November 2020

Mountain Spy :: November 2020

“Will I be able to go in the lodge for warm-up breaks with my two little kids this winter?”

Written by David Meeker | 0 comment


First contact: Female.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Um, yes, but it’s going to be in a limited capacity and probably a limited time. We’re not exactly sure about how much time, but we will have a limited capacity. You’re going to find that industry-wide.

SAM: I figured as much.

Staff: Yeah. We have made some expansions outside to accommodate outdoor eating, and we’re adding some outdoor heaters, et cetera. But, spending a lot of time in the lodge is probably not going to be a thing this year, unfortunately (laughs).

SAM: (laughs) I totally get it.

Staff: Another industry-wide policy you’ll find is that we’re not going to allow belongings to be stored inside the lodge, either. We’re going to ask that if you do come inside to get changed, please take your belongings back out to your car before you go out on the hill.

SAM: OK. That makes sense. So if there’s room in the lodge we will be able to go inside to warm up for a few minutes?

Staff: Correct, yup.

SAM: Cool. Thanks!

Score: 8
Comment: No ambiguity here. She knew what she was talking about and delivered it politely and professionally.


Answering phone: Automated machine. Chose guest services.

First contact: Male.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: It’s definitely going to look a lot different. The lodge is mainly going to be for food. So we do have a max capacity for the number of people who can be in there at one time. If you guys are getting lunch, you can definitely sit down and eat your food. But, unfortunately we won’t have anywhere to hang out like before, where one parent can stay in and the other can go out. Um, you’ll be able to go in and get a drink at the bar, but we’re going to ask you to drink it outside. I know that’s not the best, having a cold drink in your hand when its negative two (laughs).

SAM: (laughs)

Staff: It’s definitely going to look a lot different. So, if you’re eating, you can definitely be in the lodge. If you’re not, well, the short answer is pretty much no.

SAM: OK, right on. I can dig that. Best to be safe. Skiing with littles is going to be interesting.

Staff: Yeah, it is. Thanks for understanding.

SAM: Thanks for the info!

Staff: Anytime!

Score: 8
Comment: Super nice dude. He delivered some tough news for a parent to hear, but best to know up front than beat around the bush.


Answering phone: Automated machine. Chose general.

First contact: Male.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Yeah, so, I basically know everything our website knows, so if you go to the front page (walks me through where to find the COVID plans on the site). That link is gonna give you a point-by-point breakdown for what each department is doing. For lodges, we’re gonna have door attendants checking capacity rates. They’ll make sure you can come inside, let you in, and basically say, “Hey, this space is only for warming up, bathrooms, and food and beverage sales. Please do not stay for more than 15 minutes.”

SAM: Gotcha.

Staff: I’m sure if you went inside to warm up but also gave us some food and beverage sales, an attendant isn’t going to walk up and tell you that you need to leave right at 15 minutes if you’re not done eating!

SAM: Just eat fast, right?

Staff: (laughs) Well, I’m sure there are gonna be warm-up areas closer to the door attendants, bathroom lines with six feet spacing marked, and then a whole food and beverage area with barred-off tables kind of thing.

SAM: Right on. Sounds good.

Staff: Yeah, that’s what I’m getting a sense of from my co-workers and the website. Limited capacity, warm up, bathrooms, food and beverage. Don’t bring anything in, just your body, get out within 15 to 30 minutes.

SAM: Glad there’ll be a place to warm up with the kids.

Staff: Oh, my gosh. I’m sure we’ll have every little bit of indoor space open to allow for people to warm up. Just a limited number of people.

SAM: Cool. What about getting ready? Are we booting up at the car?

Staff: Yup. Booting up at the car. We basically want no soft goods in and out of the lodge (explains rental, cubbies, and sympathizes about skiing with little kids).

SAM: Alrighty, thanks for the info, man.

Staff: You’re welcome!

Score: 7
Comment: Usually, points are added for directing the Spy to the website for more info, but I wasn’t a huge fan of how he presented that at the start. Otherwise, he did great. Sounds like this place has it dialed.


Answering phone: Automated machine. Chose season pass, eventually (and finally got a human).

First contact: Female.

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: Well, right now, umm, how old are your little kids?

SAM: They are 5 and 7.

Staff: OK, well, right now daycare is not available.

SAM: I’m asking about using the lodge when we’re out skiing with them.

Staff: Right, right. Right now we’re working on improving the lodge and making sure it’s safe for social distancing. And we’re limiting daily lift tickets. Season passholders will have guaranteed time on the snow, and the lift tickets are contingent on how many we can sell based on capacity, um, regulations. I’m not really sure how that’s going to go. Did you purchase season passes or would you like to purchase a season pass?

SAM: No, we haven’t. We’re trying to wrap our heads around what this winter will look like, and skiing with little kids is tough, especially when it’s cold. I’ve heard some ski areas aren’t opening their lodges, so— (interrupted)

Staff: We’re planning on opening the lodges. There will just be very limited capacity, and they’re working on some outside seating. You know, we’re working through it to see what‘s the best thing we can do. Lodges will be open in terms of the bathroom and stuff like that. But we’re, ah, still working on it at this point.

SAM: Totally understandable. No worries.

Staff: And, so, um, if you haven’t purchased passes yet, I highly recommend that you do so (continues to put on the full-court press to buy a pass). Did you wanna purchase passes?

SAM: Nope. Just seeing if we’ll be able to warm up this winter, so we haven’t made any decisions on passes yet.

Staff: (Mentions some kids programs and such) And, like I said, if you get a season pass, you’re guaranteed time on the snow.

SAM: Good to know.

Staff: Yeah, so, if you want to purchase a pass (tells me the deadline and why I should buy a pass…again).

SAM: Okie dokie. Thanks.

thumbs downScore: 1
Comment: Whoa. Pump the brakes. I realize she’s in the season pass office, but nobody else picked up the phone at this place. I just want to know if I can go inside the lodge when my kids need a break, which she had info about. Her hard sell on season passes was off-putting at best.


Answering phone: Automated machine. Chose general information.

First contact: Female (with a delightful Midwestern accent).

SAM: Stated question.

Staff: I’m happy to explain the stuff we’re doing and changing. We also have a full COVID page on our website that has everything we’re going to do and change for this winter, so check that out, too.

SAM: Cool. Will do.

Staff: So, our X lodge, which is our big beige and burgundy building, it will be open, but we’re just not allowing crockpots—food that can be, you know, shared. We are gonna open Y lodge up on the hill, so you can go in there. You can do picnic lunches, like sandwiches and stuff like that if you want. Our cafeteria is going to be a different setup than it normally is, too, as far as food and what options there are. But we are going to have the lodges open for warming.

SAM: OK, great.

Staff: We’re also building an outside deck on our bar and restaurant so if people feel uncomfortable inside they can eat and sit outside on the new deck. Obviously, it’s outside, but it’s somewhere to sit instead of sitting in the snow (laughs).

SAM: (laughs) That makes sense. So, if we go inside should we keep an eye on how much time we spend in there?

Staff: No, I don’t foresee that being a problem. Our main concern is the food, and obviously occupancy. But we’re handling occupancy by how many tickets are going out, as well. So, if you have any kind of pass, you’re guaranteed a ticket. Folks that come for a day ticket may not get one depending on our occupancy that day.

SAM: Got it.

Staff: So, definitely go onto our website (explains where the COVID page is) and that explains everything in great detail.

SAM: Awesome. Good to know. Thanks!

Staff: You’re welcome! Have a good day.

thumbs upScore: 10
Comment: Maybe it was the accent, maybe the delivery—either way, she did a great job explaining what I can expect there this winter.
Identity revealed: Caberfae Peaks