Venue vaccination policy is ‘the right thing to do,’ says Vail Valley Foundation
Masks will be required for children ages 2-11 at all events. New policies go into effect immediately at the VPAC, and begin Sept. 1 at Ford Amphitheater.
The Vail Valley Foundation announced Friday that proof of vaccination along with a photo ID will be required for all attendees 12 and older, and masks will be required for children ages 2-11, at their two popular venues: the indoor Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village, and the open-air Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail.
Attendees with proof of at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J COVID-19 vaccine will be permitted for entry. Photographs of vaccination cards, as well as digital vaccine records, will be accepted as proof of vaccination. Any form of photo ID will be accepted at the door, including a drivers license, passport, library card, school ID or even a ski pass, which will help to cover children aged 12-15 who do not yet have license identification. Vaccinated attendees are not required to wear a mask at the venues, but are encouraged to do so to limit the spread of the virus.
For those with a medical condition that prevents them from being vaccinated, a written medical exemption from your physician will be accepted, but must be submitted at least three days prior to the scheduled performance to email@example.com. Those with medical exemptions will be required to wear a mask in the venue at all times, except when eating or drinking.
Tom Boyd, the director of PR & Communications for the Vail Valley Foundation, said that the change in policy results from the most recent data emerging about the Delta variant in Eagle County.
“It seems as though we’re looking at a variant that is highly, highly contagious, more so than the previous versions of COVID that we’ve seen,” Boyd said. “After deep discussions with public health professionals, we think the right thing to do is to implement these policies to limit the spread of the Delta variant. That’s what the current data and information tells us, and when new data comes out we will adjust, just like we’ve done since March of 2020.”
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The new policies go into effect immediately in the case of the Vilar Performing Arts Center, and will begin Sept. 1 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Boyd noted that it was important for the VVF to implement these policies before Labor Day Weekend, when people from around the country are expected to travel to the valley.
“We expect a resort community like we have to welcome folks from all over the country, especially during peak tourism weekends, and certainly Labor Day is one of those,” Boyd said. “We have the luxury now of a lot of good data on what’s happening, and the time to make the decision is before everybody is exposed. That’s why we want to move now and get this in action before Labor Day.”
Those who have purchased tickets for upcoming performances but are unable to comply with the new policies are eligible for a full refund. Refunds must be requested at least three business days in advance of the scheduled performance. Ticket holders can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a refund.
The new policies apply to guests, artists, and employees of the venues.
“The conversations that we have with artists and their booking staff often start and end with COVID-19 protocols,” Boyd said. “Artists, just like everyone else, have a wide range of opinions, but the vast majority are asking what our policies are and saying ‘we’d like to see them stronger before we come and play’.”
The VVF also announced that its Sept. 9 End of Summer Community Concert will now be a ticketed event so that the new policies can be properly enforced. The event will still be free, but attendees will need a valid ticket for entry into the show.
“Instituting these new protocols is only possible in a ticketed environment, but we don’t believe that will be a deterrent to those who want to attend,” said Dave Dressman, Vice President of Sales and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for the Vail Valley Foundation. “We have a very high rate of vaccination in this community, we expect the new policy to be embraced and supported, and we have seen our valley’s tremendous love of live music. We are ready to enjoy the unity that can only come from joining together to enjoy live music at this beautiful venue.”
There is no set timeline for the current policies, which will be revised in the future based on data specific to COVID-19 disease trends in Eagle County.
Boyd emphasized that the main objective of the policy change is to enable the VVF to continue staging performances while keeping the community safe.
“This is the kind of adjustment and change that allows us to continue our programming,” Boyd said. “We feel that we can increase the quality of the performances and the quality of the experiences by doing this. The vast majority of people are going to feel more comfortable, safer and able to really enjoy and get into the performances because of these policy decisions.”
All details about the VVF’s new COVID-19 policies can be found on their website at grfavail.com/covid19-policy.