2020+21 Jay Peak Resort Anticipated Operating Plan
A few details about how we’ll operate this winter are organized below. This is an operational plan built off guidance created by the State of Vermont. Obviously, this can still change and is subject to further, evolving guidance but we have taken what we believe to be a conservative enough approach to withstand both the vagaries of the COVID-19 environment and Vermont’s approach to it.
Also worth noting; like every other resort in the business (be they governed as a corporation, a cooperative, a private or public entity, or even a Receivership), we’re going to do the absolute best we can to manage ourselves within the existing guidance, create a safe as possible experience for our employees and guests, make it as fun as humanly possible, and not change anything and change everything at the same time. This is all to say, every resort in the business is doing the best they can given the environments they have been presented with and the reality they operate within. Some of you may be disappointed with our approaches. We’re sorry for that. Our current plans, and in some cases a frustrating lack thereof, follow.
Safety, Security, and The Jay Peak EverClean Program
The Jay Peak EverClean Program has been designed to create the safest possible operating environment that we can. The plan includes new expectations and protocols on cleaning, sanitization, mask use, physical distancing and other safety related parameters in the time of COVID. You can check out our EverClean Plan at jaypeakresort.com/EverClean. It’s a living document that will continue to be updated and refined as we head into winter 2020+21.
As a natural evolution of the Plan, we have organized the Jay Peak EverClean Team who will be dispatched across the resort, daily, providing free masks for those who need them, reminders of our engagement expectations for both guests and team members, and making sure that the spirit of the plan is both understood and followed.
Skiing, Snowboarding, Ticketing, and Outdooring
As we rely on traffic from our Canadian brothers and sisters at an index of 50%, and the reality that many counties within our US markets will have quarantine restrictions and limitations, means you should expect room to roam here. Following that, we will not expect Jay Peak Season Passholders to make a reservation, we will not force day trippers to buy tickets in advance (although you’ll get the best rate when you do), and we’ll be happy, euphoric even, to sell you a walk-up, window rate ticket if you’re chasing a storm or the spirit simply moves you.
As to uphill capacity, it’s starting to feel like our lifts will be able to accommodate those travelling together and those who’ve quarantined together, in a pretty typical fashion. We won’t be forcing anyone to ride with any party they didn’t travel with, and we’ll likely have some capacity restrictions on our Tram but, again, with a large cohort of folks not able to access the mountain in the first place, this is unlikely to be felt on most, if any, days.
Our Jay Peak Rental, Repair, and Demo Shops will be open with our standard rental products. All rental equipment will be cleaned and sanitized prior to use. In person rentals may take a little longer to complete due to indoor space limitations and distancing guidelines. You can always skip the lines and reserve online at jaypeakresort.com or by calling (800) 451-4449 (2020+21 products will be released soon) which will allow us to set your equipment in advance.
Our Jay Peak Ski & Ride School will offer group and private lessons & clinics for both kids and adults of all levels of ability. To participate in a group lesson, you will need to be able to load and unload lifts on your own, without assistance from an instructor. There will be some walk-up space available but as always, it will be very limited and possibly not available across busier periods (weekends and holidays). Best to reserve in advance to guarantee your space either online at jaypeakresort.com or by calling (800) 451-4449 (2020+21 products will be released soon).
Our Jay Peak Nordic Center, Snowshoeing, and Fat-Biking will all be headquartered out of our Tramside Rental Shop, including all Nordic rental gear which will be cleaned and sanitized between each use.
Eating, Drinking, and Indooring
Looks like we’ll be following whatever the State sends our way here. Right now, that includes limitations on indoor gatherings and interior spaces. New guidance now allows us to book into all of our lodging - including hotel, cottage and condo options. We’re starting to see some compression in the hotels across some holiday and weekend dates but should have availability to accommodate your winter plans. For this winter, we’re selling Ski/Ride Vacations both through our Reservations Office (at 800-451-4449) and online (at jaypeakresort.com) but if you want waterpark access, you’ll have to call to purchase tickets (more details on waterpark operations, below). We’ll be prioritizing waterpark access for lodging guests and will release any remaining inventory, online, to day guests, likely on the first of each month.
Base Lodges and cafeteria spaces are likely to be at reduced capacity but, given the aforementioned guest indexes not having access to the mountain, we will be allowing folks to start their days in our lodges and will be building out more free storage space to allow for bags as they will not be allowed on floors or tables. While we still strongly suggest you start your day from your car or, better still, lodging here at the mountain, we will be creating more space to spread out on Tramside by absorbing both the Mezzanine level of the cafeteria and International Room into our overall base lodge footprint. The result being that even at 50% capacity, this new larger space will have similar total seating to the more limited cafeteria area we’ve used in the past. We will make the space even more efficient and appropriately distanced by taking out all our banquet table and cafeteria style seating and replacing them with resort-made/self-contained 4-top picnic tables that will be appropriately distanced and available throughout the day.
Our Bullwheel Bar and Stateside cafeteria will be available in the morning to start your day and to stop in for warmup breaks. We’ll clear the Bullwheel room at 2p to set up for a limited après ski block. It will be first-come, first-served, it will be completely table serviced for drink and, new this year, food options. Four top tables, cocktails, food and a little music—all at a reduced capacity. Not ideal, but not nothing either. Double negatives notwithstanding.
While The Clubhouse Grille will not open for in-person dining, it will be the headquarters for our new to-go and delivery service. Starting early winter, we will offer a full menu, available for pick up at the Clubhouse or delivery anywhere on resort.
Noodles at Night added to the food and beverage lineup this year, our friends at Miso Hungry will be preparing and delivering make-at-home Ramen kits available to all on-campus lodging units here at the resort. We’ll have more information on this soon but we look forward to nearly round-the-clock-Ramen courtesy of the Miso Hungry Crew.
The Foundry Pub & Grille, Howie’s Diner, Alice’s Table Restaurant, Tower Bar, and Mountain Dick’s Pizzeria will all be open with varying schedules and a reduction in capacity but with no direct access to any bars. Cocktails, wine, beer, and food will be available with table service or as grab-and-go. We’ll augment Mountain Dick’s seating capacity by setting up additional tables in the Hotel Jay Family Room just down the hall.
Buddy’s Mug Coffee Shop and Provisions General Store will be open for last minute items, coffees, handmade sandwiches, grocery items and logo wear but with capacity restrictions. The Aroma Café, at least at this time, will not open this year. That could change. Stay tuned.
The Pump House Indoor Waterpark is presently open and although usually rated for up to 900 people at a time, current State of Vermont guidance limits our capacity to just 75 people. With 60,000 square feet to spread out across, we are hopeful that this limit will expand as we get into the operating season but, until then, we’ll work with what we’ve got. Per current State guidelines we anticipate the hot tubs will remain closed. Otherwise, we expect we will continue to operate with all features except the activity river until allowable capacity increases. We will be selling two blocks of time once we get into the late fall, 10a-2p and 3p-7p with an hour between to exit first block guests and reclean and sanitize the park. With only 75 people in the park at any one time, you’ll find it to be a completely different experience. There will also be some opportunity for walk-up guests, but you’ll need to check in with Pump House Guest Services to validate that space is available. We’ll be adding waitstaff to the park who will deliver food and drinks right to your table.
Our Retail Shops will be open and carrying all the essential gear you need as well as Jay Peak logo’d products and gifts. As is the case generally in retail right now, we will have some new processes that will limit “trying on” items (ie. gloves, etc) and a “no return” policy. Occupancy in the shops will be reduced per State guidelines.
Our Jay Peak Ice Haus will open as scheduled for the winter with some capacity restrictions, but an expected lack of hockey tournaments will mean that you have more access to public skate hours than ever before. We will not have rental skates or helmets available so make sure to bring your own gear.
Presently, our plan is to, unfortunately, keep the Clips and Reels Recreational Center, including the climbing gym and movie theater, closed. The facility may reopen for movie showings, should the state of Vermont guidance update as we go forward.
Limited daycare will be available in our Jaycare Childcare Centers on a reduced capacity, advanced reservation basis. More specific information will be distributed as approved by the State.
We anticipate Taiga Spa will open but will have to loop back with more information on this area as guidance from the State is still under development.
New Spaces and Offerings for 2020+21
We are hard at work developing a new outdoor hang-out area adjacent to Tram-load on the patio directly above our rental shop, outside Alice’s Table. This area will house a new food truck, with both to-go food and cocktail menu, a new 350k BTU stone firepit, wind protection (I know, rated appropriately), and outdoor seating. This area will provide us the opportunity to offer quick grab and go food and drink with appropriately spaced seating on all but the coldest Jay Peak days. This is to say, maybe it gets us a few extra days outside with a Jameson’s and coffee in our hands. We’re working on the menu now and construction starts next week. More to come on this shortly.
We are offering special Relocation Vacation Packages out of our 2-bedroom Golf and Mountain Cottages this year. These include season pass access to the mountain for up to 4 people and 5 months of lodging for a very affordable price. Get all the details at jaypeakresort.com/deals.