Vail Resorts to require employee vaccination

Northstar California Resort and other Vail operated resorts will require employees to be vaccinated for the 2021-22 season.
Northstar California Resort

Vail Resorts has announced its winter operating plan for the 2021-22 season. The most notable changes include the requirement for employees and some dining patrons to be vaccinated, as well as the elimination of the ski reservation system and outdoor mask requirement.

In a news release, Vail Resorts officials said passholders will not need to use a reservation system to get on the mountain this year, and chairlifts and gondolas will be loaded at normal capacity. In addition, masks will be required only in indoor settings.

Details on the vaccination verification process will be released ahead of the season on resort websites, according to the release. Locally, Vail Resorts operates Northstar California Resort, Heavenly Ski Resort, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

“Consistent with many other large-scale indoor activities and venues, Vail Resorts believes the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of its guests and employees, given the number of people using these facilities and the fact that guests will not be wearing face coverings while eating and drinking,” the release states.

The release notes that the requirement to be vaccinated to dine indoors at quick-service restaurants is the only resort activity that requires vaccination, unless further vaccination rules are required by public health agencies.

Similar to last season, reservations must be booked to eat at on-mountain restaurants, but there will be greater seating capacity.

In addition, all Vail Resorts employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This announcement follows news of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe also requiring employees to be vaccinated as well as President Joe Biden’s announcement that businesses with over 100 employees must prepare for new mandates that will require them to either be vaccinated or regularly tested. Vail Resorts employees will also continue to wear masks indoors and undergo daily health screenings.

The release notes that this season’s safety protocols are subject to change based on the evolving nature of the pandemic, as well as public health guidelines.

“We are fortunate that the core of our experience takes place outdoors in vast mountain settings,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, in Tuesday’s news release. “However, as we welcome guests from around the world to the indoor experience at our resorts, we feel it’s important to do our part to combat the spread of COVID-19. We all need the opportunity to enjoy and experience the great outdoors, and we could not be more excited to welcome guests back to our resorts for the 2021-22 ski and ride season.”

The Sierra Sun contributed to this report

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