The 2020 Ski Season Is Going To Be Very Different
By this point, it should come as no surprise. The 2020 ski season is not going to be like ski seasons in previous years. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced ski resorts and destinations to switch things up considerably. Here are some of the 2020 ski season trends we’re watching.
Above It All Luxury
The jet set is still in search of fresh powder mixed with luxurious experiences. Some resorts are stepping up their offerings – such as Viceroy Snowmass.
Located in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the resort’s No-Contact, No Touch Vacation is an opulent option. The experience features end-to-end private jet transportation and private luxury car pickup at the airport. Guests can pre-schedule room service from any of the hotel’s restaurants. They’ll also have access to the hotel’s Uphill Thrills offering (more on this below). Lastly, any online shopping done at local Snowmass shops can be delivered to the room. That way, guests do not have to venture out into town to pick their items up.
In addition, the “work from anywhere” reality means we’re seeing an uptick in search and rentals via folks who want to relocate to ski resorts for the entire winter. It’s a chance to live out the dream of being a “ski bum,” even if it’s the most luxurious version of that dream. Viceroy Snowmass offers an extended-stay “luxury ski bum” package geared towards those planning on staying one to two months (or even more) and offers considerable perks.
Socially Distanced Slopes & Trails
Crowded ski slopes are out. During the 2020 ski season, snowsports lovers are looking for space to spread out. Backcountry skiing continues to be a major trend in the ski world, especially through the current pandemic.
- For seclusion, Wisconsin winters can’t be beat. Minocqua Winter Park is one of the most popular Cross-Country Ski Centers in the Midwest. Here, you’ll find 90 kilometers (54 miles) of impeccably groomed trails wind through 6500 acres of peaceful northern upland forest. Over 45 km of trails are protected forever with conservation easements.
- Viceroy Snowmass, meanwhile, has partnered with local guiding companies to offer an Uphill Adventurers package. Guests can book an epic skiing adventure to some of Aspen’s most isolated and unique skiable terrain.
It’s All About Nostalgia And Escape
Forget about infrastructure upgrades that typically dominate ski roundups. During the 2020 ski season, many winter travelers aren’t impressed with new high-speed six-person lifts and on-mountain lodges. They’re actually looking for something much more low-tech, a comforting, nostalgic feeling. COVID has all but guaranteed a return to childhood experiences on the ski hill.
- Cascade Mountain: Perched on a long ridge overlooking busy I-90/I-94, Cascade Mountain is renowned as a top day trip destination in the Midwest. Chicago is three hours away, Milwaukee less than two, and Madison just a quick 30 minutes. No doubt it will be a popular choice this year as consumers lean towards local, drive-to mountains close to home over fly-to destinations. It’s a favorite among families, thanks to their incredible policy which allows kids 12 and under to ski free when accompanied by an adult. Cascade offers over 45 trails along with multiple terrain parks and snow tubing lanes.
- Christmas Mountain: How can you not love a place called Christmas Mountain? This small ski hill packs a big bang for your buck. Four of Christmas Mountain’s 16 total runs are beginner friendly and excellent places to learn. They also have a high number of quality intermediate runs like Gilly’s Gulch, where quick learners can go to test their skills. For the best experience at Christmas Mountain, consider staying on-site at their resort and booking your lift ticket and lessons in advance.
- Little Switzerland: Little Switzerland is the perfect place to learn to ski or brush up on the basics. Situated across 50 skiable acres, you’ll have plenty of space to get acclimated. The designated beginner area features a rope tow and recently added conveyor lift to get you back up the hill that much faster! If your little ones aren’t sure where to start, Little Switzerland offers lessons and how-to programs to make sure everyone is ready to shred.
The New On-Mountain Experience
Avid skiers are likely well aware that the on-mountain experience will have to look very different. Some traditional on-mountain dining services and lodges will still be open. But they will likely be with reduced capacity and often by reservation only. Also, the traditional vibrant après-ski scene that most are used to will be much more controlled, as restaurants and hotels look to convert existing outdoor spaces into new iterations of après-friendly areas.
In anticipation of this new on-mountain dining scenario, Viceroy Snowmass is offering its guests a fun, luxurious way to keep skiing. For the 2020 ski season, Say hello to the gourmet grab-n-go.
- Grab-N-Go Viceroy “Gold Bag Lunches”: Viceroy Snowmass is bringing back the nostalgia of old-school brown bag lunches but with a luxurious spin — skiers can pre-order from a special gold-bag lunch menu that will feature fresh, packaged lunches prepared by the hotel’s culinary team and simply grab & go at their desired time to enjoy on the slopes. Each meal easily fits in your jacket pocket, perfect for a true on-the-go bite.
- Ski-in, Ski-Out Après Bars: Hotels like Viceroy Snowmass are lucky enough to have prime slopeside locations. As such, they are doubling down on outdoor space. For example, Viceroy is focusing efforts on a newly renovated NEST bar, located directly on the slopes. In addition, the hotel is applying (pending a fire marshal approval) for additional tents for added après reserved seating.
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