Dear Winter Enthusiast,
As somebody who has long been committed to an active outdoor lifestyle, particularly as a skier, I can honestly say there has never been a time when I anticipated the arrival of ski season more than this year. The magic of winter - snow silently falling, the sharp bite of winter on the face and the excitement of linking turns on every unique run are always special. This year it’s safe to say “special” could be expanded to include therapeutic. In a sense, we need this ski season for our emotional and physical well-being as much as for our enjoyment. We believe recreation is one of the essential food groups - now more than ever.
I want to share Ragged Mountain Resort’s plans for the upcoming ski season. There has been so much uncertainty since the Covid-19 pandemic first upended our lives. Among the many lessons learned are the importance of clear and consistent communication, the setting of realistic expectations, and the need for tolerance for unexpected changes.
The embrace of all these lessons is going to be critical to a successful ski season, as is the recognition we’re all in this together. A collective effort must be part of the foundation for success as we strive to balance the safety of our guests, employees and the local communities in which we operate our business.
In addition to following all CDC and local regulations, Ragged Mountain will require face coverings, will make the necessary changes to allow for physical distancing, and will closely monitor employee health including requiring employees to stay home if they are sick. Similarly, we encourage guests to not visit if they are not feeling well or have any symptoms of Covid-19. We will implement additional precautions related to ski school, rental equipment, food and beverage, and hospitality as further outlined below.
Ragged plans to open for the winter season on Friday, November 27, 2020. As always, this depends on weather, but our summer work prioritized the readiness of the snowmaking system and our hope is for an on time opening.
As you know, capacity restrictions have been one of the tools used to manage the spread of the novel corona virus. Skiing and riding at Ragged Mountain takes place on over 250 acres ensuring the opportunity to safely recreate. Nevertheless, we will adhere to any limitations imposed by State and local authorities. To what extent we might be required to limit on-mountain capacities is still unknown, however, we are confident any restrictions will be on a limited number of days and all guests will have access on the vast majority of days.
Season pass holders will be our highest priority in managing any on-mountain capacity restrictions. It is our intention to allow pass holders to ski any day the resort is open without reservations or other exceptional requirements. Our primary means to control capacity will be done by limiting the sale of daily lift tickets.
It is possible we may need to control the number of skiers, including pass holders, in the event there is limited terrain open. In such case, Ragged Mountain will implement an online advance reservation system and requirements for reservations will be communicated on the web site, via email, and on the resort app. Pass holders are strongly encouraged to download the resort app and enable push messaging. This will be the quickest and most certain way to stay abreast of changes of any kind.
Face coverings will be required to access the mountain, including in the base area, in lift lines and while loading, unloading and riding on chairlifts. Face coverings will be required in every part of our operation including inside all buildings and during all ski and snowboard lessons. We are asking everyone to support these necessary changes and cooperate with resort workers who are in the challenging role of ensuring everyone’s safety. Guests who don’t comply with the guidelines will be asked to leave.
First and foremost, we will manage the number of people on the mountain. We will do everything possible and practical to allow for physical distancing throughout the resort to help ensure a safe experience. Additionally, we will load lifts maintaining social distancing guidelines applicable to each individual lift configuration. We will also manage the number of people entering buildings including base lodges and restaurants in accordance with local guidelines. Currently the maximum number of people allowed indoors in a gathering space is about a 50% capacity since tables must be 6 feet apart with no more than 6 chairs per table. This number may change between now and the beginning of ski season or even during the season. We are working to expand areas to comfortably accommodate guests while maintaining distancing requirements and revising menus and service levels that strike a balance between safety, forced capacity limits, and reasonable hospitality. Some of the “new norms” we all have embraced over the summer - online ordering, takeout, grab-and-go and outdoor dining - will be in place for the winter.
Ski school is an important part of every mountain operation because it introduces people to the sport and helps them improve so the sport is more enjoyable. Our teaching professionals are always committed to safety and enjoyment while learning, and this season that will be highlighted more than ever. Ski and snowboard school formats will be revised to accommodate either small groups or individual self-paced learning options. Advance reservations will be required for all lessons and programs.
Children’s on-snow programs will be the subject of particular emphasis with small class sizes and minimal exposure to larger group settings.
Equipment rental will be available exclusively online with advance reservations. Pick up and drop off of equipment may be modified to accommodate social distancing and to limit the number of people in confined spaces.
There is no avoiding the fact that navigating your way around the resort will be different this winter. Compared to the alternative of no ski season, I hope you’ll agree the changes are manageable and worth any inconvenience.
Our web site, raggedmountainresort.com will be updated regularly with the latest info on restrictions and other important information. The resort app, available for both iOS or Android DOWNLOAD HERE, will be one of the best ways to stay informed through notifications and current status updates.
Advance planning and online advance purchases will be more important than ever. Most products will only be available online in advance. Knowing what to expect when you arrive will go a long way toward minimizing confusion and frustration.
Finally, for those who purchased a season pass for this year but are still uncertain about their preferences this winter, please remember there is the option to defer the use of that pass until next season:
As you can see, we are planning lots of changes with the objective of making us all safer and more comfortable this ski season. While some of the changes will be a little inconvenient, we think it is a small price to accept for safety and the opportunity to have a great season on the slopes. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present. The resort has implemented protocols to prioritize guest health and safety, but we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed to COVID-19 during your visit. The risk of being exposed or becoming sick due to COVID-19 cannot be eliminated. Every skier and rider shares the responsibility for a safe and healthy skiing experience. It is your responsibility to read and comply with all instructions and signage posted at the resort and on the resort’s website. Stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Wear a face covering in designated areas and maintain at least 6 feet physical distancing from other guests, including in lift lines. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.Last Edited by Kyle Matzke on Monday, September 14, 2020