Reservations won’t be required at many Ikon ski resorts this season

Sep 14, 2020

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Last year, the U.S. ski season started on Oct. 10 in Colorado with the opening of Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin), followed the next day by Keystone. Believe it or not, the calendar says that’s less than a month away. And in a refreshing, almost unbelievable moment of normalcy, A-Basin says it’s expecting to open again in mid-October (weather permitting).

But when the lifts do start turning, things will look a bit different from the ski seasons of yesteryear.

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Vail has already announced that the several dozen resorts under its flag will require advance ski reservations this year, with priority bookings going to Epic Pass holders. Now, the Ikon Pass program has announced its plans for the season, and they’re somewhat different from Vail and Epic.

Unlike the Epic Pass, most of the 38 North American mountain destinations belonging to the Ikon Pass program will not require advance reservations for lift access at this time. Some of the big exceptions in the Ikon Pass network, for now, are Taos, Jackson Hole, Arapahoe Basin and Brighton — all of which have announced that advance reservations will be required, at least for Ikon passholders.

Related: How to get the most bang for your buck with your Ikon ski pass

The mountains that do require reservations will be bookable to Ikon passholders through the Ikon website or app beginning on Nov. 9. Passholders will be able to reserve up to the number of access days granted with their passes.

For example, Ikon Base Pass members have access to up to five ski days at Arapahoe Basin, so presumably, this means you could book those dates in advance as early as Nov. 9. Note that A-Basin will not be requiring its season passholders to book ski days in advance. The resort’s website says it isn’t singling out Ikon passholders, but because the Ikon community is quite large, it’s necessary to prevent too many people from showing up at the same time.

You can see a full chart of Ikon-affiliated resorts and their reopening plans online. Just remember, the information for some resorts is still pending and procedures could, of course, change as the season draws closer.

Related: Which annual ski pass is best: Epic vs. Ikon vs. Mountain Collective

Bottom line

Regardless of where you ski this season, you’re probably going to need to do more planning than normal. You might need to make lift reservations in advance — though Ikon passholders could find it’s easier to be spontaneous — wear a face mask or cover while in lift lines, at ski lessons or indoors; plan to eat outside whenever possible; pack your own water; and commit to an annual pass, as single-day lift tickets will be limited at many resorts.

Feature image of Arapahoe Basin, CO. (Photo via Shutterstock)

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