Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year of change. Dealing with the safety of guests and staff during a pandemic has been a top priority of ski areas across Michigan as they prepare to open. Indoor capacity limits, face covering rules, new outdoor dining options, new lift queue configurations, and social distancing rules are all changes that ski areas are making as they prepare to open. This season, the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) is urging skiers and riders to “Know before you go,” by checking the website of the ski area you are planning to visit to familiarize yourself with their COVID-19 protocol.
“Some ski areas are going to contactless lift ticket sales, others are bringing in food trucks for outdoor dining, changing the rental department around to aid in social distancing and limiting class sizes for ski and snowboard lessons,” says Steve Kershner, MSIA chairman and director of snow sports at Shanty Creek Resort.
One rule that will be consistent across all Michigan ski areas is the requirement to wear CDC-recommended face coverings in all indoor spaces, except when seated to eat or drink, and outdoors when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained – such as the base lodge staging area, shuttles, lift lines, while loading and riding a lift, or entering an indoor facility.
“The important thing to remember is that we are doing this for the wellbeing of our guests and our staff. We want everyone to be able to head out and enjoy the slopes safely,” Kershner adds.
Click through below for more information on COVID-19 information for ski areas around Michigan…
Skiers and riders share many things: a love of the slopes, the feeling of freedom when cruising down runs and making memories with family and friends on a beautiful winter day. We are all part of an outdoor community, and that’s what makes Crystal Mountain special.
Winter may look a little different this year, and that’s OK. We’ll all be outside, enjoying snow and fresh air, and looking for that perfect run. We are excited to see you all soon, and we can’t wait to open the slopes!
The Crystal Mountain team has been working toward re-opening for this winter since we ended operations last March. Crystal Clean was developed as our commitment to safety and health, but has become part of our culture throughout the summer. We are strengthening that commitment to you now by continuing to plan for all contingencies and reimagining the Crystal Mountain experience for your safety, for your health and for your enjoyment.
We have developed our winter operations plan using ski industry best practices and state and local health recommendations. Visit links below for more information:
Below are the latest postings from the Crystal Mountain Page On Facebook.
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Our commitment to guest and team member safety is our top priority. Knowing that operating during a pandemic is a very fluid situation, we did our due diligence in planning for a safe winter season ahead with the understanding that we all need to be flexible. With 415 skiable acres and large base areas, we feel confident that we can spread out and welcome all that choose to come play outside with us! We continue to work each day towards iniatives and protocols to provide you with the safest possible vacation and recreational experiences.
Face coverings are required at all times in the base area, lift lines, on chairlifts, and indoors, except when seated at a table in a restaurant. Winter neck gators are acceptable as long as they cover both the nose and mouth. We suggest keeping an extra face mask on you in case one is lost or you find your primary face covering freezing up and getting too uncomfortable. Employees are required to wear face coverings at all times.
As recommended by the CDC and state guidelines, please maintain a distance of at least six feet from other guests wherever possible. Keep your eyes out for signage to denote safe distancing, and be respectful of those around you.
Our staff has worked incredibly hard to plan for this winter, but this season will be new and different for all of us. In many situations we’ll be learning on the fly and adapting to changing rules and realities. Just as we will be flexible with our plans, we encourage you to be flexible with yours. A successful season will require us all to work together.
Tickets & Passes
Currently, we do not plan to require daily reservations for season pass, Ikon Pass, or Cherry Pickers passholders. We strongly encourage guests to purchase lift tickets online in advance. Online tickets are priced lower, and provide contactless pickup at our new Online Lift Ticket pickup window in the base area. It is possible that lift tickets may be limited or unavailable to purchase at the ticket window on peak days.
Capacity will be strictly limited inside the base lodges and food court this season – gear storage and changing will not be permitted. Guests should come prepared to boot up in their cars, and only bring with them items that can be carried throughout the day (small day packs, for example). Guests should expect to spend minimal time indoors during their visit. For those looking to access ski lockers, follow the directional signage and expect strict time limits at your locker.
Guests will be asked to ride the lift with members of the group they traveled with. Lift mazes will be arranged to provide safe spacing between lanes, and all guests will be required to wear face coverings while in line and while riding the lift.
Indoor occupancy in all of our restaurants will be limited in accordance with current Michigan guidelines, and face coverings will be required for all guests except when seated at a table. All restaurants will feature expanded takeout offerings, and our new point of sale system will allow for contactless payments and online ordering.
Events & Activities
No large scale gatherings are currently planned or scheduled, though this could change if guidance from health authorities changes. All competitions will follow the guidelines of the relevant governing body.
The Adventure Center plans to offer ziplining, snowshoeing, fat tire bike rentals, and tubing. Tubing will be restricted to one-hour time blocks and likely will need to be purchased in advance to reserve your tubes.
Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark
Open weekends only! You must book your day passes online in advance to attend your chosen 3-hour time slot, Friday-Sunday. Capacity is set at 250 people per session, expect a fantastic waterpark experience with more splashing, less crowds! Face covering are required in common areas, not when in pools or using attractions.
Lodging is available this winter in the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, Boynehof, Clock Tower Lodge, and resort condos, and operate in accordance with Michigan guidelines. All lodging properties booked through Boyne Mountain, including the hotel, condos, and private homes, will follow American Hotel and Lodging Association Stay Safe guideline for cleaning and safety protocols.
Lesson offerings have been altered this season in an effort to keep staff and guests safe. Some notable changes:
Kids (ages 3-6) | Private lessons only! A parent must participate in the lesson.
Kids (ages 7-12) | Group and private lessons; group lesson ratio is 5 kids per instructor maximum.
Ages 13 and older | group and private lessons; group lesson ratio is also 5:1.
Group lessons times are 10am-noon and 2:30-4:30pm. Private lessons offered throughout the day, 9am-4:30pm. With smaller lesson sizes, we anticipate filling quickly. Reserve online in advance to secure your spot – coming soon!
Ski and snowboard rentals are available this season. Look for new signage directing redesigned traffic flow. We strongly encourage guests to reserve rentals online in advance to eliminate touchpoints upon arrival. Rental sales go online very soon.
Childcare will not be available to guests this winter, as our daycare facility will not be able to operate within current state guidelines.
All Boyne Mountain Resort team members undergo a health screening every day prior to their shift. If team members are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms, they are instructed to stay home. Masks are required for all employees and guests while indoors or in any situation in which it is difficult to maintain a safe distance.
Team members have been trained in stringent cleaning procedures, with increased frequency of scheduled cleanings in all common areas.
We know this winter will look a little bit different at Boyne Highlands, and you’ll notice that we’ve made changes around the resort with guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and recommendations from the state and local health department. Our goal is to do our best in ensuring the safety of our guests, staff, and the community.
Cleaning – Enhanced Cleaning, Resort Wide
Face Masks – Plus Social Distancing
Less Contact – Contactless Transactions
FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED
Guests ages 5+ and all resort team members must wear an adequate face covering while at Boyne Highlands Resort. This requirement applies at all times in indoor public areas (lobbies, hallways, restrooms, restaurants, shops). This requirement also applies in all outdoor areas where a minimum 6 foot distance from others cannot be maintained.
Our team members are continuously updated and trained on the evolving standards and practices we are upholding to provide safety and enjoyment during your visit. We ask that you too help in ensuring safety for all by mindfully adhering to our requirements, following guidance provided by our team members, and observing signage when visiting Boyne Highlands Resort.
When dining at Boyne Highlands Resort or vising any venue serving food and/or beverages, a face covering must be worn at all times except when actually eating or drinking. This includes while being seated, when ordering, and upon departure.
When golfing at Boyne Highlands Resort, a face covering must be worn in the arrival/cart check-in area and golf shop, when interacting with any golf course personnel, and when visiting with any guests not in the group with whom you checked in. If distanced at least 6 feet from others, face coverings are not required while on the course or driving range.
When visiting The Spa at Boyne Highlands, a face covering must be worn in all areas of the facility including lobby, relaxation and locker areas, and treatment rooms. A face covering may be removed when face down during a massage and during facial or wet treatments.
When biking at Boyne Highlands Resort and in areas where distancing six or more feet isn’t possible, face coverings are required. Due to chin bars providing very limited coverage, a full-face biking helmet does not suffice as a face covering. An adequate face covering must be worn with such helmets.
A face covering must be worn in the resort village/base areas when unable to maintain a distance of six or more feet from anyone outside of your family/party.
A face covering must be worn at all times while waiting to load a chairlift, and in the loading and unloading areas.
When participating in activities such as hiking at Boyne Highlands Resort, a face covering must be worn in the check-in area and anywhere a distance of at least 6 feet from others cannot be maintained.
CLICK THROUGH FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION ON OPERATION CHANGES FOR THIS WINTER.