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Thanksgiving Skiing

New York City, New...
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Thanksgiving Skiing
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Hey all,

Was ready to head out to Vail (we own in Lionshead) for our annual Thanksgiving week early season trip with the family. We normally come out for 4 weeks/season starting with our first trip over Thanksgiving., in a normal season of course.

We have skied Thanksgiving in Vail/BC for the last gazillion years and love the uncrowded slopes and no waits at restaurants during this time of year. I also get to hang out with all my local buddies as they are not really "working yet". I may end up going solo though because of Covid here in the east as well as in Colorado. Rest of the family is hesitant to fly. I am not.

We may end up having Thanksgiving Dinner via Zoom if I come out solo...lol

I noticed that Vail is not taking ski day reservations yet (we have full EPIC passes) for any dates in November. I assume this is because they're not sure they're gonna be open that early (weather wise), but I'm sure C-19 is playing a part as well.

I am not getting any answers from the mountain itself ("please try back again soon for updates") and my friends who live out there aren't sure about November reservations either.

Do any of you locals have any idea when they might open up reservations for skiing in the month of November? Very hard to book flights without knowing if they'll be open for skiing or not.

How does the mountain look? Any natural yet? Have they blown out the mice from the snowmaking system at the lower elevations?

Such a weird year and it has me hesitant to book flight(s) even though we've spent Thanksgiving in Vail for many years now. Heck, I can remember years ago stumbling back to our condo after eating Turkey Dinner and watching football at Garf's while skiing all morning and taking runs at halftime and between games. Just something about Thanksgiving in The Rockies. Who knows...

Thanks for any info if anyone knows anything about November reservations or if the mountain will actually open on the planned date of this Friday.

I'm getting a little tired of "please check back for updates".

Thanks for any help here,

RL

50 replies to this topic
Eagle, Colorado
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1. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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The mountain is opening Friday as scheduled there is enough snow up top off chair 4. Reservations open tomorrow (wed 11/18). Thats what the radio guy on KZYR said this morning.

Eagle county is getting in a bad way with covid. Indoor dining and shops are limited to 25%.

Its supposed to be in the 50s until Friday then some snow on Saturday then clear out again. I dont think much will be open. I expect reservations will sell out quickly with only a couple lifts open. Frankly with the combination of limited skiing and covid I would skip it. A number of counties possibly including Eagle could have tighter restrictions by the time you get here.

Eagle, Colorado
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2. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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More info.

https://www.vaildaily.com/news/vail-mountain-on-track-for-friday-opening-ski-reservations-go-live-wednesday/

Steamboat Springs...
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3. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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Yeah considering you've been out here before, you will be sorely disappointed. Skip it! Not worth it!

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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Thanks for the replies.

I guess the reservation system opens today at 2pm your time. That answers my original question, so thanks for that Keith.

I'm gonna wait until Monday 11/23 and make the call then. They'll have been open for the weekend by then and I'll try to get a grip on the mountain operations then.

Couple other things:

Can you go to a bar and get drinks without ordering food?

Can you sit at the bar (Garf's, Yetis, Montauk, Pepe's, etc.) and drink?

Are restaurants only allowing 3 or 4 tables to be occupied at one time due to spacing requirements? (I would assume larger restaurants (eg Montauk, Chop House) are allowed more tables occupied as long as they're spaced out?

Will they be limiting the number of people on a chairlift or in a Gondi car?

I'm sure I can find most of this stuff online, but I'd rather hear answers from people who actually have boots on the ground in Vail.

Thanks for any info....

Eagle, Colorado
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5. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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No drinking at a bar or without food. You can sit on a patio and drink.

Restaurants are at 25% capacity or 50 people whichever is less. Though summit county just closed all indoor dining. If things dont turn here quick that could happen. Schools just got sent home yesterday.

Lifts will only be loaded with like groups.

Doubles will go up as doubles. Singles will go up single etc..they say they might allow 2 singles to go on opposite sides of a 6 chair. I expect lines to be slow.

Edited: 18 November 2020, 22:11
New York City, New...
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6. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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Ouch, but thanks Keith.

It's usually not crowded at all during Thanksgiving, at least from our experience over the years. Kinda why we love it out there those 5 days.

Gonna wait until the 23rd and make the call then.

Seems like Eagle County has been about 2 weeks behind Summit County in terms of Covid actions taken, so I guess we'll know more in a few days.

Here in the NYC area, things are def trending in the wrong direction and actions are being taken again, including curfews, limited hours for restaurants, etc.

At this point, I am just hoping the mountain can stay open for the whole season.

Thanks for the reply.

Steamboat Springs...
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7. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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To further clarify, bars that serve no food remain closed, bars that happen to serve food are allowed to be open (or restaurants that have a bar). But, with capacity at only 25%, most places have opted to close off their entire bar portion of the restaurant. In many places, the common design of the bar does not allow for a safe minimum of 6' distance from the bartender, not to mention the obvious seating arrangements thanks to barstools. You will not be able to go most anywhere and just sit at a bar and drink, nor will you be allowed to walk up to the bar and order a drink. You must be seated at a table and a server will bring you a drink. (Sounds like how Utah used to be right about now). Some restaurants are currently using their bar space for people to safely wait on their to-go food, properly spaced, of course. Bars are almost completely out of the equation this season for most establishments that serve food.

Bars that only serve liquor/beer/wine but no food have either had to adapt by opening a kitchen on their premises to stay open thanks to a temporary variance mandated by the state, or just stay shut down, which a few have. Bonfire Brewing in Eagle was allowed to bring in a food truck to set up shop right next to the brewery, so this allows them to remain open. You will see that in many instances, That said, still no sitting at the bar.

Thanksgiving is looking to be extremely busy this year thanks to Covid, especially after what CO went through this summer. Everyone and their mother has/had the same idea: fresh air, being outdoors, skiing or escaping to the mountains. Little do many folks know that they are actually traveling to a hot spot right now. During the busiest time of the year, with a dismal start to the ski season anyway thanks to mother nature. Tourists are setting themselves up for a world of disappointment tbh.

Edited: 19 November 2020, 00:10
New York City, New...
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Thanks Gotama, It's a bleak picture you are painting, but I will make the call on the 23rd whether to buy plane tickets or not. Already have a place to stay in Lionshead.

Just got the email I was waiting for:

https://www.vail.com/explore-the-resort/about-the-resort/winter-experience.aspx?VRI_v73=5442986&cmpid=EML_OPENDAYS_RESO_000_VL_SR_RENMY_000000_TG0001_20201118_V00_EX001_DEST_ANN_00000_000

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Thanksgiving Skiing
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In the waiting room:

Number of users in line ahead of you: 4079

Your estimated wait time is: 16 minutes

Serving: ~50k guests per hour

New York City, New...
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I was in the waiting room for 11 minutes and then I booked 5 days, 11/25-11/29.

I can cancel at any time to let other people grab the spots, but I plan on coming out pending weather issues.

The reservation system was really easy to use and very self explanatory.

I had to book the 5 days one day at a time, so instead of 15 seconds to book, it took about a minute.

By day 3, I was booking the days with my eyes closed.

Very easy to use system and incredibly user friendly. I liked the experience.

Kudos to Vail for getting a system like that up and running so smoothly (for now!!).

See y'all on the evening of the 24th (If I come out).

Happy Thanksgiving......

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