Long queues but no sold out days yet
[ By Kendra Walker ]
You’ve probably heard that reservations are required to ski Crested Butte Mountain Resort this winter, as part of Vail Resorts’ initiative to keep the slopes spaced out and safe.
And if you already bought your Epic Pass for the 2020/21 season, you probably know that the online reservation system is now live. Starting November 6, Epic Pass holders could start making priority reservation days for the core season, with the ability to reserve seven days between December 7 and April 4. Starting December 8, regular lift tickets will go on sale.
Because this was the first chance pass holders had to reserve ski days, Vail anticipated a larger volume of traffic to the site and implemented a lobby and online waiting room to accommodate all requests and to help avoid site outages.
CBMR could not share specifics on how many people tuned in to make reservations this past weekend, but some Crested Butte pass holders on Facebook reported queues in the 100,000s; many shared their difficulties navigating the system and waiting for the busy phone and chat systems for customer service.
CBMR senior communications specialist Will Shoemaker said the resort understands the excitement for the season ahead is high, but there’s no rush. “We designed this exclusive month-long booking window to accommodate our pass holders’ requests before lift tickets go on sale December 8, so there’s no need for pass holders to rush,” he said.
Shoemaker continued, “Many of our guests were able to navigate the system without difficulty and thanked us afterward for how smoothly the process went. There were many instances over the weekend when volume was such that the waiting room was not needed. The longer wait times on Friday were gone by Saturday, and there is no wait time right now [as of press time],” he said. “We fully anticipate that traffic will ease once pass holders have locked in their Priority Reservation days during this initial, month-long booking window. For most days this season you’ll go directly to the reservation page, and we anticipate that we will be able to process reservations quickly.”
According to Shoemaker, every core season day at Crested Butte still has availability. “Not one day has booked up in the core season,” he said, noting that weekends and holidays were the most popular windows that have been reserved so far. Guests may view current availability online by going to https://www.epicpass.com/plan-your-trip/lift-access/check-availability.aspx.
Crested Butte early season reservations for November 25 to December 7 are also exclusive to pass holders, and no day lift tickets will be sold during the early season. Pass holder early season days will open up for reservations on Wednesday, November 18.
Also starting on November 18 and for the rest of the season, pass holders may make as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allow, which does not count against priority reservation days. Those week-of reservations will be released on Wednesdays for the following nine days.
Based on the initial turnout, Shoemaker said it’s been great to see the excitement for the season among pass holders so far. “As we learned during the summer, there is a lot of appetite to safely recreate outdoors during this pandemic. Because of our reservation system, we can adapt to meet local guidelines and still provide that outlet for skiers and riders this season.”