More on Covid & Winter Ticket Sales in 2020/21
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Written by Tom Chasse
As we continue the transition to our winter season, I thought I would reach out to all the Schweitzer community members on the mountain with an update with regards to day tickets. Please feel free to share this message with anyone else who might be impacted by day tickets sales.
Like all the professional sporting events (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL) I plan to establish daily limits on skier visits in response to the worldwide Covid pandemic. My highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff, passholders, and guests. I have analyzed historical skier visit trends to establish what I think will create a comfortable experience for everyone and think our plan will work best for these uncertain times.
Our number one challenge is our indoor capacity on high volume days. Combined seating capacity across the resort is approximately 1,000 seats. With our current skiable terrain and lift capacity we are approximately 350 seats short on a peak day pre-Covid and based on social distancing protocol, we may have to reduce our indoor seating by 30%. If you factor in our existing shortage of seats, this means we will be closer to a 50% reduction in available seating capacity this winter.
Our next season pass deadline is scheduled for 10/31 and the volume of passes sold will determine how many lift tickets will be available on our high demand days. We will open our Ecommerce site for date specific ticket sales on Monday, November 9th with the potential of a total sell out within a few days. All day tickets will be pre-sold through our Ecommerce site with no walk-up tickets available. I know that there will be many disappointed guests thinking that its' business as usual only to find out that we are sold out for the day over the Christmas holiday period. Once we're in season, we can re-evaluate the demand on our indoor space and add additional date specific tickets to our Ecommerce site.
We want you to know that your resort experience is going to be significantly different this winter as we adapt to the pandemic. At this time, we are planning on offering more grab & go items in all of our food service outlets, cancelling any plans for après entertainment in Taps, and have confirmed that the SRD will not be running their community shuttle. There will be more changes to come but hopefully, things will improve as the season moves along. In the meantime, we are planning for the worst-case scenario and hoping for the best.
Unfortunately, we realize this ticket strategy could negatively impact anyone that rents out their property since day lift ticket availability will not be guaranteed, but we want to be as transparent and up front about the situation as possible. One potential option for property managers is that in lieu of purchasing day tickets, you purchase enough transferrable season passes to satisfy the needs for your unit. If you add these costs into your rental rate, renters should be able to pay off the cost of the pass through those nightly rates. We realize this is not an ideal option, but access to passes means guaranteed access to the lifts this winter, making it the strongest and safest option for you and your rental.
This pandemic has put us in a multitude of "un-ideal" situations and I can't thank you enough for your understanding and continued support.
CEO Schweitzer Mountain Resort