SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. -- As statewide coronavirus numbers rise, Summit County has implemented a 10 p.m. curfew beginning Friday, Nov. 6.
The county will also move from Safer at Home Level Yellow: Concern to Safer at Home Level Orange: High Risk (previously known as Level 2 and Level 3, respectively).
The devastating COVID-19 news comes just as Keystone Resort is set to open for the season Friday, as well.
The mix of exciting and distressing news is causing high anxiety in mountain towns ready to start the ski season.
Inside the village grocery and liquor store at the base of Keystone, manager Cindy Massaro knows this year will look and feel different, but they are ready.
“We’re stocked up now with groceries, liquor, gifts and souvenirs, so we’re all ready for (the crowds),” Massaro said. “Of course, you know, feeling that it’s going to be a good season – it might not be as much as some years, but we’re hoping for a good season.”
At the base of the resort, crews are testing the gondolas for opening day.
“I’m first in line for tomorrow’s opening,” said Tom Miller, who had been in line since Wednesday. “All night. I actually got here 49 hours early. The concrete right by the gondola is heated.”
“Opening day is finally here, which we’re so excited about,” said Loryn Roberson, communications manager for Keystone Resort.
New rules this season include only riding the gondola or chair lifts with members of your own party, face masks while you’re in lift lines, ticket lines or the restroom. You must also wear a face mask while skiing or riding unless you keep six feet of distance between you and other skiers and riders.
Reservations will also be required at Keystone and all Vail Resorts.
“If you want to ski at the mountain, you’re going to have to make a reservation ahead of your arrival,” Roberson said. “Pass holders can also make reservations in advance if vacationing or visiting for multiple days in a row. You can also lock in seven priority reservation days.”
That has some locals like Deena Sveinsson concerned.
“You have to get online,” Sveinsson said. “There’s issues with that. People don’t know their schedules a week ahead of time. I don’t. It’s not a system geared toward locals. It’s geared toward people who are coming from other places outside of Colorado.”
Vail Resorts insists locals will be able to make reservations day-of.
Most other Colorado ski resorts are not requiring reservations. Time will tell how well Vail’s reservation system works.
Massaro is just happy the season is starting.
“We’re excited,” she said. “If you would like to come up and visit us - we’d love to see all of you.”