All You Need To Know About the 2020/2021 Ski Season

Ski Resort Protocols in Response to COVID-19

This winter, Vail Resorts (Epic Pass: Vail Mountain & Beaver Creek) and Aspen (Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Snowmass & Buttermilk) and are focusing heavily on guest safety while providing world-class skiing and riding experiences. Cuvée is here to thoughtfully and carefully help our guests navigate the 2020/2021 ski season as efficiently as possible.

Below, we highlight the upcoming plans and changes at our Colorado resorts, as well as our top tips to make this the best ski season yet.

Passes + Reservations

Epic Pass: Vail Resorts (Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek)

Vail will indeed implement a reservation system this season that will prioritize pass holders (over individual single-day lift tickets) and it will operate as follows:

  • Epic Pass holders can start making reservations online—beginning November 6, 2020—for the Core Season, December 8, 2020 to April 4, 2021.
  • From November 6 through December 7, 2020, pass holders will have exclusive access to make reservations for the Core Season and will be able to reserve up to seven Priority Reservation Days, or the number of days available on their pass—up to seven days.
  • Pass holders can make and maintain up to seven reservation days at a time. This means that once you use the first day, you can reserve another one, and so on, so that you always have seven days reserved on the calendar.
  • For the Early Season—all days prior to December 8, 2020—Vail will release reservation inventory for the upcoming week based on conditions and terrain availability.
  • Reservations can be made online at by logging in to “My Account,” on any of Vail Resort’s websites, or over the phone.
  • Individual, single-day lift tickets will go on sale December 8, 2020. When you purchase a lift ticket through Vail Resorts this season, it will come with a reservation for the specific resort and date that you choose.

The deadline to secure an Epic season pass before prices increase is September 17th. A full season, all-access pass is $979 so if you plan to ski seven days or more, the Epic Pass is the best option, both economically and logistically.

IKON Pass: (Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Snowmass & Buttermilk)

  • All IKON Pass holders will be required to make a reservation online before they have access to ski. Reservations will become available online starting November 9th. Reservations can be made through or the Ikon app. It is highly recommended to make reservations as soon as you know your dates.
  • The IKON Pass does include 7 days at Aspen. The IKON Base Pass does not include days at Aspen, unless specifically added. It’s an additional $150 to add 5 days. IKON Base Pass Blackout Dates: 2020-2021 Season: December 26, 2020 – January 2, 2021, January 16 – 17, 2021 and February 13 – 14, 2021
  • Denver-based Alterra plans to control mountain crowds by eliminating walk-up window sales, discontinuing most undated lift tickets and regulating the number of daily tickets available for purchase, according to the statement.
  • To honor the community and express gratitude for pass holders, IKON has outlined several benefits to help ease the burden on those seeking adventure. Additional information on COVID-19 policies should there be any resort closures can be found at the following link.

Insider Tip: Book your ski season accommodations early and reserve your ski pass to maximize your time on the mountain with your desired dates.

Aspen Ski Mountain Gondola

Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass has officially shared their plans for ski season 2020-2021, and as the season approaches there are some new policies in place to ensure the safety of all guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lift Tickets:

  • Tickets purchased ahead of time will serve as a “reservation,” providing priority access should capacity limitations become necessary
  • Every day Aspen Ski Co will release the number of available tickets for purchase, but it is HIGHLY recommended to purchase ahead of time
  • All lift tickets are redeemable at any of the four mountains (Aspen, Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass)
  • Single tickets can be purchased or 4 or more days
  • Cancellations/unused tickets: Receive in-resort credit (not redeemable for on-mountain dining) if returned within 14 days of expiration
  • Ticket sales are being released by dates, (ex: Nov 26-Dec 20, Dec 21-Jan 3) please click here to see details. If you are staying with us, our Aspen Experience Curators will be happy to assist!

On Mountain Dining:

  • A number of restaurants, including Ullrhof, Elk Camp, and the new High Alpine at Snowmass, Merry-Go-Round at Aspen Highlands and the Sundeck at Aspen Mountain, will be adding tented and heated seating.
  • Ruthie’s on Aspen Mountain will be open this winter as a warming hut, but will not offer any food services.
  • Increased availability of grab-and-go items in market-style restaurants alongside reduced full-service sit-down options.
  • New this year, the updated Aspen Snowmass App will also provide you with the option to order food to-go from your mobile device. Order ahead, grab your lunch faster and be ready to pound out more turns in your day!
  • The legendary Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro will be open for lunch this winter offering a sit down fine dining experience. This winter, the experience will remain focused on enjoying a well spent lunch with friends and family rather than an après ski party. Settle into the cozy alpine ambiance, order a bottle of wine and enjoy a relaxed lunch.

Lift Procedures

Nobody will be allowed on the mountain without a face covering. Employees will require that you wear a mask in the lift line, on lifts, in restaurants and during ski school lessons. Vail Resort executives also “strongly recommend that guests wear face coverings in all indoor and outdoor public spaces throughout resort towns.”

People skiing in the same party will be allowed to load the lift together and can fill the chair or gondola they are riding. However, in the event that your party doesn’t fill the chair or gondola cabin, new protocols will be implemented:

  • Two singles on opposite sides of a four-person lift
  • Two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift
  • Two singles on opposite sides of larger gondola cabins


On-Mountain Dining

There will be open on-mountain options operating in the same manner that many restaurants have adopted since reopening in recent months; this primarily means limited seating for sit-down diners, to enable physical distancing. “Cafeteria-style” restaurants, in which guests had been able to choose between different stations or grab-and-go items, will be reconfigured, primarily offering grab-and-go options. This season, there will be a single line that moves through these communal dining areas, ending at the cashier.

Vail Valley & Aspen Restaurants

Reservations at Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen restaurants are highly recommended in advance. Local restaurants are limiting their capacities in order to adhere to local policies, which means space is limited and reservations are a must! Our local Experience Curators are here to help you plan your dining logistics, so you don’t have to worry about it. Take a look at our expertly curated dining guides for foodie inspiration in the Vail Valley and Aspen.

Private Chefs 

Alternatively, host a Cuvée chalet dinner party with one of Vail and Aspen’s top chefs, all in the safety of your villa. Our talented culinary teams specialize in farm-to-table Colorado menus with classic European techniques. Work hand-in-hand with the chef to create a wine pairing menu, casual Colorado fixings, a swanky celebration, or any culinary masterpiece your taste buds desire.

Ski and Snowboard Rentals

You can’t hit the slopes without the right gear and with many ski equipment rental stores requiring reservations, Cuvée is here to make life easier for a gold medal day on the slopes. Expert ski fitters join you at your Cuvée chalet with top gear (helmets included!) and tips. We’ll also bring your ski passes so you can step outside your door and hop on the lift! After your day on the mountain, ease your muscles with an in-villa massage and après bites.

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