Deer Valley announces plans to open for summer in June
After a ski season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, action will soon return to Park City’s mountains.
Deer Valley Resort announced Thursday that it will begin summer operations June 26, offering lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic chairlift rides, albeit with significant protocols in place to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
The resort indicated in a press release it will take “extensive measures to comply with COVID-19 cleaning, operating procedures and guidelines” and will adhere to the safety mandates imposed by Summit County. It will also limit the number of guests allowed on the mountain at any one time, with day lift tickets being sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We have been working diligently to offer a summer experience on the mountain this year and altering our operations to comply with all COVID-19 safety standards and guidelines,” said Deer Valley President and COO Todd Shallan in a prepared statement. “Although operations will look a bit different than in years past, we are very much looking forward to opening the resort once again and welcoming guests back to Deer Valley.”
The resort will allow outdoor dining at three restaurants this summer — Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe, Royal Street Cafe and Silver Lake Snack Shack — and plans to reopen its lodging properties Monday.
The resort acknowledged, however, that its summer operations could be altered if the health situation in Summit County changes. The county is in the low-risk phase of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s pandemic response plan, and the numbers of new confirmed cases have fallen sharply after peaking in early April.
“We will continue to monitor evolving COVID-19 procedures and guidelines and take all necessary precautions to comply, including making changes to our summer operations plan if necessary,” the resort said.
The opening announcement comes two and a half months after Deer Valley, like other resorts in Utah and across the country, closed abruptly at the outset of the coronavirus crisis, with weeks left in the scheduled ski season. Nearly 300 resort employees were furloughed in early April or saw their hours reduced as part of significant cost-saving measures necessitated by the early closure.
While the summer tourism season in Park City is not nearly as lucrative as the winter, word of the resort’s opening is likely to be welcomed in a business community that has been battered by the pandemic and the strict measures health officials enacted to counter it.
There remains widespread concern about summer business, particularly in light of the cancellation of the Park Silly Sunday Market and the Tour of Utah bicycling race, two popular events that draw large crowds to Park City, as well as the slate of summer concerts planned at Deer Valley. With health restrictions still in place, and continuing apprehension among the general public about contracting the coronavirus, the pandemic is likely to continue to weigh on the local economy in the coming months.
Park City Mountain Resort has not released specifics about when it will open for the summer. Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, which owns PCMR, recently indicated in a letter to employees that the company was aiming to open all of its properties by late June or early July.
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