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Your Guide to the 2020/21 Winter Season



Be Safe, Be Kind

We could not be more excited to welcome you back to Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge this winter. Our team has worked tirelessly to assemble an operating plan that provides for a safe and comfortable experience while maintaining the enjoyable, family atmosphere Sugar Bowl has offered for the past 80 years. This winter clearly won’t be “business as usual”. More than ever, it will be critically important for every Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge guest to arrive at the resort with an understanding of the various policies and procedures in place to ensure that everyone’s health and safety remains the top priority.


COVID PLAN & CHANGES for 20-21
Previous Communications
Submit a Question
A Shared Responsibility to Ensure an Uninterrupted Season

Let's Work Together to Ensure we Stay Open



Our Expectations of You


  • Stay home if feeling sick or if you might have been exposed to others with COVID-19.
  • Wear a face covering, which is required at Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge - indoors (all the time) and outdoors (except when actively skiing, riding or eating outdoors) - for all guests and staff.
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet between unrelated parties.
  • Arrive Together, Ride Together. Related parties can ride lifts together, but we will not ask guests to share a lift ride with someone they are not comfortable riding alongside.

Our Commitment


  • Significant investments have been made around the resort to protect guests & employees including:
    • RIFD Gates at lifts to reduce guest & employee interaction when scanning tickets
    • Self-Service pick-up stations for daily lift ticket redemption
    • Personal protective barriers at all sales transaction stations
    • Sanitizing stations distributed conveniently located throughout the resort
    • COVID-specific signage throughout the resort
    • Additional outdoor restroom facilities
    • A new Care Team department responsible for working with guests to communicate and enforce our expectations for face coverings, physical distancing and other COVID-specific policies along with sanitation of common areas.

The BIG FOUR


  • Details about our COVID policies are outlined below but here are four critical items you need to know before you arrive:
    • No Walk-Up Day-of Purchases. Advanced reservations are required. All lift tickets, lessons and rentals must be purchased online, prior to your arrival.
    • Face Coverings are Required, indoors and outdoors. The only exception to this is when skiing/snowboarding downhill or eating/drinking outdoors.
    • No Congregation Permitted. Grouping with guests outside of your related party will not be permitted.
    • Indoor Access is Limited. Arrive prepared to enjoy an outdoor experience.

Daily Operating Info


  • Our tentative opening day is November 27th, weather permitting
  • Lifts will operate daily, conditions permitting, except Crow's and Summit. Crow's will operate only when conditions permit and Summit will operate on weekends and holidays when conditions permit.
  • Skier Services will be available at both Judah & Village base areas Friday - Monday, plus holiday periods.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, ticket/pass resolution desk, rentals and lessons will be available at the Judah base area only. Nob Hill Cafe and Village Retail will remain open daily.Stay home if feeling sick or if you might have been exposed to others with COVID-19. Should the COVID situation improve and we can safely increase our capacity, we will be open additional services in the Village as needed.
  • The Hotel at Sugar Bowl will host stayovers on Thursday through Sunday nights (plus peak holiday & vacation weeks) and the Village Gondola will operate 24 hours/day when the Hotel is open. Mondays - Wednesdays, when the Hotel is closed, the Gondola will operate on a 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. schedule.

Face Coverings


  • Face coverings will be required in all indoor spaces.
  • Face coverings will be required outdoors throughout the resort, except when actively skiing/riding or when eating/drinking in a designated outdoor dining area.
  • Face coverings may be removed when participating in downhill skiing/snowboarding but you must resume wearing your mask when entering the base area and you should remain on while riding the lift.
  • Face coverings should be two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, which completely cover your nose and mouth at all times. A single-layer "buff" does not meet CDC guidelines.

Riding The Lifts


  • Arrive Together, Ride Together: You are encouraged to ride the chairlifts with those in your related party.
  • Chairs will be loaded with up to 4 people in a related party. Otherwise chairs will be loaded with two guests per chair, each on the outside edge.
  • Lift operators will not force you to ride a chairlift with another party. If you are not comfortable loading the chairlift with another guest, please inform our staff and we will provide accommodations.
  • Per our Kids on Lifts Policy, all children under 55” will be required to ride with a related-party adult.

Indoor Access


  • Indoor access will be limited this season, so please arrive prepared to enjoy an outdoor experience.
  • Cafés will be open for guests to come inside and purchase hot or cold Grab 'N Go meals. Once purchased guests may enjoy their meal outdoors, in a designated dining area. If the weather is not suitable to outdoor dining, we recommend utilizing your vehicle as an alternative.
  • Indoor Warming Zones will be available at Judah Lodge, Mid Mountain Lodge and Village Lodge. Guests may check-in with a Care Team member to enter for a 15-minute warming session. If space is unavailable, we recommend utilizing your vehicle as an alternative.
  • Restrooms will be available indoors, however our Care Team will be closely monitoring capacity. Additional outdoor restrooms facilities are available this season for your convenience.

Food Service


  • Cafés will be open for fresh, healthy Grab 'N Go meals. The hot and cold options include salads, wraps, soups and more with vegetarian and gluten free choices available.
  • Once purchased guests may enjoy their meal outdoors, in a designated dining area. If the weather is not suitable to outdoor dining, we recommend utilizing your vehicle as an alternative.
    • Dining options include Nob Hill Café, Mid-Mountain Café, Judah Café plus the Sunset Grill and all outdoor barbecues will be open on weekends and holidays.
  • At this time all bars will be closed including the Belt Room. Canned beverages including a wide selection of beer and wine will be available to purchase for those over 21 years of age.
  • At this time the Dining Room in the Sugar Bowl Lodge will be closed for food service and instead used as a Warming Zone for the Village base area.
  • Guests staying in the Hotel at Sugar Bowl may place orders with the front desk from a special menu designed by our Executive Chef and prepared as a take-to-the-room meal.

Lift Tickets & Season Passes


Lift Tickets
  • Lift tickets are only available for purchase online and must be purchased at least one day prior to your arrival. There will be a very limited quantity of lift tickets available for purchase on any given day, so we recommend you purchase early. There will be no opportunity to purchase a lift ticket at Sugar Bowl on the day of your visit.
  • Sugar Bowl will have lift tickets available for the general public every day of the season, however they may sell-out quickly so purchase early.
  • There will be separate "buckets" of lift tickets allotted to priority ticket types, such as Passholder Friends & Family tickets, 3 Packholder from 2019/20 who want to redeem their unused days (available only through 12/18/20), and lift tickets for lesson participants. Each of these buckets will contain a limited quantity of lift tickets and when all the tickets allotted to a bucket are claimed, no additional tickets of that type will be available for the given day.
  • If no lift tickets are available to a particular day, please check back. We will be adjusting inventory levels often based on the demand for the above-described priority lift tickets.
Season Passes
  • At this time, we are not planning to require 20/21 Sugar Bowl season passholder to make reservations for the days they want to ski/ride. We do reserve the right to institute a reservation system if necessary but have taken many active measures to avoid it, including suspending pass sales on September 8th.
  • Friends & Family tickets must be purchased online at least three days prior to arrival. A limited number of Friends & Family lift tickets will be available each day. These tickets will sell-out each day and will be challenging to secure for any given day.

Lessons, Rentals & Retail


Lessons

  • At this time, Sugar Bowl will only offer private ski lessons with a maximum of 4 individuals from a related party.
  • Lessons must be booked online, at least 3 days prior to the lesson date.
  • All lesson participants (Adult & Child) will check-in at the Judah Kids tent for rental equipment & lift ticket pick-up plus lesson assignment
  • Priority, easy access parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis for all guests with a lesson reservation.
  • Please be aware that instructors will ride with lesson participants under 55" tall.

Rentals

  • All ski and snowboard rentals must be purchased online at least 3 days prior to your ski/ride day.
  • During the booking process you will select a rental fitting appointment time. It is important for guests to arrive on-time for their assigned time slot
  • Basket check will be available for guests renting at the Judah Rental Shop for shoe/boot storage only. Items that you need access to throughout the day must be stored in your vehicle.

Retail

  • The retail shops will be open, however there will be a limited numbers of guests permitted into the store at one time.
  • Please limit handling of merchandise.
  • Some items, such as goggles will be available but you will not be permitted to try them on.

The Hotel


  • The Hotel will operate on a Thursday through Sunday night schedule, except during peak holiday periods
  • As always, our staff will thoroughly clean and disinfect each room prior to your arrival. New this year, we’ll use a disinfecting fogger to add an extra level of care.
  • We are suspending stay-over cleaning service, but will deliver amenities or extra clean towels upon request.
  • Staff will not enter a room while it is occupied unless there is an emergency or a need for repair.
  • We will keep high traffic and high touch areas – such as door handles, light switches, tabletops, and surfaces, and counters – clean and disinfected.
  • We will not ask guests to ride the Gondola with anyone outside of their related party. We'll modify Gondola cabin loading in order to allow for cleaning and disinfecting after each unload.


COVID PLAN & CHANGES for 20-21
A Shared Responsibility to Ensure an Uninterrupted Season

Let's Work Together to Ensure we Stay Open



Our Expectations of You


  • Stay home if feeling sick or if you might have been exposed to others with COVID-19.
  • Wear a face covering, which is required at Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge - indoors (all the time) and outdoors (except when actively skiing, riding or eating outdoors) - for all guests and staff.
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet between unrelated parties.
  • Arrive Together, Ride Together. Related parties can ride lifts together, but we will not ask guests to share a lift ride with someone they are not comfortable riding alongside.

Our Commitment


  • Significant investments have been made around the resort to protect guests & employees including:
    • RIFD Gates at lifts to reduce guest & employee interaction when scanning tickets
    • Self-Service pick-up stations for daily lift ticket redemption
    • Personal protective barriers at all sales transaction stations
    • Sanitizing stations distributed conveniently located throughout the resort
    • COVID-specific signage throughout the resort
    • Additional outdoor restroom facilities
    • A new Care Team department responsible for working with guests to communicate and enforce our expectations for face coverings, physical distancing and other COVID-specific policies along with sanitation of common areas.

The BIG FOUR


  • Details about our COVID policies are outlined below but here are four critical items you need to know before you arrive:
    • No Walk-Up Day-of Purchases. Advanced reservations are required. All lift tickets, lessons and rentals must be purchased online, prior to your arrival.
    • Face Coverings are Required, indoors and outdoors. The only exception to this is when skiing/snowboarding downhill or eating/drinking outdoors.
    • No Congregation Permitted. Grouping with guests outside of your related party will not be permitted.
    • Indoor Access is Limited. Arrive prepared to enjoy an outdoor experience.

Daily Operating Info


  • Our tentative opening day is November 27th, weather permitting
  • Lifts will operate daily, conditions permitting, except Crow's and Summit. Crow's will operate only when conditions permit and Summit will operate on weekends and holidays when conditions permit.
  • Skier Services will be available at both Judah & Village base areas Friday - Monday, plus holiday periods.
  • Tuesday - Thursday, ticket/pass resolution desk, rentals and lessons will be available at the Judah base area only. Nob Hill Cafe and Village Retail will remain open daily.Stay home if feeling sick or if you might have been exposed to others with COVID-19. Should the COVID situation improve and we can safely increase our capacity, we will be open additional services in the Village as needed.
  • The Hotel at Sugar Bowl will host stayovers on Thursday through Sunday nights (plus peak holiday & vacation weeks) and the Village Gondola will operate 24 hours/day when the Hotel is open. Mondays - Wednesdays, when the Hotel is closed, the Gondola will operate on a 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. schedule.

Face Coverings


  • Face coverings will be required in all indoor spaces.
  • Face coverings will be required outdoors throughout the resort, except when actively skiing/riding or when eating/drinking in a designated outdoor dining area.
  • Face coverings may be removed when participating in downhill skiing/snowboarding but you must resume wearing your mask when entering the base area and you should remain on while riding the lift.
  • Face coverings should be two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric, which completely cover your nose and mouth at all times. A single-layer "buff" does not meet CDC guidelines.

Riding The Lifts


  • Arrive Together, Ride Together: You are encouraged to ride the chairlifts with those in your related party.
  • Chairs will be loaded with up to 4 people in a related party. Otherwise chairs will be loaded with two guests per chair, each on the outside edge.
  • Lift operators will not force you to ride a chairlift with another party. If you are not comfortable loading the chairlift with another guest, please inform our staff and we will provide accommodations.
  • Per our Kids on Lifts Policy, all children under 55” will be required to ride with a related-party adult.

Indoor Access


  • Indoor access will be limited this season, so please arrive prepared to enjoy an outdoor experience.
  • Cafés will be open for guests to come inside and purchase hot or cold Grab 'N Go meals. Once purchased guests may enjoy their meal outdoors, in a designated dining area. If the weather is not suitable to outdoor dining, we recommend utilizing your vehicle as an alternative.
  • Indoor Warming Zones will be available at Judah Lodge, Mid Mountain Lodge and Village Lodge. Guests may check-in with a Care Team member to enter for a 15-minute warming session. If space is unavailable, we recommend utilizing your vehicle as an alternative.
  • Restrooms will be available indoors, however our Care Team will be closely monitoring capacity. Additional outdoor restrooms facilities are available this season for your convenience.

Food Service


  • Cafés will be open for fresh, healthy Grab 'N Go meals. The hot and cold options include salads, wraps, soups and more with vegetarian and gluten free choices available.
  • Once purchased guests may enjoy their meal outdoors, in a designated dining area. If the weather is not suitable to outdoor dining, we recommend utilizing your vehicle as an alternative.
    • Dining options include Nob Hill Café, Mid-Mountain Café, Judah Café plus the Sunset Grill and all outdoor barbecues will be open on weekends and holidays.
  • At this time all bars will be closed including the Belt Room. Canned beverages including a wide selection of beer and wine will be available to purchase for those over 21 years of age.
  • At this time the Dining Room in the Sugar Bowl Lodge will be closed for food service and instead used as a Warming Zone for the Village base area.
  • Guests staying in the Hotel at Sugar Bowl may place orders with the front desk from a special menu designed by our Executive Chef and prepared as a take-to-the-room meal.

Lift Tickets & Season Passes


Lift Tickets
  • Lift tickets are only available for purchase online and must be purchased at least one day prior to your arrival. There will be a very limited quantity of lift tickets available for purchase on any given day, so we recommend you purchase early. There will be no opportunity to purchase a lift ticket at Sugar Bowl on the day of your visit.
  • Sugar Bowl will have lift tickets available for the general public every day of the season, however they may sell-out quickly so purchase early.
  • There will be separate "buckets" of lift tickets allotted to priority ticket types, such as Passholder Friends & Family tickets, 3 Packholder from 2019/20 who want to redeem their unused days (available only through 12/18/20), and lift tickets for lesson participants. Each of these buckets will contain a limited quantity of lift tickets and when all the tickets allotted to a bucket are claimed, no additional tickets of that type will be available for the given day.
  • If no lift tickets are available to a particular day, please check back. We will be adjusting inventory levels often based on the demand for the above-described priority lift tickets.
Season Passes
  • At this time, we are not planning to require 20/21 Sugar Bowl season passholder to make reservations for the days they want to ski/ride. We do reserve the right to institute a reservation system if necessary but have taken many active measures to avoid it, including suspending pass sales on September 8th.
  • Friends & Family tickets must be purchased online at least three days prior to arrival. A limited number of Friends & Family lift tickets will be available each day. These tickets will sell-out each day and will be challenging to secure for any given day.

Lessons, Rentals & Retail


Lessons

  • At this time, Sugar Bowl will only offer private ski lessons with a maximum of 4 individuals from a related party.
  • Lessons must be booked online, at least 3 days prior to the lesson date.
  • All lesson participants (Adult & Child) will check-in at the Judah Kids tent for rental equipment & lift ticket pick-up plus lesson assignment
  • Priority, easy access parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis for all guests with a lesson reservation.
  • Please be aware that instructors will ride with lesson participants under 55" tall.

Rentals

  • All ski and snowboard rentals must be purchased online at least 3 days prior to your ski/ride day.
  • During the booking process you will select a rental fitting appointment time. It is important for guests to arrive on-time for their assigned time slot
  • Basket check will be available for guests renting at the Judah Rental Shop for shoe/boot storage only. Items that you need access to throughout the day must be stored in your vehicle.

Retail

  • The retail shops will be open, however there will be a limited numbers of guests permitted into the store at one time.
  • Please limit handling of merchandise.
  • Some items, such as goggles will be available but you will not be permitted to try them on.

The Hotel


  • The Hotel will operate on a Thursday through Sunday night schedule, except during peak holiday periods
  • As always, our staff will thoroughly clean and disinfect each room prior to your arrival. New this year, we’ll use a disinfecting fogger to add an extra level of care.
  • We are suspending stay-over cleaning service, but will deliver amenities or extra clean towels upon request.
  • Staff will not enter a room while it is occupied unless there is an emergency or a need for repair.
  • We will keep high traffic and high touch areas – such as door handles, light switches, tabletops, and surfaces, and counters – clean and disinfected.
  • We will not ask guests to ride the Gondola with anyone outside of their related party. We'll modify Gondola cabin loading in order to allow for cleaning and disinfecting after each unload.


Previous Communications
Informational letters from Sugar Bowl's CEO about COVID

Letters from Sugar Bowl's CEO


We're committed to frequent and proactive communication about our response to COVID-19 and how we plan to operate in the safest possible manner. Below are some past messages from Greg Dallas, President and CEO of Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge.

Please note that, while we're keeping these letters posted for your reference, the COVID-19 situation continues to rapidly evolve. Information contained in the some of the letters may no longer be relevant or might have changed since the letters were written.

September 23, 2020: WInter 2020/21: It Will Be Different!

September 8, 2020: Season Pass Sales Paused

August 10, 2020: Planning for the Winter Ahead

May 1, 2020: How We're Moving Forward

Submit a Question
Classic Experience

Have any questions?


If you were unable to find an answer to your questions in the FAQ sections submit an inquiry here. We will provide a timely response and if it's a consistent question we made add it to our FAQ's to help others.

Be Safe, Be Kind

We’re committed to protecting your health and safety while visiting. We must all do our part and follow Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge policies as well as the latest CDC and state guidelines.
Be Safe, Be Kind at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
Physical Distancing Required
Physical Distancing Required
Maintain at least 6 feet of separation from unrelated parties. This includes indoors and outdoors including lift lines.
Face Coverings Required at Sugar Bowl
Face Covering Required
Face coverings are required indoors (all the time) and outdoors (except when actively skiing, riding or eating outdoors) at Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Wash Hands Frequently
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. When you cannot wash hands, utilize sanitizing stations located throughout the resort.
Stay Home if you are sick
Stay Home if Sick
Stay home if you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Arrive Together, Ride Together
Guests will not be asked to ride a lift or gondola with anyone outside of their related party. Face coverings will be required and physical distancing in the lift queues will be managed with markers. Guests will self-group when loading chairlifts, and lift attendants will not require guests to ride with others if the guest is uncomfortable doing so. Gondola cabin loading will be modified in order to allow for cleaning and disinfecting after each unload

Letter from the CEO

September 22, 2020

To our Royal Gorge Community,

Last month we communicated the guiding principles our team is using to build a responsible operating plan for winter 2020/21 Royal Gorge, a plan that respects the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic while also offering important outdoor recreation and fitness opportunities that are essential for our physical and mental well-being.  Today, we are providing more specific information about plans for the 2020/21 winter season at Royal Gorge.

In formulating our plan, we've observed how ski areas with summer business have been operating these past couple of months. We have witnessed first-hand how businesses throughout California are operating with guest safety in mind.  We're watching how ski areas in the southern hemisphere are conducting their ski & snowboard season. We've talked with our industry peers who share good ideas and lessons learned. And we continue to rely on our partners with The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the California Ski Industry Association (CSIA), Placer County, and the state of California, who help determine best practices and guiding principles.

The impacts of COVID-19 are unpredictable and ever-evolving, but what is clear is that the upcoming winter season will not be "business as usual." Many of our standard operating practices will change to ensure the well-being of our guests and staff in this unprecedented pandemic era. It is important for us to communicate these changes effectively before you arrive at the resort as we do not want guests arriving unprepared or assuming services are the same as they have been historically.  Once in-resort, our guests are asked to adhere to the new policies, and we will need to apply those policies. It's evident during our day-to-day life that most citizens are already willing to follow common-sense practices, but we intend to hold all visitors to the same standard.

How will things be different at Royal Gorge in winter 2020/21?

The partial list below, subject to change, assumes that existing restrictions and guidelines in Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy remain in place this winter at Sugar Bowl.

  • Care Team: Cleaning, Sanitizing and Execution of COVID Policies. The Care Team will work with guests to communicate and enforce our expectations for face coverings, physical distancing and other COVID-specific policies. Care Team members will also control indoor access to facilities, and once indoors, you will find them regularly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces in common areas.
  • Face coverings will be required at Royal Gorge– indoors (all the time) and outdoors (when within six feet of others) – for all guests and staff. Face coverings are simply one of the most effective tactics we can deploy to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
  • Advance purchases will be required for trail passes, lessons and rentals. Pre-arrival communication is paramount to our success this season, and requiring advance purchase will ensure guests are aware of any significant operational changes before arriving at the resort. By requiring advance reservations, we will be better prepared to manage the flow of guests from arrival to departure. At this time, we are not planning to require advance reservations for season passholder visits. However, if county, state or federal jurisdictions implement health-related guidelines that cause Royal Gorge to limit daily visitation at the resort for passholders, and you decide this doesn't work for you, we will honor a refund at your request as per the details of our Daily Resort Access Assurance
  • Season Pass Friends and Family Trail Passes: A significant change for passholders is how the Friends and Family $15 trail pass will be administered.  Due to capacity constraints, there will be a very limited supply of Friends & Family $15 passes available, which must be purchased in advance.  These passes will sell-out each day and will be challenging to secure for any given day.  More details on the redemption of $15 passes will be announced in the weeks leading up to the season. If you are not satisfied with this shift in the program, you may request a refund any day prior to when Friends and Family passes are made available online.
  • Indoor access will be limited. Arriving guests should be prepared to enjoy an outdoor experience this winter at Royal Gorge – no matter the conditions – as indoor congregation will not be possible. The Summit Station Lodge will be available for warming zone” access only, limited to 15-minute increments, monitored by the Care Team.  As such “booting-up” or leaving bags inside the lodges will not be allowed.  To reduce congregation, guests requiring equipment rentals and lessons must reserve a time-slot in advance to access the indoor areas.
  • All food & beverage service will be "grab & go". We’re adding hot and cold “grab & go” options for guests to enjoy outdoors. Seating will not be available inside.
  • We’ll be carefully monitoring the health of our employees. All staff will have a daily screening for symptoms of COVID-19 before the start of a shift.

Our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable experience while maintaining the enjoyable, family atmosphere Royal Gorge. We are in the business of fun and healthy outdoor recreation and plan to continue providing that same experience to our guests with COVID-19 as the backdrop this season.

We are committed to communicating our approach to COVID-19 safety and will provide regular updates as the season approaches and plans are refined. I hope that the details provided offer you a level of confidence that our team is making our guests' and employees' safety our top priority.

I sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding as we traverse this difficult terrain.  Living in the era of COVID-19 is as new to us as to you, but I can assure you that our team is taking the time necessary to think through the operation and how we safely deliver the Royal Gorge experience you have come to expect.   

Sincerely,

Greg Dallas