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Northstar California Resort to Open Additional Activities, Including Bike Park, for Summer Operations with Commitment to Employee and Guest Safety

Truckee, Calif. — June 25, 2020 — Northstar California Resort today announced additional summer activities to open early July. Scenic lift rides on Big Springs Gondola, hiking access, and grab n’ go food and drink options from the Lodge at Big Springs will open on July 3. The Northstar Bike Park will open with select trails on July 10. Riders are encouraged to pre-purchase a season bike haul pass or day tickets to access a range of beginner to expert rated trails via the Big Springs Gondola and the Zephyr Express chairlift. The Northstar Golf Course will open July 15.

“We look forward to welcoming Northstar guests back to enjoy family-friendly activities such as hiking, biking and golfing in beautiful North Lake Tahoe,” said Deirdra Walsh, vice president and general manager of Northstar California Resort. “Northstar offers world-class singletrack trails for all-levels, golf set among the Martis Valley, and scenic gondola rides to miles of open hiking trails. Our expansive, open-air environment provides an ideal location for families to physically distance while we enjoy the activities that draw us together at this special place.”

Last week Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood shared their operating plans as well as their commitment to safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heavenly Mountain Resort, known for views of Lake Tahoe, will open on July 3 for sightseeing and hiking via the Heavenly Gondola, with the Ridge Rider Coaster and Tamarack Express Chairlift expected to open shortly thereafter. Kirkwood Mountain Resort is currently open for human-powered activities (no lift access), similar to years past.

As a part of Vail Resorts’ commitment to safety, the Company established certain guidelines across all of its resorts and properties in North America, which include physical distancing protocols, face covering requirements, enhanced cleaning measures, employee health screenings and safety training, cashless transactions, and revisions to regularly offered programs and services. Each resort and property have enacted a unique operating plan that aligns with these guidelines that was developed in consultation with state and local health officials. Similar to the Skier Responsibility Code, Vail Resorts asks guests and employees to take on a new level of personal accountability to ensure the safety of its mountain communities.

Northstar California Resort – Open Thursdays through Sundays, July 3 through Oct. 4*

  • Scenic Big Springs Gondola rides and hiking trail access beginning July 3 (no hiking access via Zephyr Express until July 10)
  • Zephyr Express chairlift open for bike hauls and scenic hiking beginning July 10
    • Advanced purchase for the Northstar Bike Park, scenic gondola rides and hiking are recommended (additional details will be available on in the coming weeks)
  • Northstar Bike Park will open on July 10 with select trails, from less difficult to expert
    • Additional details on what trails will be available will be provided closer to opening day
    • The Bike Park plans to operate the majority of trails throughout the season, subject to change, and expects to open with segments of its most popular trails, including Livewire, Coaster and Tryumph
    • Intermittent trail closures will be encountered around the Vista Express lift area between August and October as Northstar carries out forest health and snowmaking improvements
    • In order remain in compliance with physical distancing protocols while also providing guests with the best possible riding experience, Northstar will have a daily maximum on the number of tickets sold for the bike park - advanced purchase is recommended
  • Northstar Golf Course opening July 15
  • Grab ‘n go food and drink options at the Lodge at Big Springs and “The Turn” at Northstar Golf Course
  • *Beginning Aug. 16, Northstar will operate Fridays through Sundays until closing day

Heavenly Mountain Resort – Open Daily July 3 through Sept. 7

  • Heavenly Gondola and Tamarack Express Chairlift*
  • Hiking Trails
  • Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster (targeting July 3, date subject to change)
  • Grab ‘n go food and drink options at Café Blue and Tamarack Lodge
  • *Tamarack Express Chairlift (targeting July 15, date subject to change)

Kirkwood Mountain Resort – Open Now for Human-powered Activities

  • The General Store
  • Hiking and Biking Trails (no lift access)
  • Disc Golf
  • Visitors must pack it in and pack it out

Vail Resorts has reimagined the resort experience to further prioritize the health and safety of its employees and guests in response to COVID-19. In addition to complying with local orders, the Company is enforcing its own safety measures to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the mountains this summer. Safety has always been one of the Company’s core values and the new procedures and protocols being implemented have the safety of employees, guests and communities in mind. Protocols include: 

Physical Distancing: 

  • On mountain, the resorts’ vast outdoor settings make physical distancing easy. But in the base areas and other locations where it is more difficult to do so, we will have signage and decals to ensure guests remain six feet apart.  
  • Guests will be required to wear face coverings in certain areas. This includes in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas or bubble chairs, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster, and in indoor resort facilities. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. Employees will be required to wear face coverings at all times.   
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed in areas where physical distancing measures are not possible, including at points of purchase. 
  • Capacity of lifts and gondolas will be reduced to allow for physical distancing. Guests will only be allowed on lifts and gondolas with travelers in their party. 
  • Employees may limit the number of guests in any area of the resort to ensure proper physical distancing (e.g. indoor spaces, parking lots, common spaces, etc.).

Employee Protocols & Training:

  • All employees are required to wear a face covering and follow the Company’s safety protocols and procedures at all times, including regular hand washing and use of PPG.
  • Employees will undergo daily health screenings and receive appropriate training to ensure safety.
  • Employees are required to stay home if sick.

Guest Expectations: 

  • Guests are asked to stay home if they are sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • Guests are required to wear face coverings in certain areas, including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas and bubble chairs, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster; in indoor resort facilities, and whenever it is not possible to maintain a six feet distance from unknown parties. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. Guests who are unwilling to comply with this safety requirement will not be permitted to participate in the experience. 
  • All guests are expected to comply with physical distancing guidelines outlined by public health as well as resort signage or as directed by resort employees.  

Enhanced Cleaning & Sanitization: 

  • High-touch surfaces will be frequently cleaned and disinfected with EPA-approved products that kill the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily in our gondola cabins, frequently throughout the day in our public restrooms and after each use on our alpine slide and mountain coaster carts.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be provided throughout the resort. Frequent handwashing is required of employees. 
  • All transactions will be cashless for lift and gondola rides, mountain activities, on-mountain dining as well as at the Company’s lodging, retail and rental locations.

 Hospitality & Lodging: 

  • Guests will be asked to maintain physical distancing guidelines and use face coverings when in common areas.   
  • One guest per family will be allowed to enter the lobby for check-in/out.  
  • Transactions will be cashless. 
  • Room keys will be cleaned and disinfected before they are placed into guest packets.   

Dining Facilities:  

  • To ensure physical distancing, dining facilities will run at reduced capacity with updated floor plans in common areas. Outdoor seating will be available.  
  • On-mountain dining will only offer grab ‘n go food and all transactions will be cashless.

 Vail Resorts will continue to review and update our policies to adhere to the most up-to-date practices to keep employees and guests safe. Opening dates and activities at Vail Resorts’ other North American resorts can be found here.

About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is and consumer website is

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