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Will you take a bus to ski this winter?

As we approach Labor Day, many of our thoughts turn toward skiing. Usually, Parkites make ski-lesson and season pass decisions around the end-of-summer holiday. This year it is more complicated.

If you are an Epic Pass holder from last year, you’d probably get about 20% off on your pass this year due to Vail’s earlier-than-planned closing. Similar things are happening with the Ikon Pass and Deer Valley season passes. However, then you have to consider Vail’s reservation system. What’s that going to look like? Given the backlash to the reservation system, Deer Valley will likely get more visitors than before. That’s almost impossible to fathom, given the what has happened at DV due to Ikoners from SLC.

Yet, I’ve been thinking more and more about the buses. It’s been years since I have parked in a ski resort parking lot. I always take the bus from Kimball Junction (or Ecker) to Deer Valley, PCMR, or Canyons. However, with Covid-19, I can’t imagine there are many worse places than sitting in an enclosed bus with ten other riders (maybe forty other riders at times).

From KJ to Canyons is ten minutes on the White Electric #10 Bus. If I believe the science, then I have little to worry about even if everyone else on that bus is infected, because I am only around them, in an enclosed box, for ten minutes (not fifteen). So, for me, that argues going with an Epic Pass.

If I rode to Deer Valley on the White Electric bus, it would be at least 30 minutes and a transfer to an in-town option that goes to DV (another 10 minutes). Those in town buses to DV are often REALLY packed, but maybe not this year over the same virus concerns. Yet, I’d be spending forty minutes on buses with little airflow. Then, I’d be hoping that the busses to DV won’t be packed.

Do I wager $2500 on a Deer Valley ski pass to the hopes that the buses will be OK? Or do I Wager $700 on an Epic Pass that requires reservations, but the bus ride is shorter? Oh, and will Deer Valley do the reservation thing, too? Perhaps they are just slower than Vail and so they haven’t announced it.

So, I’ll likely do the Epic Pass. It’s funny how committing to public transport, where you can, completely influences decisions. I suppose I could drive to Deer Valley. However, I think parking at any resort this winter is going to be a total nightmare.


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