Howard, Guerriero: Rise to the challenge |

Howard, Guerriero: Rise to the challenge

Beth Howard and Nadia Guerriero
Valley Voices

Since we closed Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort last March to skiing and riding, we have been laser-focused on how we can safely reopen the mountains we love for winter operations. And this week, we will. Our lifts at Vail Mountain will begin spinning today, and while things will certainly be different, the elements of the sport we all love will be the same: You will be able to connect with wide-open spaces, you will feel the rush of fresh mountain air and you will be able to escape into the great outdoors.

Our commitment to you is to reopen so that you can safely recreate outdoors all winter long. But we cannot do it alone. Our mountains are not fortresses and we cannot safeguard this season from this pandemic without everyone taking action. Our part is to be prepared; your part is to stay vigilant.

We have developed a reservation system that serves as a critical tool to manage how many people are on our mountains on any given day. This system can be adjusted to meet our local guidelines and helps us allow for physical distancing, even in the early season. Many of you in Eagle County are some of our most loyal early season guests, and this reservation system means we can open for the early season, even with limited terrain. And that is just one way we have been out front in our approach to safety.

From strict face covering requirements to comprehensive employee safety protocols to fundamental changes to our operations — we have set a high safety standard for ourselves and have created contingencies if the situation worsens. We are in close contact with state and local officials and prepared to adjust our operations to meet new guidelines. We want to stay open so that you, our guests and our employees can safely recreate outdoors.

Now for our ask of you – our community — please be vigilant and be patient. We are fortunate to have outstanding leaders here in Eagle County and we support their actions to ramp up safety measures.

But as COVID-19 cases continue to rise to troubling levels, it is imperative that we all embrace these measures and Eagle County’s five commitments of containment to protect our community and to protect the ski and ride season that we all depend on. This doesn’t just apply to us, we are also communicating this urgency to all of our guests. We are asking guests to follow not only our resorts’ policies, but also the safety measures set forth by Eagle County and the town of Vail.

We know this season will feel different – but having a season is what matters. Everyone who loves and depends on this sport should play a role in protecting it. We cannot let our guard down.

We are excited to lead our resort teams to Opening Day and, with everyone’s help, through an entire ski and ride season. We have seen this community rise to the challenge before. Now, with COVID-19 growing at an alarming rate, we must rise to the challenge again. Thank you for partnering with us. Be safe and be healthy.

Beth Howard is the chief operating officer and vice president of Vail Mountain. Nadia Guerriero is the chief operating officer and vice president of Beaver Creek Resort.


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