Enjoying a safe summer at Northstar California

We’re passionate about the outdoors and our mountain communities, and we're committed to protecting these special places and everyone who comes to experience them.

Our Commitment to Safety

Working Together to be Safe

It takes the compassion, care and personal responsibility of everyone to help us ensure a safe mountain experience for all. With that in mind, we have reimagined the resort experience to further prioritize the health and safety of our employees and guests in response to COVID-19. Safety has always been one of our core values and we invite you to learn more below about the new procedures and protocols being implemented with your safety, our employees’ safety, and the safety of our communities in mind.

covid safety

Physical Distancing:

  • On mountain, our vast outdoor setting makes physical distancing easy. But in the base areas and other locations where it is more difficult to do so, we will have signage and decals to ensure guests remain six feet (two meters) apart.
  • Guests will be required to wear face coverings in certain areas. This includes in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts and when loading and riding in gondolas.  Guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. Employees will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed in areas where physical distancing measures are not possible, including at points of purchase.
  • Capacity of lifts and gondolas will be reduced to allow for physical distancing. Guests will only be allowed on lifts with travelers in their party.
  • Employees may limit the number of guests in any area of the resort to ensure proper physical distancing (e.g. parking lots, indoor facilities, common spaces, etc.).

Employee Protocols and Training:

  • All employees are required to wear a face covering and follow the company’s safety protocols and procedures at all times, including regular hand washing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment and Personal Protective Gear.
  • Employees will undergo daily health screenings and receive appropriate training to ensure safety.
  • Employees are required to stay home if sick.

Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation:

  • High-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned and disinfected with EPA-approved products that kill the COVID-19 virus.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily in our gondola cabins and frequently throughout the day in our public restrooms.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the resort. Frequent handwashing is required of employees.
  • All transactions will be cashless for lift and gondola rides, mountain activities, on-mountain dining as well as at the Company’s lodging, retail and rental locations.

We’ll continue to review and update our policies to adhere to the most up-to-date practices to keep employees and guests safe.

* Including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas, in indoor resort facilities, and whenever it is not possible to maintain a six feet distance from unknown parties. Guests who are unwilling to comply with this safety requirement will not be permitted to participate in the experience.

Gondolas and Chairlifts

  • Lift Lines: Guests are asked to maintain physical distance from those not in their party. Markers will be placed six feet apart to assist guests while in line. Guests must wear a face covering while in line and when loading and unloading lifts, as well as when riding a gondola cabin.
  • Loading & Unloading: Guests will only be allowed to ride with travelers in their parties. Guests will not be paired up or asked to ride the chairlift with others. If six-foot (2 meter) distance can be maintained, then two people may ride the chairlift seated on opposite sides.
  • Gondolas will be cleaned daily.

Hospitality and Lodging

  • Guests will be asked to maintain physical distancing guidelines and use face coverings when in common areas.
  • One guest per family will be allowed to enter the lobby for check-in/out.
  • Transactions will be cashless.
  • Room keys will be cleaned and disinfected before they are placed into guest packets.
  • Click here for a list of applicable properties and details on our booking and cancellation policies.

Dining operations

  • To ensure physical distancing, dining operations will run at reduced capacity with updated floor plans in common areas. Outdoor seating will be available.
  • On-mountain dining will be grab ‘n go only and all transactions will be cashless.

Rental, Retail, and Ticket Offices

  • High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected frequently, and hand sanitizing stations will be available.
  • Updated floor plans and signage will help guests maintain physical distancing and direct the flow of traffic.
  • All transactions in ticket offices as well as in the Company’s retail and rental outlets will be cashless.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed in areas where physical distancing measures are not possible.

Restrooms

  • Public restroom spaces will be cleaned and disinfected frequently throughout the day.
  • Capacity limits may be in place.

Activities

  • Guest capacity may be limited when partaking in certain activities.
  • Limited activities will be offered during the initial phase of reopening, and we will continue to assess whether additional activities can be safely provided as the summer progresses and restrictions ease.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How are you keeping guests safe this summer? 

We have developed new processes and procedures for the safety of our guests and employees, taking into account local government guidelines, industry best practices and our unique knowledge and insight about our operations. You can find more information on some of our safety procedures and guest expectations above.  

What are you doing to protect your staff? 

We have developed a robust return to work and training process for all resort employees to ensure safety. All our employees are required to wear a face covering and follow the company’s safety protocols and procedures at all times, including regular hand washing and the use of PPG. Employees will undergo daily health screenings and are required to stay home if sick. We’ll continue to review and update our policies to adhere to the most up-to-date practices to keep employees and guests safe. 

Do I need to wear a face covering?

Guests are required to wear face coverings in certain areas, including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas and bubble chairs, in indoor resort facilities, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster, and whenever it is not possible to maintain a six-foot distance from unknown parties. We require this because face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings, according to the CDC. Guests are encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. When physical distancing is possible, such as hiking on trails, guests may remove their face coverings.  

Do I need to bring my own face covering?  

Yes, guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own face covering. We will have some available upon request, subject to availability. Guests without a face covering will not be allowed to load chairlifts or gondolas, inside resort facilities, or other areas where physical distancing is not possible.  

How will you be enforcing face coverings for guests? 

Guests who are not able to follow the safety protocols that are put in place to protect our guests, employees and communities will not be able to participate in our on-mountain experience and asked to leave if necessary. It will take the compassion, care and personal responsibility of everyone to help us ensure a safe mountain experience for all. 

What is your child age requirement for face coverings? 

In line with local and CDC guidelines, we are asking that children older than 2 years of age wear face coverings in lift lines, loading and unloading lifts, when riding a gondola, in indoor spaces, and wherever physical distancing of six feet cannot be achieved. 

What are the rules on who can load together on gondolas and lifts? 

To minimize safety risks, guests will only be able to ride gondolas and lifts with travelers in their parties. 

Are you capping the number of people who can visit the resort? 

We will be closely monitoring capacity at our resorts, but we will not be capping our daily visitors. Thanks to our expansive outdoor setting, we are confident we can accommodate all visitors this summer, but are asking for guests' cooperation complying with physical distancing protocols in base areas, lift lines and indoor spaces.   

What equipment are you providing guests: sanitizer, masks, etc.?  

Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the resort. Frequent handwashing is encouraged. While we ask guests to bring their own face coverings, we will have masks available upon request, subject to availability. 

What changes have been made to cleaning procedures?  

High-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned and disinfected with EPA-approved products that kill the COVID-19 virus. In addition, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily in our gondola cabins, frequently throughout the day in our public restrooms and after each use on our alpine slide and mountain coaster carts. 

Will all transactions be cashless?  

Yes, all mountain transactions (e.g. lift tickets, dining facilities) will be cashless as well as transactions at the Company’s lodging, retail and rental locations.

What happens if inclement weather forces a lift evacuation or other quick response which hampers physical distancing requirements? 

While we do our best to anticipate weather events to minimize impacts to our guests, it is very important to have face coverings for each member of your party easily accessible. If response to weather, or an environmental threat, forces a rapid response from mountain operations, we will prioritize guests’ immediate safety over standard health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please do your part to help us operate safely and keep your face covering on hand at all times. 

Are you doing contact tracing? 

We will continue to work with local health officials to minimize the impact and spread of COVID-19 in our resort communities. While we don’t have a comprehensive contact system, we will work with local officials and endeavor to notify any guest or employee who we have knowledge came in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  

When will lodging reopen at Northstar?  

Vail Resorts owned and operated hotels are accepting reservations beginning June 19, 2020. We are offering free cancellations and full refunds for reservations made between now and Dec. 17, 2020. More information on our current booking and cancellation policies is available here

What safety precautions are your Lodging Properties taking?  Are any special cleaning procedures being taken? 

The safety of our employees and our guests has always been a top priority. To ensure our properties are prepared to address the realities of COVID-19, we have rolled out enhanced safety protocols at all of our owned and operated lodging properties designed to provide both guests and employees with a safe and enjoyable experience. Our new safety guidelines include limited touchpoints at check in, property-wide enhanced cleaning measures, shared space guidelines in elevators and physical distancing policies. While our protocols may vary by property, our teams will continue to follow CDC and WHO guidance, aligning our robust plan to ever-evolving industry best practices. 

How are you dealing with common areas? 

Our new safety guidelines include limited touchpoints at check in, property-wide enhanced cleaning measures, shared space guidelines in elevators and physical distancing policies. While our protocols may vary by property, our teams will continue to follow CDC and WHO guidance, aligning our robust plan to ever-evolving industry best practices. As a part of property-wide expanded safety guidelines, certain amenities/common areas may not be available at this time. Please contact the property directly for the most up-to-date information. 
 
Will the pool/spa/gym be open?  

As a part of property-wide expanded safety guidelines, certain amenities may not be available at this time. Please contact the property directly for the most up-to-date information. 
 
Can I valet my car?  

As a part of property-wide expanded safety guidelines, certain amenities may not be available at this time. Please contact the property directly for the most up-to-date information. 
 
Will hotel restaurants be open for business?  

As a part of property-wide expanded safety guidelines, certain dining areas may not be available at this time. Please contact the property directly for the most up-to-date information on grab-and-go and in-room dining options. 

Safety Information

 

Fire Danger 
Smoking is prohibited on lifts and is only allowed in designated smoking areas. During times of extreme fire danger all smoking may be prohibited. Report fires immediately via cell or on-mountain emergency phones. 

Sun Protection

With every 3,000’ increase in altitude, UV levels rise by 10% -12%. Please wear appropriate sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from these harmful UV rays. 

Protect your Purchase 
 
Your ticket or pass is non-transferable and may not be resold or used by anyone other than the person to whom it was issued.  Report lost or stolen passes to resort staff or law enforcement immediately.  Resort staff may ask you to show your pass or ticket at any time.  Failure to show a valid pass or ticket or engaging in fraudulent behavior of any kind may result in loss of resort privileges or criminal prosecution.

Aerial Drones
Recreational drone use by any guest or member of the public, for any reason, is not permitted on or over any Vail Resorts property.

Lightning and Thunderstorms
Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the mountains. Take proper precautions when you see or hear a storm developing: Seek shelter, keep off ridgelines, and stay clear of chairlift houses, lift towers, power lines, open spaces, lone trees and signposts. Lifts may close on occasion, causing delays.

High-Altitude Environment  

If you live at a lower elevation, you may tire more easily.  Take it easy at first, plan short trips until you are acclimated and drink plenty of water.  Some visitors may experience symptoms associated with resort high altitude.  Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, and dizziness, loss of appetite, restless sleep, coughing and difficulty in breathing.  If symptoms persist or if you have a concern about your health, you should seek medical attention. 

Adequate Clothing  

Be aware, mountain weather changes quickly and there is usually at least a 10 degree temperature difference from the bottom to the top of the lifts.  Bring a raincoat and consider a sweater or fleece.

Lift Safety
  
Under the law, you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability and knowledge to negotiate or to use such lift safely or until you have asked for and received information sufficient to enable you to use the lift safely.  You may not use a lift when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Please lower the bar when riding lifts. 

Weather and Terrain
YOU ASSUME THE RISK of unpredictable weather, as well as rugged, uneven, irregular and slippery conditions.

Multi-Use

Be aware that trails and roads at resorts are used for many purposes during the summer.  Mountain bikes, hikers, [horses (if applicable)], motorized vehicles, construction equipment and others may be encountered at any time. 

Construction Warning
You may encounter construction equipment, maintenance vehicles or other heavy machinery at any time.  Always be cautious and obey posted signs and warnings. 

Mountain Biking  
Helmets and sturdy shoes with good tread are recommended at all times. Child carriers or tow-behind bikes are not permitted and all bikes must have two working brakes.  All loose clothing, bags or packs should be firmly secured so they do not interfere with the bicycle’s moving parts. 

Mountain bikers must always yield to other non-motorized trail users. Should you encounter hikers [or horses (add if applicable)] on any trail, you must yield the right-of-way. Ride on designated trails only and obey all posted signs and warnings. Failure to do so may result in lift ticket and/or pass revocation.
 
Wildlife  
Do not litter or feed wildlife.  Hikers rarely encounter bears but, if you do, please remain calm and back away slowly.  Resorts ask that everyone is cautious and respectful of wildlife. 

You Assume the Risk
Mountain biking, hiking, and other recreational activities involve inherent and other risks of injury and death. Trail conditions vary constantly because of weather changes and biker/ hiker use. Variations in terrain, stumps, forest growth, rocks and debris (all of which may be hidden by tall grass or vegetation), lift towers, snowmaking equipment, vehicles, logging equipment and other machinery, and other natural and man-made obstacles and hazards may exist throughout the area. Waterbars are drainage structures designed to reduce erosion and may be found on any trail. Please use care when riding over waterbars.

You assume the risks of personal injury and death related to participation in recreational activities within this recreation area.