Park City Mountain Resort is reopening for a summer season on Thursday, July 2 — about three and a half months after it closed down on March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The resort’s chief operating officer, Mike Goar, said it will be offering a resort experience—but also focusing on safety for their staff and guests.
Goar told KPCW that opening for the summer and preparing for the winter to come in the face of a pandemic is something he’s never experienced in his career.
He detailed what is open today, including the Payday and Crest lifts.
“Crest will be open for sightseeing and bike haul,” Goar said. “Payday will be open for hiking, sight-seeing, and of course access to the Alpine Slide. The Mountain Coaster will also be open. Golf out at the Canyons Village opened on Friday. Food and beverage out at the Park City Village will be Jupiter Java with grab-and-go items. We will not be preparing food, at least for now. We’ll monitor how all of that works, and then we’ll see how we continue to build on that as the summer goes along.”
He said Legacy Sports will be operating and that some retail and restaurants may open. Goar said PCMR will know more about that before the weekend.
He said in recent months, the resort has brought back more and more of its staff to prepare the facilities and set up safety protocols.
Goar said for the reopening, the resort is requiring masks not only for the staff but for all the guests, which was the plan even before Summit County’s mandatory mask order.
He said work at the resort has become more complicated, given the need to watch out for COVID-19.
“We can’t load a team in a pickup truck and drive through a project,” he said. “And we have the same social distancing in terms of riding in a vehicle. And so often there’s only one person in a truck or larger cabins, we’ll put one rider in the truck in the back seat.”
He said that all of the staff will undergo daily health screenings, including questionnaires and temperature checks.
Goar also explained what the visitors are going to see and experience.
“What they’re going to see is thorough signage explaining just how to go about purchasing tickets, access to the lifts, the Mountain Coaster,” he said. “We’ve reconfigured all of those access points to ensure that we’ve got adequate social distancing and that we can manage a larger crowd of people, and that there’s space for everyone to be safe. And so all of that is marked out. We’ll have staff out there, of course, assisting and providing guidance.”
Looking ahead five months, Goar said he’s confident the resort can open for skiing and snowboarding. It’s winter in Australia, and Goar said Vail Resorts’ three properties Down Under are figuring out right now how to operate with proper crowd management and social distancing.
Meanwhile, he said Park City Mountain is selling season passes. This year, the passes have an insurance feature.
“The coverage provides for refunds if the resort closes, due to COVID, or any other reason,” he said. “But particularly, it addresses the pandemic. And there are additional benefits within that coverage, including injury, loss of job, etc. It’s really very comprehensive, and one of a kind in our industry.”
Visit parkcitymountain.com for more information on the Epic Pass insurance feature.