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Sun Valley Resort is scheduled to start its skiing and snowboarding season on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Sun Valley Resort will again be implementing specialized health and safety protocols this winter at its ski areas, lodges and other facilities—though the rules won’t be as restrictive as last season.

In line with city ordinances in Sun Valley and Ketchum, masks will be required in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. The resort will not require masks outdoors, including while people are in lift lines, on lifts or in the Roundhouse Express gondola, but is encouraging guests to physically distance when possible. It won’t limit capacity on chairlifts, but riders can ask lift attendees not to seat them with members of other groups.

Resort employees are being encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and will undergo daily health screenings “for their safety and protection as well the safety of guests and the community,” the resort stated. The resort will have bag storage at the River Run base of Bald Mountain, as well as an après-ski bar outside the lodge, so guests can choose to remain outdoors.

Other measures Sun Valley has implemented include installing hand-sanitizer dispensers at entrances and other gathering areas, and enhanced cleaning of resort facilities. Guests are also asked to follow recommended measures to limit the spread of viruses, including handwashing and staying home if they are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19 or another contagious illness.

The resort released plans for winter operations on Monday, with guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and Blaine County health officials.

“We are excited to commence the 2021-2022 season with a few updates to our operating plan that focus on the health and safety of all of our employees and guests,” said Sun Valley Vice President and General Manager Pete Sonntag. “The resulting plan sets Sun Valley Resort up for another successful season by following the guidance from the CDC and local health officials, as well as the learnings from last season.”

The resort has started selling lift tickets and lessons online. This year, Sun Valley is offering one-day, two-day, three-day and four-day lift tickets for Bald Mountain and one-day or two-day lift tickets for Dollar Mountain. The tickets do not have to be used consecutively. They can be used four out of six days, three out of five days, or two out of three days.

“Similar to last year, the resort will be monitoring capacity to ensure physical distancing and avoid crowding on the mountain,” the resort stated.

The resort stated that it anticipates tickets to be available for most days to ski on Baldy and Dollar but strongly encourages guests to buy tickets in advance, as some days could sell out. Tickets can be purchased at sunvalley.com.

In addition to a variety of lessons, the resort will also offer its Alpine Au Pair program this year at Dollar Mountain. The program is designed to help children ages 3-5 improve their skills and boost their confidence on the mountain.

The resort also stated that it expects a busy season at the Roundhouse restaurant on Bald Mountain and encourages reservations. The resort has installed a new food-service area at the River Run Lodge designed to improve the flow of people.

Additional details and updates on safety protocols and policies can be found on the resort’s app and website, at sunvalley.com.

Sun Valley—which has been ranked the No. 1 ski resort in the West and North America for two years in a row—is scheduled to open its 86th season on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, dependent on snow conditions.

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