COVID Brings Changes to Monarch


Pictured above is a view from Monarch Mountain’s Garfield lift of both the Garfield and Pioneer lifts. This strange year has caused Monarch to make many changes to how they run things up on the mountain.

Sylvie Wolkenbreit, Staff Reporter

This year has brought along with it some crazy events. Monarch Mountain will need to make some changes moving into the 2020-21 ski season. It is important that every skier and snowboarder using the mountain this year is aware of the new rules and regulations put in place to keep people safe and distanced. Information can be found on Monarch’s website under the COVID-19 section.

All types of passes are still available; however, some passes have blackout dates to limit the capacity on historically busy days. Monarch also asks you to try to ski during the weekdays as opposed to the weekends and not during the busy breaks, if possible. The season pass has no blackout dates, but the other passes (such as the 4-pack) typically have blackout days on December 26 through January 3 and February 13 & 14. Tickets purchased for a specific day will only allow you to use the mountain that day due to capacity regulations. Only half-day lessons are available this season, with discounted afternoon lessons to help spread people out. See the website for more details about lessons.

Indoor seating capacity has been reduced by 50% with time limits and no reserving of tables. The Monarch staff sanitizes each table in between use. Face coverings are mandatory when inside. No outside food may be brought into the lodge, including sack lunches, crock pots, etc. Food that was not purchased at/from Monarch must be eaten outside or in a car. This season a new outdoor food truck, Fly-By Burritos, is available outside. Childcare at the Children’s Center has been suspended for the season. Sanitation in the lodge and bathrooms has been significantly improved.

Face coverings outside are mandatory if you are within six feet of other people. They are required in the lift line and while riding the lift. Individuals can now ride alone on all lifts besides Pioneer (four-seater). On the Pioneer, two singles are placed at either side of the chair with two seat distance in between them. When skiing/snowboarding, masks are not mandatory unless you come within six feet of another person. Each day, Monarch employees participate in health screenings to ensure the safety of everyone they come into contact with.

Monarch Mountain had planned to open on November 20; however, due to a lack of snowfall, they ended up opening on November 27. As long as the snow permits, Monarch should be able to stay open from now on. Keep an eye out for updates on Monarch’s website and on their Facebook!