Skican Quality Ski Holidays

Answers to some of your COVID questions

*NOTE: These questions came from our participants during our Dockside Chat in July. If you want to learn more please register for our next webinar here on August 20 at 3 pm EST. You can access the recording from the last session here

 

From our friends at Panorama
What facilities (i.e. dining, hotels, etc.) are expected to be open? Panorama will aim to have a wide array of amenities and services in place for this coming winter. There will be some services that will change considerably due to physical distancing measures while other services may have to be suspended altogether. Panorama plans to open the mountain and run lifts as snow & weather allows. Plans for daily scheduled services and amenities are being actively worked on. We’ll operate as much as we can.

What safety measures will resorts have in place (i.e. distancing, mandatory masks, etc.)? Panorama currently is working alongside industry and the public health office of British Columbia in order to deliver resort leading measures to prevent the further spread of COVD-19. For more detailed information please see https://www.panoramaresort.com/while-you-are-here/mountain-safety/health-and-safety/

Will capacity be limited on the resorts? For the resort operators, what services may not be available? Hot tubs, pools, gyms, cozy gathering at fireplaces. At this time, Panorama is running the majority of its resort services during summer operations. As we move into our winter operations starting December 11th, much of what we are currently doing will be reviewed by the public health office of British Columbia before carrying on or adding others.  

Will resort improvements be put on hold this year (2020)? While Panorama’s Pine Inn will see its multi-million dollar interior  / exterior upgrade delayed due to the uncertainty of product procurement & delivery during the renovation phase, the company has pushed on with further investment into its state of the art snowmaking system with additional snow guns for the 2020-21 winter season. Also, there will be new gladed areas and lines in Taynton Bowl. This is the third consecutive winter for terrain improvements in the “Monster” terrain pod.

 

From our friends at Mt. Norquay
How will social distancing be practiced in tight spaces such as chairlifts and gondolas? lift line (losing merge of multiple lines? single line with 2m space between?); on the lift (1 person only? what about skiers in same COVID bubble?); gondola?
The first step to any of this will be asking guests and staff to remain home if they have any symptoms.

We will have signage located throughout the resorts and on our websites informing guests of measures in place and each ski area will complete an internal assessment to create specific guidance for their unique circumstances.

For lifts, gondola’s, and lift lines we plan to follow the guidelines in place that suggest the following.

For gondolas:

  • Require riders to wear masks or face coverings, if barriers or physical distancing measures are not possible
  • arrange seating to allow distancing
  • advise riders not to touch surfaces
  • advise guests to only ride with their cohorts
  • provide sanitizer at the load and un-load
  • slow the lift if required for loading and un-loading
  • Staff will limit the handling of guests equipment
  • Increase the cleaning and disinfecting of common touchpoints

For lifts & line ups we will:

  • Encourage physical distancing in areas where riders will be lining up, or require masks or face coverings.
  • Require riders to wear masks or face coverings, if barriers or physical distancing measures are not implemented.
  • Consider reducing the number of riders on each chair lift and or limit ridership to cohorts.
  • For example, a quad chair will allow 2 guests that are not part of the same cohort to allow for proper distancing. Or riders wearing masks can ride at full capacity.
  • Line ups can be monitored for mask use
  • Chair lift attendants should wear masks or face coverings and perform frequent hand hygiene

All these measures will affect normal operations of ski resort far greater on peak days with peak crowds, on many weekdays many of these measures will not be required as resort capacity ifs designed for larger crowds. Consider traveling on weekends and skiing on weekdays for a better experience and less crowding.

From our friends at Air Canada
What will air travel look like (spacing, cleaning, air filtration)? What are the airlines doing to mitigate risk for travelers? 
The whole customer experience I spoke about is available on our website where you will find a handy travel guide specific to Air Canada from the time customers arrive at the airport to when they’re onboard:

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/travelguidelines.html

What will Canadian skiers arriving through the US face?
We strongly suggest consulting each country’s government websites for updated entry requirements which may include additional quarantine measures.

I am interested in traveling to Europe next year, what are the possibilities?
The following link to our website provides a list of the current routes we’re operating to Europe.  https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/route-updates.html#/atlantic

The possibility of expanding our service to Europe all depends on what restrictions local authorities and the EU have in place to allow Canadians to travel.  This is evolving on a regular basis and again, we encourage customers to consult each country’s government websites for entry requirements and restrictions.

I have heard of a travel bubble between Sydney and Vancouver. Are you able to share some information on this?
I have no information to share on this.  Our flights from Vancouver are currently suspended until the end of September with service planned to resume at the beginning of October.

What measures will Air Canada be taking this coming ski season to correct recurring problems of not transferring customers ski equipment onto a connecting flight (ie. Calgary - Kamloops)? This past March we were told that the connecting flight to Kamloops did not have enough storage capacity in the luggage area to accommodate all skiers' equipment. Some got their equipment on time, others did not. As a result, we lost a ski day in an already short ski week vacation. This is not the first time our ski equipment did not arrive for us to enjoy the first day of skiing on our vacation. 
The last thing we want to do is inconvenience our customers by not delivering their ski equipment or any of their baggage for that matter.  Our teams on the ground, specifically at airports where we see a significant amount of ski traffic, have measures in place to mitigate possible inconveniences to customers wherever possible.   We work with all our ski partners to ensure that we receive a list of ski equipment traveling on our flights to allow us to be pro-active in our planning.

Unfortunately, at times there may be operational and weather related constraints beyond our control that may affect the delivery of ski equipment on the same flight as our customers.  The main goal of our operations team on the ground is to ensure skis are delivered to our customers in a timely fashion whether it be on the originally scheduled flight or via alternate flight/ground arrangements as required.

Is there any thought on requiring travelers to be tested before departure for flights assuming results can be processed quickly enough prior to said flight.
On July 8th,  Air Canada announced that we are working with Spartan Bioscience Inc., an Ottawa-based biotechnology leader in portable DNA testing technology, to assess how best to deploy Spartan's portable COVID-19 testing technology in the aviation sector.  Air Canada's strategy for managing COVID-19 has been to develop and apply multiple layers of biosafety measures for customers and employees. We believe the availability of a rapid, accurate, portable molecular test for COVID-19 will add yet another effective layer.   The following is the link to the media release on our website:  https://aircanada.mediaroom.com/2020-07-08-Air-Canada-to-Explore-Rapid-COVID-19-Testing-with-Spartan-Bioscience

Do you think you will be allowing Americans to fly? 
This is not an Air Canada decision.  Restrictions are imposed by the local governments and not Air Canada.  We abide by whatever government regulations/restrictions are in place for allowing passengers to travel.

 
From our friends at SkiBig3
How will shuttle services from airport to/from ski town and ski town to/from resort be managed (social distancing, cleaning, air quality? 
Big news this week (end of July) in that Alberta Health Service (AHS) has approved facemasks as an acceptable method to reduce spacing requirements in gondola cabins. This is a huge, huge deal for winter.

Lots in motion around transportation and the ski/transport industry is working with AHS in an effort to get the same for private bus transfers. Currently, public transportation is allowed to use facemasks and run at full capacity but not private. This will be a critical element in making transportation viable for everyone.