Aspen Skiing Co. will soon open lifts and facilities for summer operations, beginning with Aspen Mountain on June 12 and Snowmass on June 21.
“All access and activities will take place with strict adherence to state and county guidelines with the health and welfare of guests and employees given top priority,” according to a company press release.
Aspen Mountain will open Friday, June 12 with the Silver Queen Gondola scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for sightseeing, disc golf, hiking, nature programs with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and a children’s play area.
The Sundeck is in the process of getting a new roof. It is expected that access into the building will at first be limited to bathrooms only, until the roof is completed. Staff are preparing a food service plan that will be based outdoors and the scope is still unclear, SkiCo Vice President for Communications Jeff Hanle said. Ajax Tavern at the bottom of the gondola will be open and guests can pick up food and drink there to take up to the top, Hanle noted.
Daily operations on Aspen Mountain will run until Sept. 7 with operations continuing on weekends, Friday through Sunday, through Oct. 4.
Snowmass will open for the summer June 21 with both the Elk Camp Gondola and Elk Camp Chairlift in operation, as well as most adventures in the Lost Forest including the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, Treeline Trial Challenge Course and Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall. Trails in the Snowmass Bike Park will open as conditions permit. Hiking trails and food and beverage services will also open. Current planned operating hours for the gondola will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Elk Camp chairlift will operate from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snowmass will also be open until Sept. 7 and weekends through Oct. 4.
“We are excited to be able to open our mountains for the summer and allow people to get outdoors and recreate in a safe environment,” says Katie Ertl, vice president of mountain operations, Aspen Snowmass. “We have worked diligently to come up with a plan that meets the guidelines set by state and county authorities and we believe that getting people on to the mountains and providing an opportunity for them to explore will be transformative.”
Lift loading will be staggered and unrelated parties will not be made to ride together. Guests will be required to wear masks when boarding lifts, but can take the masks off once they are on the lift. Guests must also wear masks when indoors, interacting with employees or are in outdoor areas where 6 feet of social distance is not possible. Masks are not required while hiking and biking.
Passholder week at Aspen-Snowmass, traditionally held in June, will be spread across the entire summer season. All eligible 2019-20 Aspen-Snowmass passholders will receive one free bike park ticket, one free Lost Forest base access, 50% off one Lost Forest treeline ticket, 50% off one full-day downhill bike rental, 50% off one intro to downhill clinic and 50% off one downhill skills clinic.
To help maintain adequate social distancing and mitigate ticket office congestion, all summer activities can be purchased online ahead of time whether a guest is at home or in resort. Purchase at least 72 hours in advance and tickets can be delivered to the guest’s hotel. Summer activities will be available online beginning June 10.