The recent resurgence of the Covid-19 virus outbreak throughout the United States has prompted many state governments to impose new rounds of restrictions and in some cases, all out bans on certain types of business. Colorado has not been shy about imposing new restriction quickly to prevent overwhelming its healthcare system, which caters to many vulnerable seniors throughout the State.
This has led many ski pass holders, both in Colorado and throughout the world (The Colorado Rocky Mountains are one of the planet’s most revered skiing destinations) wondering with anticipation about the fate of the ski season this year.
So far, all the major resort towns including Vail, Aspen, Steamboat, Winter Park and Beaver Creek, have all opened and are welcoming ski enthusiasts and their families to their slopes (for now). Social distancing restrictions are in place, most resorts require ski pass holders to make reservations for the days they intend to ski so as not to crowd the mountain nor the parking areas. Also, most dining locations are only allowed outside seating, which at over 8,000 ft above altitude and in the freezing cold is not the most comfortable (no matter how many heat lamps you have going).
Still, most skiers and snowboarders are happy just to know that they can still enjoy their favorite sports, and that their expensive ski passes will not go to waste this year. If anything, the pandemic shows just what a resilient bunch the snow sports crowd really is; when you fall, you have got to get up and keep going strong.
Another interesting dilemma currently facing visitors flying into Colorado is how are they supposed to reach the resort towns. Commuting from Denver to Beaver Creek or Vail or Aspen is not without its own challenges. In years past, many travelers who opted not to rent a vehicle, (car rentals are expensive, the drive is long, and mountain road conditions can be notoriously hazardous during the winter) instead relied on the shared shuttle companies to get to their accommodations.
Newly imposed Colorado, Covid-19 ordinances have halted all such shared shuttle services. There simply is not enough space between passengers to be able to safely make the 2-3-hour commute from Denver International to the resort towns. Even with talks of making special provisions and limiting occupancy within these vehicles, many travelers are much too worried about the potential of infection, and most experts agree, shared shuttle service will be a bad option this year.
This leaves a generous gap for private shuttle services to step in as the transportation method of choice. These services are typically more expensive but provide a much more comfortable experience. Most visitors to Vail, Beaver Creek, or Aspen are not too worried about price anyway. These families typically spend thousands of dollars just on ski passes, rentals, and ski school for their kids. Price is not a big concern for them.
One family run private airport shuttle service even decided to use this year as an opportunity to branch out and expand its business. Blue Sky Limo of Vail, saw the need for a dedicated route from Denver International Airport (DIA) to Beaver Creek, Colorado and decided to open a sister company directly in Beaver Creek:
Blue Sky Limo | Beaver Creek
111 W. Beavercreek Blvd. #1404
Beaver Creek, CO 81620
This sister branch commenced operation in November of 2020 and says that while business is starting off slow, things are slowly picking up as travelers are starting to come to grips with the current reality and understand that things are not likely to change until at least the end of this ski season.
With so much uncertainty still about how quickly things will go back to normal in a post Covid world, at least skiers and snowboarders around the world can take solace in the fact that their favorite resorts are open for business.
Even without the shared shuttle companies that so many travelers relied on, there are still plenty of ways to get to the Rockies and have some fun this Winter.