After a successful 2020-2021 ski season and with winter just over the horizon General Manager of Monarch Mountain, Randy Stroud released the following statement on September 2.
Stroud explained “Last season was certainly one for the ages. With all the rules and regulations that were implemented to help protect one another from the pandemic it was quite a dance not only within our workforce or between guests but also between guests and our workforce.”
“By the end of the season, I was thrilled we pulled it off successfully, and ecstatic to not have to do it again. Or so I thought. Last season we had some pretty restrictive protocols and thankfully some of those have been lifted for now, but some protocols will still have to be implemented due to the current surge in the pandemic. Without a doubt there were numerous things we learned and we will continue to implement some of our changes from last season because they were beneficial on many levels. Most importantly, we will be keeping changes that improved the guest experience.”
“So, yes, you will see that we still have plexiglass dividers and hand sanitizer everywhere. We will continue to provide a touchless environment the best we can, and all employees will be wearing masks while indoors in public facing areas whether they have been vaccinated or not. We are doing so not because we are being forced to by our local health department, but because we strongly believe we need to do whatever we can to protect those who have not been vaccinated. We all know that children under the age of 12 cannot get a vaccine yet. They are the lifeblood of our community, and we must protect them. In this light I recommend that everyone wears a mask indoors for now. It would be a good show of community pride whether you have traveled from afar or live nearby.”
Stroud went on to address vaccines, “We are not mandating that all employees be vaccinated since over 65 percent of our employees work outdoors. Currently there are no restrictions outdoors regarding distancing or mask wearing. We are mandating some departments who work closely with the public, especially with those who are age 12 and under, to be vaccinated. Ski School Instructors, Ski Patrollers, Cat Skiing Guides, and Administration all must be vaccinated.”
He continued “Last season we restricted the number of tickets we sold on the weekend and during the holidays. This season we will not be doing that, per se, but may have to if crowding and/or parking becomes an issue. There is still only one way to ensure that you can ski any day you like and that is to purchase a Monarch season pass.”
“To improve your experience here, we have increased our parking by several hundred spaces and made some improvements to the lodge to help consolidate the Food and Beverage venues and increase space in the retail shop. We are also introducing RFID gates at the lifts. Your passes and tickets will no longer need to be visible for us to scan. As long as you have it in a pocket on your left side somewhere between your knee and shoulder the gate will automatically open for you. Don’t worry – we will still have a Liftie there to greet you, view your digital photo, and help should anything go awry. Many resorts are using this technology so you may already be familiar with this kind of ticketing, but for those of you who are not, feel free to hit us up with any questions you may have.”
“Lastly, contrary to my hopes, we need to remember that this pandemic is not over. As such we still need to hunker down and get this right. At the very least, we know that outdoor recreation is a great way to enjoy sharing our passions. It will be comforting to be able to see everyone’s smiling faces in the lift lines again and indoors, so we can get back together more so than last season.
“So if I may try one more time? and at risk of repeating myself, I ask you to consider the following:
- Avoid weekends when possible. If given the choice, we strongly recommend skiing the weekdays; continue with the “Weekday Warrior” movement. We know this is not possible for everyone, but those who can and do will be helping those who cannot.
- Avoid historically busy days. This season these days are December 26 through January 2, MLK weekend, and Presidents Day weekend. Let’s let our more holiday constrained visitors have some fun during this time.
- It is still important to “know before you go” so keep checking our website for developing stories and updates or you can also stay in the loop to all our offerings by joining our newsletter from the website.”