Deer Valley sells out for New Year’s period
Deer Valley Resort no longer is selling lift tickets in advance for the days around New Year’s and will not sell the tickets on those days as well, a result of high demand at a time when restrictions designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus has reduced capacity even further from a typical year.
Deer Valley daily lift tickets are sold out from Dec. 28 until Jan. 2. The resort said all the available daily lift tickets were purchased as of the end of the workday on Dec. 10. The Dec. 28-Jan. 2 stretch is normally one of the busiest periods of the ski season across the industry as people arrive in the days after Christmas and spend New Year’s on the slopes. Many will have a three-day weekend with Jan. 1 being a Friday in 2021, meaning a ski trip could be more convenient to schedule in late December and early January than if the holiday fell midweek.
Deer Valley said the dates commonly sold out in previous years. The resort has long capped the number of skiers allowed on the slopes on any given day, a restriction on capacity that reduces crowds on the ski runs, in the lift lines and in the restaurants.
The cap is further reduced during the 2020-2021 ski season as one of the key steps Deer Valley took as part of a package of measures influenced by the coronavirus. Deer Valley declines to disclose the capacity limit. The number of skiers allowed on any given day, though, depends on the amount of terrain that is open. The Park City area suffered an especially dry start to the winter, meaning the mountain resorts relied heavily on snowmaking operations as opening days approached rather than on natural snow.
The sellouts around New Year’s will not impact access to the slopes for those holding Deer Valley season passes or people who have full Ikon Passes, which provide access to resorts across the U.S. and in Canada.
Deer Valley, meanwhile, halted the sale of season passes on Dec. 10. The stoppage will last through at least early January, when sales will be re-evaluated.
The period around New Year’s is the first of several points in the ski season that are usually especially busy on the slopes. Others include the three-day weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the time around Presidents Day and the spring-break weeks of March.
The high demand for Deer Valley lift tickets for the New Year’s period and of season passes will likely be an encouraging sign for the broader community. There remains widespread concern about economic numbers during the ski season with the sickness continuing to spread.
Although Park City posted solid numbers in the summer and fall, the ski season is significantly more important to a wide swath of businesses connected to the tourism industry. If the mountain resorts are busy, industries like lodging, restaurant and transportation usually also enjoy an uptick in sales.
Deer Valley opted against a reservation system for the ski season and said it does not currently plan to introduce one later in the winter. Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts, though, continues to operate a reservation system as a key element of that firm’s blueprints for the ski season to curb the spread of the sickness.
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