Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows opens for 2020-21 season

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 11:23 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - After having to cut last season short and close the mountains early due to the Coronavirus, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (SVAM) is officially back open. But riders can expect to see changes to help keep everyone healthy.

“It’s really, really great to be able to welcome people back here.”

Alex Spychalsky, Public Relations Specialist for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

The resort spent nearly $1 million to enhance sanitizing and physical distancing measures across the mountains. New hand-sanitizing stations are being installed and bathrooms will have touchless faucets, paper towels, and soap dispensers. Partitions will be installed in the ticket, ski school, and food and beverage sales locations. Electrostatic sanitizing sprayers will also disinfect areas around the resort.

Because Placer County, where the ski resort is located, is currently in California’s most restrictive COVID-19 tier, staff says indoor operations are limited to visitors.

“We’ve really expanded our outdoor seating you can grab and go, get your food and sit outside on a bench, we’ve got fire pits,” Alex Spychalsky, Public Relations Specialist at SVAM said, “We’re trying to make it a really inviting experience for everybody.”

Face coverings with two or more layers are also required in any indoor facility including lodges, restaurants, retail stores, shuttles, elevators, chairlift lines, and on chairlifts. Guests who are opposed to this are asked to avoid visiting the resort this season.

Spychalsky added, “Masking and distancing pretty much everywhere except for when you’re skiing. The sport itself is just inherently a distanced activity; you’re spread out on the slopes, so we think it’s a really great option for people to still get outside but still stay safe and keep those COVID protocols in mind.”

On chairlifts, guests will be asked to self-group and load the chair with people who are within their party. You can ask to ride chairlifts alone. There are currently more than 20 runs and seven chairlifts open.

Employees ask that riders plan their trip in advance. Reservations will be required for ski and ride school lessons, rental and demo equipment this season. Reservations are not required for season pass holders. Everyone else must book a lift ticket online ahead of time, as walk-up windows are closed for safety reasons.

“This is new, we’re all getting used to it. expect things to maybe take a little bit longer, but just have that patience, we’re all in this together, be cooperative,” Spychalsky said.

For more information and frequently asked questions regarding the 2020-21 season at SVAM, click here.

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