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Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar Resorts to Open for Summer Operations with Commitment to Employee and Guest Safety

Written by sierrarecmagazine

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. — June 18, 2020 — Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California Resort today announced they will open for select summer activities in July. Kirkwood Mountain Resort will have human-powered activities (no lift access) available to guests, similar as years past. The resorts shared operating plans as well as their commitment to safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As a part of Vail Resorts’ commitment to safety, the Company is establishing certain guidelines across all of its resorts and properties in North America, which include physical distancing protocols, face covering requirements, enhanced cleaning measures, employee health screenings and safety training, cashless transactions, and revisions to regularly offered programs and services. Each resort and property have enacted a unique operating plan that aligns with these guidelines that was developed in consultation with state and local health officials. Similar to the Skier Responsibility Code, Vail Resorts asks guests and employees to take on a new level of personal accountability to ensure the safety of its mountain communities.  

“Summer is a special time in the Sierra and we look forward to welcoming guests back to the outdoors to have fun, refresh and recharge,” said Tom Fortune, vice president and general manager of Heavenly Mountain Resort. “Amazing views of Lake Tahoe set the backdrop, and the Heavenly Gondola and Mid Station Deck will open for sightseeing and hiking on July 3, with the Ridge Rider Coaster and Tamarack Express Chairlift expected to open shortly thereafter. While we are offering limited summer activities, we are lucky that our beautiful outdoor settings provide a landscape to experience nature and to easily practice physical distancing so we all can safely return to the mountains we love.” 

Heavenly Mountain Resort – Open Daily July 3 through Sept. 7 

·         Heavenly Gondola and Tamarack Express Chairlift* 

·         Hiking trails 

·         Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster (targeting July 3, date subject to change) 

·         Grab ‘n go food and drink options at Café Blue and Tamarack Lodge  

·         Tamarack Express Chairlift targeting to open July 15, date subject to change 

Northstar California Resort  

·         Northstar Golf Course to open July 15 

·         Additional activities to be announced by early July 

Kirkwood Mountain Resort – Human-powered activities available daily  

·         The General Store (currently open Tuesdays-Saturdays, open seven days a week beginning June 23) 

·         Hiking and Biking Trails (no lift access) 

·         Disc Golf  

·         Visitors must pack it in and pack it out  

VAIL RESORTS’ COMMITMENT TO SAFETY 

Vail Resorts has reimagined the resort experience to further prioritize the health and safety of its employees and guests in response to COVID-19. In addition to complying with local orders, the Company is enforcing its own safety measures to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the mountains this summer. Safety has always been one of the Company’s core values and the new procedures and protocols being implemented have the safety of employees, guests and communities in mind. Protocols include:   

Physical Distancing:   

·         On mountain, the resorts’ vast outdoor settings make physical distancing easy. But in the base areas and other locations where it is more difficult to do so, we will have signage and decals to ensure guests remain six feet apart.   

·         Guests will be required to wear face coverings in certain areas. This includes in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas or bubble chairs, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster, and in indoor resort facilities. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. Employees will be required to wear face coverings at all times.     

·         Plexiglass barriers have been installed in areas where physical distancing measures are not possible, including at points of purchase.   

·         Capacity of lifts and gondolas will be reduced to allow for physical distancing. Guests will only be allowed on lifts and gondolas with travelers in their party.   

·         Employees may limit the number of guests in any area of the resort to ensure proper physical distancing (e.g. indoor spaces, parking lots, common spaces, etc.).  

Employee Protocols & Training:  

·         All employees are required to wear a face covering and follow the Company’s safety protocols and procedures at all times, including regular hand washing and use of PPG. 

·         Employees will undergo daily health screenings and receive appropriate training to ensure safety.  

·         Employees are required to stay home if sick.  

Guest Expectations:   

·         Guests are asked to stay home if they are sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.    

·         Guests are required to wear face coverings in certain areas, including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas and bubble chairs, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster; in indoor resort facilities, and whenever it is not possible to maintain a six feet distance from unknown parties. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. Guests who are unwilling to comply with this safety requirement will not be permitted to participate in the experience.   

·         All guests are expected to comply with physical distancing guidelines outlined by public health as well as resort signage or as directed by resort employees.    

Enhanced Cleaning & Sanitization:   

·         High-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned and disinfected with EPA-approved products that kill the COVID-19 virus.   

·         Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily in our gondola cabins, frequently throughout the day in our public restrooms and after each use on our alpine slide and mountain coaster carts. 

·         Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the resort. Frequent handwashing is required of employees.   

·         All transactions will be cashless for lift and gondola rides, mountain activities, on-mountain dining as well as at the Company’s lodging, retail and rental locations. 

Hospitality & Lodging:   

·         Guests will be asked to maintain physical distancing guidelines and use face coverings when in common areas.     

·         One guest per family will be allowed to enter the lobby for check-in/out.   

·         Transactions will be cashless.   

·         Room keys will be cleaned and disinfected before they are placed into guest packets.     

Dining Facilities:    

·         To ensure physical distancing, dining facilities will run at reduced capacity with updated floor plans in common areas. Outdoor seating will be available.    

·         On-mountain dining will only offer grab ‘n go food and all transactions will be cashless. 

Vail Resorts will continue to review and update our policies to adhere to the most up-to-date practices to keep employees and guests safe. Opening dates and activities at Vail Resorts’ other North American resorts can be found here

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About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) 
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 world-class mountain resorts and urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah;Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com

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