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Winter with COVID-19 - Update

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Just got this email from Mont Ste-Marie

This is the first in the Ottawa/Gatineau area to address the next ski season. This seems like a logistical nightmare.

Msg below:

An Important Update for all Mont Ste-Marie Customers.

Hello to all Friends of Mont Ste-Marie
I hope everyone is having a fun and safe summer. It has been a busy summer at Mont Ste-Marie with everyone taking advantage of this fantastic weather to enjoy the trails, tennis, golf, and beach. Tomorrow will mark 4 months since we were shut down on March 15th. Since that time, our world has changed. What could not have been imagined 4 months ago is now common place. So, the question everyone wants answered is “what is going to happen this winter at Mont Ste-Marie?”.
The answer is that Mont Ste-Marie, like other ski resorts in Canada, will more than likely (based on what we know today) be opening at 50% capacity in our lodge and on our lifts. This means that on our chairlift that seats 4 we will only be able to sit 2 unless you are a family living in the same home and so on… Our goal is to provide a superior ski experience and in order to achieve this for the good of all skiers, we will have a daily maximum of lift tickets available. This way, we will have the space in the lodge and minimal lift lines at both Cheval and Vanier. In order to control the amount of lift tickets sold on a specific day all tickets will need to be purchased in advance online.
Two types of tickets will be sold online in each age category:
1) GUARANTEED Lift Ticket (GLT) is a ticket for a specific date that you want to come ski, OR
2) the FLEX Ticket, which gives you the chance to pick and choose your day of skiing (but hurry and reserve your date as tickets could be sold out for your wanted day).
Plan ahead to guarantee your ski days for this winter. We will be starting lift tickets sales with our new online sales platform on September 1st . Both the GLT and FLEX tickets are transferable. In the event we do not open due to weather reasons, the GLT will become a FLEX Ticket.
Our pricing has not been set but it will reflect a balance between the need to operate at 50% capacity and provide a fantastic overall superior ski experience given the current situation.
The ULTIMATE and BEST way to ski remains the purchase of a season pass, which allows you the freedom to ski any day without pre-booking. Season Passes will go back on sale by September 1st.
There is a positive aspect to all of this in that the mountain will not be as busy especially during weekends and holidays. Fewer skiers during the day will mean that the grooming will be preserved longer each day. Enjoy the rest of summer and start planning now for the days you would like to come skiing this winter so that when lift tickets go on sale on, you will be ready. Guarantee your ski days by buying early.
Thanks to all,
Bob Sudermann
Owner and President

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It's probably going to be the new reality, as sad as that is. But safety and health needs are at the forefront which they should be until this pandemic is over. The rough and sad part is how it affects businesses and families.

Hopefully the abrupt season end and the coming winter don't do any permanent damage to our favorite mountains. I do give them credit for trying to make things work as best as possible to be open and offer people skiing.

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@Shane Camp Fortune has still said nothing about the next season or when people can buy season passes. I'm afraid if we get a really warm/low snow season doubled with these COVID regulations you will see some hills close for good. 

Also Vermont hills must be really worried. If no Canadian's come or are even allowed to cross the border what will places like Jay Peak do? 

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@Gordo well Jay Peak started an initiative to do longer term rentals for the work from home set and given that will be continuing for some time I'm sure it will draw people out of the cities who are able to WFH from anywhere. I am one of those people and would consider this same opportunity in Charlevoix however my partner occasionally might need to physically go to the office as he is the senior sys admin and on call every few weeks. Too bad as it would be pretty great to spend a few months living out there.

I have not heard anything from MSS yet, their regular range of passes are on sale but I do wonder if quantity will be an issue. I was going to hold off til September to buy but maybe I'll just grab it in the next few weeks since I get the corporate rate regardless. 

I also plan to take the opportunity to ski at other smaller mountains I haven't had the chance to visit yet and am excited about that prospect and do hope to finally spend a good few days in Charlevoix but we shall see...sadly even if the border opens there will be no VT for me. I'll miss our Killington trips but our risk assessment is too high to even consider. If this drags on and on I'm even considering paying one of my buddies to pack up my Reno storage unit and drive it to VT for me. We'll see about that in a year though. Too bad I left my only N95 filters in with all my burning man stuff :/

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I haven't heard anything from the ET areas, but I would imagine it would be the same in regards to the online reservation of tickets and limits like everyone else. I would imagine that passholders would be given priority and what remaining availability would be for daily riders. It surely will be an interesting season to come.

I will miss not going to anywhere south of the border. Last season I missed out on it and should have gone. I wanted to head down and cover Saddleback's reopening this coming season, more Tenney and Magic Mountain. I had considered getting the Indy Pass but that will have to wait until at least 2021-22. There are enough places on the Indy Pass that it would actually justify getting it even with the exchange. There are at least 7-8 places that I would have gone, and you figure daily ticket at each is easily $79USD each.

A little interesting tidbit just learned on a travel insurance, not that it matters at the moment, Blue Cross Ontario and Quebec, and Medipac are offering travel insurance to cover Covid-19, however not on a pre-existing condition basis. You are not covered if you had previously been affected by Covid before travelling. Read the policy and be aware of exclusions, limitations, and benefits. The more you know, the better off you will be.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Camp Fortune released the following information on season pass purchases for the coming winter:



At Camp Fortune we take your health and safety, as well as that of staff members, seriously.  This season you will find all the necessary precautions put into place to insure the well being of the Camp Fortune Family; both staff and patrons. This will include, but is not limited to, face coverings and goggles on the chairlifts, distancing in the lines, face coverings indoors etc. In accordance with COVID capacity restrictions imposed by Public Health, we will reserve the right to limit the number of people in all indoor spaces when required. Your cooperation will be paramount and we encourage all our guests to come ready to spend as much time outside on the slopes as possible.

Due to the unprecedented events we are experiencing, we at Camp Fortune will be offering a comprehensive credit policy for the 2020-2021 season to ensure that you feel confident in purchasing your Season Pass or Snow School lesson programs with us.


Full credit for your season pass if the request is made BEFORE December 15, 2020 and the pass is UNUSED.

The postponement of your 2020-21 season pass to 2021-22, without any fees and without a price change, if the request is made before December 15, 2020 and the pass is UNUSED.

Once the ski season has started, or the pass has been used, customers can request a credit for their season pass according to the cancellation policy below, fees will apply.


In addition to the implementation of the Guaranteed Season, several changes have been made to our cancellation policies for the 2020-21 season.


For the 2020-2021 ski season, customers will be able to request a credit of their purchase without justification until December 15th. Once the ski season has begun at Camp Fortune (December 15th), the following cancellation policy will be applied automatically to all requests for credits, including those made for medical reasons.

The value of the credit, issued in the form of a Camp Fortune gift card, will be based on the number of days the season pass has been used (see grid below). An administrative fee of $ 40 + taxes will to all credits issued after a pass has been used.


Read full conditions here.

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur (Avila, Morin Heights, Gabriel, Olympia, Edelweiss)


The Ski Guarantee les Sommets offer:

Credit or full refund of your season pass if the request is made before December 15, 2020.

Credit or refund of your Snow School Program if the request is made at the latest the day before the start of the programs.

The postponement of your 2020-21 ski season to 2021-22 without any fees and without a price change, if the request is made before December 15, 2020.

Once the skier season has started, customers can request a credit for their season pass according to the cancellation policy and without any conditions.


For the 2020-21 ski season, customers will be able to request a credit or full refund of their purchase without justification until December 15. In the event that the customer has already skied a day or more before December 15 on one of les Sommets’ mountain, the cancellation policy, which you will find below, applies automatically.


For the Snow School and Competition Team programs, customers can request a credit or refund on their purchase at any time, as long as the first ski or snowboard lesson or training has not taken place. The request must be made at the latest the day before the start of the programs.    


In addition to the implementation of the new Ski Guarantee les Sommets, several measures have been made to our cancellation policies for the 2020-21 season.

Terms and conditions of the 2020-21 Cancellation Policy


Once the skier season has begun at Les Sommets, this cancellation policy will be applied automatically.

The value of the credit, issued in the form of a Sommets gift card, will be based on the number of days of use (see grid below) of the season pass. Administrative fees of $ 40 + taxes will apply.


For the Snow School and Racing Team programs, customers who wish to do so can request a credit for their purchase or a refund at any time until the first lesson or the first training has started.

In the event that the programs are started, customers who wish to make a cancellation request may receive a credit equivalent to the number of days remaining in the program. It is important to note that an administration fee of $ 40 plus taxes is applicable to the cancellation of a program.

In the event that Les Sommets are unable to offer or postpone lessons or training before the end of the 2020-21 season, a credit will be issued for those sessions that have not taken place. In this case, the administration fee of $ 40 will not be applied.

The 2020-21 cancellation policy at a glance:

Cancellation no later than 24 hours before the start of the program

= Credit or reimbursement 100 %

Cancellation request once the program has started

= Credit for the number of lessons or training remaining in the program. An administration fee of $ 40 applies.

Impossibility of Les Sommets to offer or postpone lessons or training before the end of the 2020-21 season

= Credit for lessons or training remaining in the program. No administration fees apply.

How to apply

To request credit, the customer must send their request by email info@sommets.com or in person at the mountain's Customer Service. The following information must be indicated: first and last name, type of season pass, email address (to receive confirmation of your credit) and the reason for this cancellation.


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Mont Cascades :


Mont Cascades Snow season guarantee

Season pass

The resort is launching the Mont Cascades Snow Season Guarantee, a program of exclusive measures for customers who have purchased their 2020-2021 ski pass before October 15, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

This initiative aims to reassure customers who want to take advantage of a better rate on next winter’s season passes despite the financial and health uncertainties that hover due to COVID-19. Eligibility is automatic for all customers who have purchased a season’s pass.

Thus, subscribers who ultimately do not wish to ski in winter 2020-2021 can:

Postpone their season’s pass to the 2021-2022 season at no additional cost and no price increase.

Request a full refund of their season’s pass.


To be eligible, clients must:

Have purchased their 2020-2021 season’s pass before October 15, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

Refund : terms and conditions

The reimbursement request must be made between November 1st and December 4th, 2020 by the person who paid for the passes. A form will be available on request.

The season’s pass must not have been claimed.

Valid for all types of season’s pass.

An administrative fee of $ 30 + taxes will be applicable on the refund.

Credit : terms and conditions

The request for postponement must be made between October 1st and December 4th, 2020 by the season’s pass holder. A form will be available on request.

The deferred subscription cannot be transferred to another person.

If the rate for the 2021-2022 season is higher, the subscriber will not have to pay the difference.

The season’s pass must not have been claimed.

Valid for all types of season’s pass.

In case of postponement, the administrative fee of $ 30 + taxes will not be applicable.


In the event of a closure or interruption of the resort’s services caused by a government order, here are the terms:


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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is some info from Tremblant regarding the ski season:


The health and well-being of Alterra Mountain Company guests, employees, and local communities has and will always be our company’s highest priority. Since last winter’s resort closures, our teams have been working to develop operating plans and protocols designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We are intently focused on complying with local, county, and state regulations and offering the best guest experience possible for the 20/21 season. The effectiveness of these plans will rely on your cooperation with our enforcement of face coverings, social distancing and crowd management on and off the mountain.
This effort starts with controlling resort visitation levels to avoid overcrowding. We are prioritizing access for season pass holders and will tightly regulate the number of daily lift tickets that will be available by advance purchase only. To this end, walk-up window sales will be eliminated, and the sale of most undated lift ticket products will be discontinued until further notice.
The pandemic has disrupted our lives in so many unpredictable ways. Medical professionals and scientists tell us that this constantly changing dynamic will likely continue until effective vaccines and therapeutics are developed and become available to the general public. Alterra Mountain Company and our destinations are committed to staying on top of the inevitable changes to come as best practices and health regulations throughout the two countries, six states, three Canadian provinces and 15 mountain communities in which we operate rapidly evolve. Our teams will communicate these changes to you as soon as possible so we can all adjust and plan accordingly.
Like you, I’m excited to get back to winter and the skiing and riding to come. These unprecedented times will continue to challenge us and will require tolerance and effort by all of us to help keep each other healthy and our destinations open for your enjoyment.
I look forward to seeing you on the mountain.  

Rusty Gregory 
Chief Executive Officer 
Alterra Mountain Company

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jay Peak update: 



We wanted to let you know that we will be refunding all 2020+21 Season Passes purchased by our Canadian guests.

Given the continued uncertainty around the re-opening of the border, we didn't want to cash any final payments at this time (all checks we have on hand will be destroyed). Instead, we'll be reimbursing all of your deposits/payments and when the border is confirmed to re-open, you will have access to our best (tier 1) season pass rates or, if it's later in the winter, we'll develop a pro-rated price should you want to finish out the season with us here at Jay Peak. 

The refund process has begun on our side. It will take 3-4 weeks to get checks to you (it takes us some time to get them all together and the post, particularly to Canada, has been slower these days). 

To say we're sad about having to take this step is a massive understatement. While we're sure you're disappointed not to be skiing and riding here this winter, we know we'll be missing an important part of what makes Jay Peak, Jay Peak. We're sorry your plans for the winter have been derailed and will look forward to seeing you again, just as soon as cross border travel is permitted. 

Should you have any questions, please email customerservice@jaypeakresort.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

More Tremblant info about COVID skiing:

To our Tremblant community,

As all winter sports enthusiasts begin to think about winter, we suspect many questions come to mind. While we are working on getting you answers, we can assure you the health and safety of our employees, guests and community remain at the forefront of our decision process as we prepare for the 2020-21 season.

We understand that you may need now more than ever to reconnect with the mountain air and the thrill of hitting the slopes. It is why we are happy to announce that we plan to open as per usual in November whilst respecting appropriate safety guidelines.

We have prepared, analyzed and planned various winter scenarios, taking into account physical distancing and other health measures according to the recommendations of Public Health authorities. We are working closely with the entire Alterra Mountain Company family to make the experience more user-friendly and to promote accessibility to our mountain.

Here are some highlights to date when operating in green, yellow and orange zones:

Access to the usual ski terrain;

Controlled resort visitation levels to reduce contact between people;

Priority to season pass holders, no reservation required;

Advance lift tickets purchase for specific dates as quantities are limited. Tickets can only be purchased on tremblant.ca and through the call center starting October 19th;

Sale of most undated lift ticket products will be discontinued this season, including the Latitude card, tickets sold at Costco and corporate tickets (Ski Max);

Loading lift capacity as usual with the exception of the gondola running at 50%, as per Public Health recommendations. Related parties can sit together, unrelated guests may also elect to sit together but it will not be required;

Modified interior eating spaces, in compliance with Public Health standards including 2m physical distancing. All personal effects must remain in your vehicles, no bag can be left in common areas;

Ski and snowboard rental will be offered. Equipment will be disinfected between each use;

Increased cleaning in all common areas;

Guests to respect the health measures in place such as frequent hand washing and compulsory face covering in closed public spaces, in the lifts and in the lift lines. The neck warmer or hood covering the mouth and nose can replace the face coverings while skiing and, in the lifts, as per Public Health recommendations; 

Daily monitoring of all employees to ensure they are free of symptoms. All employees will wear the required personal protective equipment and will be trained on health protocols related to COVID-19;

Continuous updates of our sanitary measures by staying up to date with all government announcements.

When operating in red zone, the following will override some of the above plan: 

Only related parties can load the lifts together. For unrelated guests, the 2m rule will apply.

Day lodges will only be used as shelter for guests to warm up, with limited access time. Food and beverage services will be closed.

You will notice there are no details regarding Snow School, the information will be communicated shortly. 

We learned a lot from our operations this summer. These valuable experiences are being used to build a strong winter plan so we can reconnect with the passion that fuels us all. We are committed to keeping you informed and thank you for your loyalty and understanding during this unprecedented time.

We look forward to seeing you on the slopes,

Patrice Malo
President and Chief Operating Officer

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update from Calabogie Peaks

We, like many other resorts are gearing up for this winter season and we wanted to update you all on what our operational changes will include for the 2020-2021 season. We are taking action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff and community is paramount, so we can all enjoy the winter season as we know it. Please take note below of some changes that will be implemented this year, with support from the Renfrew County District Health Unit:

RFID Ticketing

We are working very hard to implement a new RFID ticketing system this winter. This will include both Season Passes and daily lift tickets, allowing for a smoother transition from arrival at the resort to getting on the slopes. Once obtained, an RFID lift ticket may be reloaded online – minimizing the interactions between staff and guests and reducing lines at the ticketing window. We hope to have this system in play by December 1st. We will continue to request cashless transactions across the resort, with tickets available for purchase from the Adventure Centre’s outdoor wickets.

Lodge Restrictions

 As with all indoor spaces, we will be following the Provincial mandate of reducing our capacity of indoor occupancy. Guests can expect a longer wait time to use the indoor facilities such as washrooms and our food & beverage outlets. Indoor seating will be available only to those who have purchased food from the lodge, and we ask that table use is limited to 30 minutes or less. Personal belongings and bags of any kind (lunch bags, coolers, boot bags) will not be permitted indoors. We ask that guests dawn their ski boots in their vehicles and arrive at the base mountain dressed and ready to ski. While we know it is not ideal, these changes are needed to keep everyone safe. 

Those who have purchase seasonal lockers will still have access to the locker room to store their gear. If you wish to purchase a locker for the season, please contact the Adventure Centre: programs@calabogie.com 

Additional Seating

In effort to provide more space for guests to come inside and warm up, we will be opening an additional 8,000sqft of indoor space at our base mountain. Known to staff as the “Pumphouse” this two-story building houses our snowmaking operations and now – more guests! The second level of this building provides one of the best views of the hill, located at the bottom of Lakeview chair. We will also provide additional outdoor seating spaces around base mountain, with picnic tables and firepits.

Face Coverings

Face masks and coverings will be mandatory in virtually every aspect of the resort. Masks are required in all indoor spaces except for while eating or drinking, as well as in outdoor lines (ticketing, lift queues) and while riding chairlifts. Please continue to be respectful of others and maintain 6 feet from those not in your social bubble.

Arrive Together, Ride Together

We ask that those who arrive together by car, stay together during their ski day. Try to limit your interactions with others in close quarters and remain with your bubble while riding the chairlifts. Treat your car like your personal base lodge – turn on the heater, crank up some music & enjoy your picnic lunch with friends and family in the safety and comfort of your vehicle. 

Ticketing Limitations

We understand many large resorts have decided to limit their daily lift ticket sales and give Season Pass holders priority access to the slopes each day. This decision is beneficial for mountains that often have hoards of tourist buses travelling to their destination each day – something that we do not see at Calabogie Peaks. At this time, we do not intend to limit our ticket sales or Season Passes, however this can change depending on what the Ontario government asks of us. All notices will be posted on our website and social media channels as they become available. 

Snow School

At this time we have decided to delay the registration of our snow school programming until we have a better understanding of how our operations will run this winter. The health and safety of our guests and staff is our highest priority and we are keeping a close eye on the Ontario school boards and their protocols and plans to keep the little ones safe. Rest assured we have full intentions of running our 8- & 10-week programs, in addition to private, semi-private and discover lessons. Once registration is open and available, an announcement will be made through our electronic newsletters. To sign up, simply scroll to the bottom of www.calabogie.com and enter your email address there. 

Increased Sanitization

As with all businesses, you will see an increase in the number of sanitization stations around the property. All guests are asked to sanitize prior to entering any indoor facility at the resort. We have increased our frequency of sanitizing high touch areas such as countertops and tables, door handles and bathroom facilities. 

Our goal is to offer a great ski experience to everyone, while remaining as safe as possible. We recommend reading the Ski Well, Be Well document from the Canadian Ski Council (posted on our website), prior to visiting the resort. Through respect, kindness, and patience we can all work together to get outside and enjoy doing what we love – exploring the slopes through healthy outdoor exercise. 

Stay Safe & Ski Hard,

Jim Hemlin

Chief Operating Officer

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  • 1 month later...

The Laurentian region has now moved to RED Status for COVID-19. As a result, one person or one household per lift (except gondolas, in which 2 people from separate homes can ride together).

This seemed to be a region that was relatively spared until now. Let's hope the situation does not worsen further. With the holidays and New Year's just around the corner, there is great reason for concern. Let's hope people follow public health guidelines and act responsibly.

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@Shane I guess we'll see about the one person/household per lift. I don't think there is any real way for them to police this. And it seems silly to seat a single on a six pack. Next time I'm up there I'll let you know how it all goes -- so far they have been great at seating singles when desired. 

Also - not sure why you would have a single on a six pack in open air, and two people from unrelated households in the same enclosed gondola with minimal air circulation...seems like a weird rule to me.

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@Gordo while the Mayor of Gatineau would like to see the roadblocks again, Legault has said it is not his preference to bring back the regional barriers, and also that we know more now than we did in the spring. I wouldn't be surprised if non-essential travel is limited to isolated communities in northern regions again, but I think for now we are good.

And, this lockdown will not affect skiing - while travel to other zones is not recommended, particularly if it is a different colour zone, it is not forbidden. That said, you can go skiing but you need to pack your own water (or not-water) and lunch, and access to the lodge is limited to bathroom access and maximum 15 minutes for warming up (with limited capacity). 

Saint-Sauveur has opted to limit access to all of its mountains to passholders only and has paused all day ticket sales *and* season pass sales indefinitely. So, the great news is that it won't get that much busier up there. I have slacked on a couple of trip reports, but in general the average wait time on the Sommet Express is about ten minutes, and should be much less now that several other lifts are open along with Morin Heights, Olympia and Gabriel. 

I was thinking of going today but it is way colder than I expected and I am just not ready for squeaky snow just yet!

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I see that Ontario is going into hardcore lockdown as of Boxing Day (?) for a couple of weeks which includes the closure of ski areas. I spotted announcements from Mount Antoine, and Laurentian Ski Club that they will be closing for this lockdown period. Very sad to see an interruption of the ski season especially at this time of year. So far Quebec is okay as outdoor activities are allowed. I haven't been out yet but hoping to before the weekend if the weather is somewhat decent.

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