The weather is hot and summer is in full swing, but the downhill day trips committee has been planning for snow and winter! Thinking ahead to next season, Erika and David (Director of Snowschool) met virtually with all of our downhill resorts. Hills are fully committed to being open and offering skiing and snowboarding, and are excited to welcome back HPSC skiers and snowboarders. As expected, hills will have COVID policies in place for next season. Masks will be mandatory inside, social distancing protocols will be in place and capacity will be limited. As HPSC reserves our dates well before the winter, we will have reserved lift tickets to all hills. This will include our bus and drive-up members. We are also planning for protocols on the bus, organization to drive-up registrations, and lessons. We will be releasing more details in the fall and closer to the winter, but for now, rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure we can get on the hills and enjoy our ski days as much as any other year.
I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I’m sure there is still lots of sun and heat to enjoy.
The board has been hard at work all summer planning our upcoming ski season – made especially challenging, as you know, by COVID-19.
Membership for the club is now open (as of Sept. 1). I know that many of you are probably unsure about signing up when there are so many unknowns. I hope that this update will provide a little more clarity about what is (likely) to come.
First, our membership fee is set at $140. You can sign up and if you don’t use your membership (i.e., sign up for a long trip or day trip, take a lesson) by the end of January and you don’t want to use your membership the rest of the year, you can email us (email@example.com) by 11:59pm on February 1st to get it deferred to the following season. Doing this will not affect your quest towards a 25-year membership.
Second, while I don’t have a crystal ball, I think the following is the most likely scenario for our XC season: we will run one bus/trip at reduced capacity (likely around 30 members). We have no idea what demand for the buses will be, but we anticipate less demand. If there is enough , we will try our best to run trips on Saturday and Sunday. If there is not enough demand for that, we will reduce to one trip a weekend, alternating Saturdays and Sundays. Members can drive up to meet the bus and take lessons (for which you will have to sign up online so we can plan). If there is not enough interest to run the bus at all, we may consider organizing a drive up season. We would offer lessons at the resort, but instructors and members would be responsible for getting there on their own. You would need to be a club member to get lessons, and this is contingent on our Ski School being willing to participate.
Third, we are discussing a number of safety policies, including:
Masks (on the bus and inside the resort)
Reduced capacity on the bus (see above)
Bus safety policies (cleaning after arrival and after lunch, boarding procedures)
Limiting indoor time as much as possible (bus open for lunch to limit resort time)
New bus and resort procedures (e.g., no walking around the bus visiting with friends, staggering lessons so everyone isn’t returning for lunch at the same time)
No social events (i.e., no potlucks, wine and cheese etc…sorry!)
No race program (no programs that encourage large gatherings)
These policies are not yet official and may change as I communicate with the resorts and work with the XC team to create as safe an environment as we possibly can. Our focus will be getting out to ski and take lessons, having fun together, physically distanced of course, on the trails.
While we are doing what we can to minimize the risk, we cannot completely eliminate the risk. Members will have to do their own personal risk assessments. If you decide the risk is too much for you, we wish you a wonderful winter and will welcome you back to the club with open arms when you feel it is safe.
Stay tuned for more information! We ask for your patience as we and the resorts are figuring this out as we go. It may take some time to figure out all the specifics.
Another season is upon us! I think I saw some yellow leaves on the trees. Its time to start thinking about the snow.
We have a few new challenges this year that the board is all working on. All your questions will be answered on this blog, SnoBiz, and Facebook/ Instagram. We are trying to make this a safe year, as we absolutely want to get out on the snow if possible.
In the meantime, our membership renewal date of September 1 is here.
To acknowledge that many of you have been financially impacted by this pandemic, we have lowered the membership price for this season to $140 for the entire year (which is lower than our usual early bird rate); and lower than our regular rate of $170.
In this year of uncertainty, we are also including a special option If by January 31st, 2021 you have not participated in any club trips (daytrips, long trips, or charter trips) you can request to have your membership deferred for the year. To make this request, you will need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 1, 2021.
If the experience of resorts in the Southern Hemisphere are any indication, skiing and snow boarding will be very popular this coming season, and due to restricted numbers daily spots will likely sell out quickly. However, HPSC has been assured by alpine resorts that we will have access to a set number of those daily spots for our members who come on the bus and those who drive-up (drive-ups will need register and pay for their tickets through HPSC). On the cross-country side, we have not heard that resorts will be limiting daily spots, but discussions are on-going.
While this season will be a challenge, we look forward to seeing you all on the hills and trails soon.
Thanks for continuing to be part of High Park Ski Club.
First off, I want to thank all members who participated in the recent membership survey. We received completed questionnaires from 477 members (41% response rate). The responses have provided very helpful guidance for our planning of the upcoming season.
Some of the highlights:
Almost all members (98%) report being very (80%) or somewhat satisfied (18%) with High Park Ski Club.
Six-in-ten (58%) members have gone on both long trips and daytrips during the last 2 years; 28% have only been on day trips (Alpine and/or Nordic); while 11% only went on long trips; 3% did not go on any type of trip for various reasons.
In the last two years, two-thirds of members went on an Alpine day trip, while just over one-in-three participated in a Nordic daytrip.
The wearing of masks, and reduced numbers on the bus, are the most cited requirements for members to go on a day trip this season with HPSC for both Alpine and Nordic daytrippers. However, one-in-ten report they will not be going on any daytrip bus this coming season.
Last season approximately one-third (32%) of Alpine members had an Ikon (16%) or Blue Mountain 5×7 (16%) pass. Looking ahead at this season, the numbers are not far off, with about one-quarter having already purchased or planning on purchasing an Ikon (14%) or 5X7 (12%).
Six-in-ten members indicate they plan on renewing their HPSC membership (FYI we usually have a renewal rate of approximately two-thirds). However, not unexpectedly in this pandemic time, about one-in-five indicate they are uncertain. Of those who were uncertain or report being unlikely to renew, the main reason appears to be the uncertainty of the pandemic situation.
As we suffer through a summer of record heat, your Executive has had their minds on snow and skiing and boarding and snowshoeing and making plans and decisions for the coming season.
In addition to our regular board meetings we also held an lengthy Strategy session (via Zoom) on Saturday July 25th that included both the Directors and volunteers from each of the various teams, to focus in on the specific challenges we face this coming year.
I want to thank all members who participated in the recent survey. We received completed questionnaires from 477 members, for a very good response rate of 41%. The responses have provided very helpful guidance for our planning of the upcoming season. We plan on conducting another survey in the fall, closer to the season, to further refine our plans.
While we do not have a crystal ball to fully know exactly what we will be facing in 5 months time when the season starts, the main thing is that, short of the government and public health officials ordering another shutdown, there will be a HPSC season as close to normal as we can make it. Or let me rephrase that, as close to normal as the ‘new normal’ permits. We will be providing more detailed information on our plans in the next month or so, but I want to assure you that we have all been working on plans, and contingency plans, and more contingency plans, to ensure a fun season.
Hope to see you all soon. Enjoy the summer and stay safe!