California/Nevada 2020-2021 Tahoe Ski Resorts/Conditions/Meetups

Tricia

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Did you see this?
 

Tony

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Not sure if you were specifically asking me since I was the person who first mentioned the lawsuit in last year's Tahoe thread, but I did see very similar articles at https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Tahoe-ski-resort-reverses-parking-policy-after-15619988.php and https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/n...olicy-after-expensive-year-long-court-battle/.
Tahoe Daily Tribune had https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/northstar-returns-to-free-parking-at-village-view-lot/ a month ago.

Northstar's parking policy last season drove me to ski Squaw four weekdays and Alpine one vs. only one at Northstar. At Squaw, I could park on weekdays within 50 steps of Far East vs. at Northstar where I paid $10 and had long slippery walk to main base as it has one of those Wednesday mornings when much closer Highlands pulse gondola was down for maintenance.

For the upcoming season, I do not have an Ikon and will probably do most of my skiing at Heavenly and Kirkwood. Northstar will have problems getting people to and up the mountain on busier days as most people rides shuttle, even from the close-in parking, and then almost everyone rides a gondola to get to where most of the skiing is. (There is a chair parallel to Big Spring gondola, but I haven't seen it running lately.) It's also hard at Northstar to return to your car during the day which means if you need to warm-up you have to go into a lodge which could also be a problem on all but the quietest days.
 

Tricia

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@Tony I just quoted your post from last year's thread as a reference. You get that.

I'm about to go check into your trial thread (vaccine trial)
 

DoryBreaux

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Interesting hearing others' opinions on the operating plans... I feel like the resorts are doing the best they can given the world we live in. I'm sure we'll all get frustrated at some point... I just came back from a short hike with the dog that reminded me that no matter what the world is doing, always stop and sniff the coyote pee.
 

Tricia

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Alexzn

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I am wondering how Northstar will do this season. The way their mountain, village and facilities are laid out makes it very hard to avoid crowded close spaces (shuttle buses, gondolas, lodges, etc). And the reservation system will screw over a lot of high volume people.
 

Philpug

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I am wondering how Northstar will do this season. The way their mountain, village and facilities are laid out makes it very hard to avoid crowded close spaces (shuttle buses, gondolas, lodges, etc). And the reservation system will screw over a lot of high volume people.
But..they are not charging for parking..so they have that going for them. Seriously, I agree. They do have the Village Quad to get people up to mid mountain, so that should help. But I agree a lot of Vail resorts set ups are not conducive to what needs to be done this season.
 

SSSdave

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Read a Heavenly email link on their ski day reservation policy. As a retired skier mostly midweek, I'd expect there won't be any quota issues unless it is a powder day. For regional locals, I don't see any punitive reasons for reserving a day and then bailing including not bothering to cancel before 12:00am on that day. However expect someone at Vail Resorts will soon wise up to that loophole if they haven't already. Obviously would be popular before fresh powder days where one is in a waiting pattern till knowing if enough quality snow fell, are roads open, are lifts even going to open. Generally regional skiers, especially locals and those locals in flexible jobs that can get in a couple "lunch" runs in at a whim have some strategy brainstorming to do. Note the reservation system does allow doing so on the day one will be skiing given availability. If quotas become an issue on such days so will reserving if there is no suffering. On good fresh powder days, the reservation policy plus the lift line bottleneck due to less riders per lift, will be a huge boon to those fanatics that get get to the front of the lines on such days while others are stuck in painful lines. Likely will be parking more at Heavenly on the lonely Nevada Boulder lot and moving up the mountain their versus the gondola I've made a habit of.
 
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Tricia

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Read a Heavenly email link on their ski day reservation policy. As a retired skier mostly midweek, I'd expect there won't be any quota issues unless it is a powder day. For regional locals, I don't see any punitive reasons for reserving a day and then bailing including not bothering to cancel before 12:00am on that day. However expect someone at Vail Resorts will soon wise up to that loophole if they haven't already. Obviously would be popular before fresh powder days where one is in a waiting pattern till knowing if enough quality snow fell, are roads open, are lifts even going to open. Generally regional skiers, especially locals and those locals in flexible jobs that can get in a couple "lunch" runs in at a whim have some strategy brainstorming to do. Note the reservation system does allow doing so on the day one will be skiing given availability. If quotas become an issue on such days so will reserving if there is no suffering. On good fresh powder days, the reservation policy plus the lift line bottleneck due to less riders per lift, will be a huge boon to those fanatics that get get to the front of the lines on such days while others are stuck in painful lines. Likely will be parking more at Heavenly on the lonely Nevada Boulder lot and moving up the mountain their versus the gondola I've made a habit of.
This still seems complex to me. I'll be interested to see how it actually plays out.
 

Philpug

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I am thinking that Vail will be changing their policies pretty quickly. The tough part is that their communication through the channels is not the most consistent and timely.
 

dcs24

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(There is a chair parallel to Big Spring gondola, but I haven't seen it running lately.) It's also hard at Northstar to return to your car during the day which means if you need to warm-up you have to go into a lodge which could also be a problem on all but the quietest days.
I only skied Northstar a few days last season, but Village Express was spinning on all of those days. I'd imagine that this year they will spin it every day they operate this season, for those who want to avoid enclosed lifts. But to your broader point, without walkable parking I agree that Northstar isn't well set up for COVID operation.

Overall, though, I don't think Vail resorts are any worse configured than other major resorts. Within the Tahoe region, other than Northstar Squaw might be the most affected mountain this season because the Funitel and Tram are such critical components to the lift infrastructure. If they have to run at significantly reduced capacity then there will be a chokepoint getting to the upper mountain each morning.

Many of the biggest resorts that will have trouble during COVID are not Vail mountains -- Jackson Hole, Snowbird, Mammoth, and Aspen Mountain are all heavily reliant on enclosed lifts to get from base to summit -- for some of them, that's the only way to the top -- and they're all on Ikon.
 

Tony

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I only skied Northstar a few days last season, but Village Express was spinning on all of those days. I'd imagine that this year they will spin it every day they operate this season, for those who want to avoid enclosed lifts. But to your broader point, without walkable parking I agree that Northstar isn't well set up for COVID operation.
You must ski Northstar more weekends than me (and I usually try to use the other gondola). I looked at my history for the last 5 years and had 1, 5, 0 (skied 27 days between Kirkwood and Heavenly), 7 and 5 days at Northstar in those seasons. The only weekend day was Sunday 1/6/2019 that was a clusterf--- getting there and back as 80 closed so everyone trying to get back to Bay Area was sharing the road with me and going 10-15 mph until I turned off for Carson City. I will not be skiing Northstar any Saturdays in the upcoming season as Tahoe Value Pass that I still plan to downgrade to using my 20% credit once Vail works through their 6-8 week backlog of pass changes. It's very unlikely that I would go to Northstar on a Friday or Sunday in upcoming season.
 

Philpug

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Many of the biggest resorts that will have trouble during COVID are not Vail mountains -- Jackson Hole, Snowbird, Mammoth, and Aspen Mountain are all heavily reliant on enclosed lifts to get from base to summit -- for some of them, that's the only way to the top -- and they're all on Ikon.
You are absolutely right with all of these examples. Jackson Hole is one of the first resorts that came to mind.
 

Pequenita

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Within the Tahoe region, other than Northstar Squaw might be the most affected mountain this season because the Funitel and Tram are such critical components to the lift infrastructure. If they have to run at significantly reduced capacity then there will be a chokepoint getting to the upper mountain each morning.
I take Squaw’s funi or tram to the upper mountain only under duress; I imagine/hope that KT —> Headwall and Squaw One are open more frequently to accommodate people not squishing together in enclosed lifts.
 

jwilli

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I take Squaw’s funi or tram to the upper mountain only under duress; I imagine/hope that KT —> Headwall and Squaw One are open more frequently to accommodate people not squishing together in enclosed lifts.
I'm looking forward to some more days at Alpine this year to avoid the logjam (although I hope not too many others are having similar thoughts...)
 

dcs24

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I take Squaw’s funi or tram to the upper mountain only under duress; I imagine/hope that KT —> Headwall and Squaw One are open more frequently to accommodate people not squishing together in enclosed lifts.
I'm with you in terms of personal preference. And have to imagine that this season Squaw One will spin every day. But the Funi all by itself has a lift capacity over 4000/hr. That's significantly more than Squaw One's capacity (3000), and the tram carries another 700/hr. Hard to see how KT>Headwall will pick up the slack when those lifts are often busy even when the funi and tram are operating normally. If most of the funi and tram traffic gets redirected to Squaw One and KT>Headwall to access the upper mountain, all of those lifts are going to be huge bottlenecks even if they are loaded at full capacity.
 
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Andy Mink

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I'm with you in terms of personal preference. And have to imagine that this season Squaw One will spin every day. But the Funi all by itself has a lift capacity over 4000/hr. That's significantly more than Squaw One's capacity (3000), and the tram carries another 700/hr. Hard to see how KT>Headwall will pick up the slack when those lifts are often busy even when the funi and tram are operating normally. If most of the funi and tram traffic gets redirected to Squaw One and KT>Headwall to access the upper mountain, all of those lifts are going to be huge bottlenecks even if they are loaded at full capacity.
And I believe the only way to ski school is the tram. Or do they do that at that tiny little lift on the way in?
 
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