize that these are uncertain times, and different people have different comfort levels about engaging in various activities, and I won’t criticize anyone for participating, or not participating in our club’s activities.  Your Board of Directors has been meeting via ZOOM at least monthly trying to strike the right balance.   In September, the board is planning on meeting in person for the first time in months, and one item we are considering is a full club meeting in October, in-person, at an outdoor venue.  One reason for this is so we can hold elections for the 2020-2021 officers.  We will keep you posted about this possibility.  One potential activity the board discussed last month was running a primarily SKI (with minimal touring) trip to South America in our summer (their winter) of 2021 (when hopefully things will be returning to normal).  Let me know what you think about such a trip (i.e. if we have it I’m on it, or you’ll seriously consider it, or maybe-maybe not, or no, or I’d rather eviscerate myself with a toothpick).

We have four new members, Sheryl Campbell, Vernon Elliot, Cheryl Hall, and A.B. Maynard.  Hopefully in the near future we’ll get to meet them in-person and welcome them to our club.

Several people have been asking about the Taos and Mt. Bachelor trips.  There are a lot of unknowns but here is some information:  When we go to Taos, the Snakedance Condos will be providing the transportation from the airport to the ski-in/ski-out accommodations.  We are being told that as of now, the resort has no plans to limit the number of skiers on the mountain.  The Taos website says:

We are currently working on our plan for the upcoming winter. Due to COVID-19 there are many unknowns when it comes to the next ski season. Our goal is to put together a comprehensive plan that will allow us to operate at a capacity that focuses on the health and safety of our staff, community, and guestshttps://www.skitaos.com/2020-21-season/2020-21-season-update. 

As for Mt. Bachelor, their website just has information about summer operations, nothing yet about what will be the rules for the winter.  Our hotel in Bend OR, the Doubletree, makes two trips each morning and evening to Mt. Bachelor in a 54-passenger bus that is only for ski clubs staying at the hotel (“regular” guests at the hotel cannot use it).  Currently we are the only ski club at the hotel that week.  We will also have private transportation between the hotel and airport.

Vail Resorts (consisting of all their properties including Breckenridge, Heavenly, Park City, Sun Valley, Telluride, et al; none of which the Chattanooga Ski club is visiting this year) has released their official policies for how they will operate in the 2020-2021 season.  I’m including it here as other resorts may do something similar.  Below are some excerpts from that letter (here is a link to the entire announcement https://www.epicpass.com/info/letter-to-our-pass-holders.aspx )

This season we will be implementing a reservation system across each of our mountains

  • Pass holders (i.e. EPIC Pass) will be required to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain.
  • Throughout the season, pass holders will be able to make as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allow. 
  • Lift tickets (including Buddy and SWAF tickets) will go on sale on Dec. 8, with sales limited based on the number of spaces available for any given day after our exclusive pass holder reservation period. This season, lift tickets will be sold with a reservation for a specific resort on a specific date.
  • Given the need to manage lift tickets sales, they will only be sold on our websites and through our call centers. No lift tickets will be sold at the ticket window in resort – you may only pickup your pre-purchased lift ticket at our ticket windows.
  • We will be encouraging guests to purchase in advance – though guests can purchase a same day lift ticket online or through our call centers, subject to availability, and then pick up the lift ticket at the ticket window.

We will be requiring guests to wear face coverings in every part of our operations, which includes loading and riding in chairlifts and gondolas; when inside all buildings; and during all ski and snowboard lessons. No one will be permitted on the mountain without a face covering. 

To maintain physical distancing on our chairlifts and gondolas, we will only be seating related parties (guests skiing or riding together) or: two singles on opposite sides of a four-person lift; two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift; or two singles on opposite sides of our larger gondola cabins.

To allow for physical distancing, we will be managing the number of people in our restaurants in accordance with public health requirements and will monitor guests coming in and out of restaurants at the entrances. Our approach to each restaurant will be a little different, depending on the layout and flow of each facility. Our full-service, sit down restaurants will operate with reduced seating, spaced to enable physical distancing. At most of our large, quick-service restaurants, such as Two Elk in Vail, Miner’s Camp in Park City and Pioneer Crossing in Breckenridge, we intend to reconfigure our “scramble areas” to have a cafeteria-style approach, where guests come in, go through a single line, and pass all the food options until they get to the cashier.

Food options in quick-service restaurants will be more limited this season, with just a handful of ready-to-go hot and cold options and no ability for any custom or special orders. We will be spacing tables in seating areas as well to allow for physical distancing while eating. We will also be maintaining as much outdoor seating as we can. Given these limitations, we will recommend that guests adjust their schedules and try to dine earlier or later to avoid the peak lunch rush. Since stopping by one of our restaurants will not be as easy as in years’ past, we will also encourage guests to bring water, snacks and other food with them on the mountain to ensure they stay hydrated and have the energy needed for their ski day.”

Hopefully the above information from Vail will help you make decisions for this coming ski season.

Stay safe everyone,

Bob