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Next Winter Will Be ‘Old School’ Ski Experience

So says the boss of the Aspen Skiing Co, Mike Kaplan.  He’s been outlining plans for the new ski season and what will change thanks to Covid-19.

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In an open letter posted on the Aspen-Snowmass website Kaplan attempts to answer the question:

What’s the plan for the 2020-21 ski season?

It certainly won’t be normal but the Aspen Skiing Co. CEO wonders whether it could actually be better than normal.

Kaplan says although those at the Colorado ski area do not yet have all the answers, they are doing everything possible to anticipate how to open and stay open all winter.

He warns that there will be new procedures this coming winter, some of them annoying.

He adds that a handful of the exuberant social activities for which Aspen is famous will be ‘greatly subdued’.

Aspen Mountain, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

But Kaplan believes the ‘new normal’ comes with an opportunity.

“Like everything in our lives pre-COVID, skiing had become somewhat frantic,” he says.

“Many of us were caught up in the conquests – tracking our bowl laps and vertical – rather than fully appreciating the moments.

“I’m looking forward to refocusing on the core of what this sport is all about, what this place enables: a chance to connect deeply – with nature, with our physical selves and movements, and even with our sense of purpose in society.

“No doubt, next season will be more of an old school experience, but that could also translate to less noise, fewer distractions and, hopefully, more meaning.”

Kaplan outlines some of the specific changes skiers and snowboarders will experience for winter 2020-21:

  • Loading and riding lifts and gondolas will limit contact between unrelated individuals
  • Social distancing and face coverings will be mandatory in all restaurants, ticket offices, ski school facilities and other busy indoor areas
  • Possible expanded outdoor seating, covered and heated where possible
  • New technology so most transactions will be online/digital
Aspen, Colorado

Expect new rules on lifts in Aspen, Colorado

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Mike Kaplan says guest surveys have shown majority support for the necessary changes that have been already been put in place for the summer season.

“But to the handful who say we should operate as normal and ignore our public health professionals, I want to be clear: We will only go back to business as usual at the ski areas and in our restaurants and hotels when the science and health experts give us the unanimous ‘all clear’.”

Read Mike Kaplan’s full message here 

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