What Tahoe ski season will be like during coronavirus?

2020-21 Tahoe ski season during Covid-19 coronavirus

As of September 12, 2020 we are about ten weeks away from the start of the 2020/21 ski season which typically kicks off during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and the question on the minds of many skiers’ and snowboarders’ is:

What will the 2020-21 Tahoe ski season will be like during coronavirus with resorts implementing COVID-19 safety measures?

Tahoe area ski resorts indicated that cleaning and sanitation will increase in frequency and rigor and that physical distancing and masks will be required in indoor areas, base areas, lift mazes, on chairlifts and on shuttle buses.

Only related groups can ride together on chairlifts; there will be occupancy limits at indoor spaces and on shuttle buses, and Ski & Ride School will operate with reduced capacities.

Most resorts will have a reservation system to limit resort and slope-side capacity. Resort visitors will be required to make a reservation before arriving at the mountain. Resorts will limit the number of people allowed on site daily. Many will require you to buy your lift pass and book your time on the slopes at least a day in advance; you can no longer just show up on a powder day and buy lift tickets the day of.

Those with season pass will still need to reserve slope-side days. Resorts will likely sell-out for several days in advance especially on powder days. How does Epic Pass resort reservation system works?

Also as many transactions as possible will be conducted online prior to arrival to reduce interactions.

Tip for fresh POWder days & holiday weekends:

Plan ahead by making reservations if you want to ski on a holiday weekend, since resorts are limiting their visitor capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Megan Michelson, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, details what Tahoe ski season could look like during coronavirus/COVID-19:

“Winter sports can still happen in the COVID era. Skiing and snowboarding are relatively well suited to a viral outbreak. They take place outside, generally away from others, and skiers are used to wearing face coverings and gloves. But life at ski resorts — assuming they’ll be able to open safely this winter — will not look the same. Many resorts were able to open for limited summer operations, like biking and hiking, and Southern Hemisphere ski resorts in places like Chile and New Zealand opened with strict COVID guidelines. With guidance from public health experts, California ski resorts are now working on reopening plans and how to best protect guests, employees and ski-town communities.

“Things will be different this winter, but we are a highly adaptable industry, having faced droughts, excessive snowfall and road closures,” says Katie Hunter, director of sales and marketing at Sierra-at-Tahoe. “We believe that winter outdoor recreation, when practiced safely, will be a source of healing for people.”

Goggle tans no more
Masks will be required at most ski resorts in congested areas. Vail Resorts — which operates Tahoe’s Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood — is requiring face coverings in designated zones, like inside the lodge, in lift lines and in ski school corrals. “Just as other tourist destinations have required, we must ensure that face coverings are not optional if you are walking around with a drink or snack in your hand,” Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz wrote in an open letter to guests.

Proper masks are preferable to the standard skiers’ Buff. “Synthetic fibers like those in a Buff are technically not as good as a cotton mask, which has more three-dimensional structure to block the potentially virus-laden droplets more efficiently,” says Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine and an infectious disease specialist at UCSF. “But in community mask wearing, fit and convenience trump quality of the mask. For skiers, it’s perfectly fine to use the neck gaiter if it means you will wear it when you need to.”

Give a ski’s length in line
Physical distancing guidelines will also be in place. You’ll find signage and marked spots on the ground to remind you to give at least 6 feet of space while you wait for food, rentals, lifts and other services. You’ll load chairlifts and gondolas only with those in your existing group. (Singles will likely need to ride solo or with empty spaces in between.) Lift lines will inevitably move slower and stretch farther in length.

In the lodge, you’ll find signage that could indicate one-way traffic or specific doors for entering and exiting to eliminate congestion. Yes, everything will take a little longer, but that’s OK. Take a deep breath and be thankful you’re out there.

What day is it anyway?
While everyone used to live by traditional Monday-through-Friday work and school schedules, with schools and jobs going remote, expect to see more crowds midweek and less of a hustle on weekends. With many city dwellers relocating to the mountains with remote jobs, the typical Friday-night traffic flow to Tahoe may be reduced. Best news? If you’ve already relocated to the mountains, your kid can now ski for PE on a Monday and you can squeeze in a midday powder session between Zoom meetings.

Plan your ski days ahead of time
Ticket sales may be capped to limit the number of skiers on the hill each day. Homewood, for example, plans to limit season-pass sales and cap daily lift tickets during peak periods. So this is not the season to spontaneously go skiing. Plan well ahead and purchase lift tickets online and in advance.

“When there are capacity restrictions, you can expect advance registration systems,” says Adrienne Saia Isaac, spokesperson for the National Ski Areas Association. “Ski areas will be responsible for creating clear, up-to-date messaging across their channels, and skiers and riders will need to check the ski area’s website before they hit the slopes to learn about whatever local regulations may be in place.”

Lunch will be served on the tailgate
Ski-town and on-mountain restaurants are pivoting to offer more takeout and outdoor dining options. Think grab-and-go windows, food trucks and patio seating. You’ll still be able to enter lodges and order food, but you’ll find more heat lamps and outdoor firepits to encourage you to dine alfresco. You’ll also see a lot more people packing their own lunch and eating at their car or slopeside condo. In towns like Truckee or South Lake Tahoe, gone are the days of weekend crowds surging popular bars and restaurants. You’ll order food and drinks to go and bring it back to your cabin.

“For skiers, many settings are low risk — particularly those in the open air and while enjoying the slopes,” says Chin-Hong. “One area that is especially at risk is the après-ski setting at the lodge where people may be eating, drinking. I would avoid that area if possible and take your hot chocolate outside or back to your room.”

Goodbye, carpooling
Carpooling to the mountains with people not in your household is a thing of the past, so you may see an uptick in cars heading from the Bay Area to Tahoe. When in the mountains, you can still ride public transportation like buses or on-demand rides to the ski hill, but plan on wearing a mask, sitting far from others and keeping the windows open. Most likely, you’ll be driving your own car or staying close enough to the mountain that you can walk to the lifts. Before you go, check resorts’ apps or websites for up-to-date parking and transportation tips.

Lifties gone robotic
Resorts are moving many services to digital to reduce face-to-face contact. Take Sugar Bowl. The resort has invested in radio-frequency identification scanning gates at all primary chairlifts for this winter, as well as new self-service stations for other services to promote contactless transactions. It’s official: Gone are the days of human ticket checkers scanning your pass in line. This winter, you’ll purchase or reload your lift ticket, sign up for ski lessons and talk to guest services online or via the resort’s app.

You can always cancel
New cancellation policies and beefed-up refund guarantees are now in place to give you peace of mind in case the ski season gets shut down due to COVID or you need to cancel plans for any reason. Vail Resorts introduced Epic Coverage, which comes free with every Epic Pass this season, to provide refunds for certain resort closures, as well as job loss, illness or injury. Ikon Pass — which works at Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain — now comes with Adventure Assurance to let you defer use of your pass for any reason to next year.

Sierra-at-Tahoe has a Play it Forward Guarantee that lets you credit this year’s pass to next season due to any unforeseen circumstances, and Homewood’s new guarantee offers prorated refunds on passes if the mountain is forced to close before March 1 due to non-weather events.

Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows has tentative plans to open on Nov. 25. “Our team is doing everything we need to do to be ready to offer skiing and riding for the upcoming winter season,” says Ron Cohen, president of Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows. “We are planning for a dynamic environment, building a full set of tools to be able to best respond to whatever comes our way, so that we can continue to offer outdoor recreation to all of our dedicated skiers and riders.” – SF Chronicle.

Looking to join a shared ski lease or are you a ski lease organizer? We’re trying to gauge sentiments, consider sharing your input with the following survey..

Like many of you, the ski/snowboard community is trying to adjust to the new normal with the COVID-19 pandemic still at the top of many of our minds. You can help us by sharing your opinion about ski lease housing options.

Please take a few minutes to help us at SnowPals understand your thoughts for the upcoming 2020/2021 Ski Lease season. Your opinion matters and will help ski Lease operators better adjust. We will publish the top level results for everyone to benefit from.

Access the survey at

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RRXDFTP

Advance thanks,

– Your friends at SnowPals

Survey questions created by Mike K., ski lease organizer.


Ski resorts opening dates and operations are contingent on state and local public health restrictions and guidelines during the pandemic; read the latest on COVID-19 pandemic emergency alert to see what businesses are opened:

City of South Lake Tahoe

EL DORADO COUNTY

North Tahoe/Truckee, CA

Placer County Reopening Requirements

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“The Tahoe-Truckee region is governed by 6 counties, a city, a town, two states, and the federal government. This can create a lot of confusion even when we aren’t operating under COVID-19 restrictions. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers.

Keep in mind, guidelines and laws are changing almost daily; check the latest update at

https://takecaretahoe.org/covid-19/

Every ski area around the world is taking stock as to whether they can operate safely and financially viably this winter in a pandemic. So far the vast majority are deciding yes, but a few have decided “No” – keep track of rolling ski resort updates as they pertain to COIVD-19 restrictions.

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Consumer service announcement: 1 out of 2 affected by Equifax breach; credit freeze option

equifax-security-breach-credit-freeze-options

Consider your options in light of this terrible news where 1 out of 2 consumers is affected by Equifax security breach on July 29, 2017.


This is crazy and unprecedented in scope.

Overview of what happened:

On July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered a cybersecurity breach/hack incident which “potentially impacted approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited Equifax’s U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files which includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Criminals also accessed credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers.” – Equifax.

It’s important to note this is what Equifax officially stated but we the people and our government need to dig deeper to investigate to see if this statement is accurate and full disclosure was provided in a timely manner to protect consumers from identity theft.

Write to your representatives to demand an investigation and answers to questions such as:

-How invasive was the breach?
-How extensive was the breach?
-Who was involved in the breach?
-What reforms will be taken so that this does not happen again?

Also demand that the executives who knew about the hack beforehand, and especially those who sold stock, be questioned and investigated.

These companies(TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) don’t think of us as customers. They think of us as products. They get lenders and others to send over our payment histories to them, aggregate it, and resell the data.

TransUnion, Equifax and Experian answer to no one unless we put a stop to this practice and implement a 3rd party oversight of their security practices to secure our private information, otherwise security breach incidents like this will continued.

“But perhaps most despicable of all, at this very moment, U.S. Senators are weighing legislation to take away our right to hold companies like Equifax accountable in court (S.J.Res.47), and the House of Representatives is considering legislation to make life easier for credit-reporting agencies that screw up (H.R. 2359). This cannot stand. Repealing crucial consumer protections as new financial scandals break every week would send a clear signal to bad actors like Equifax that they can continue to plunder consumers for profit. We call on Congress to IMMEDIATELY withdraw both S.J. Res 47 and H.R. 2359, and to hold hearings to investigate Equifax’s response to this cyber attack.” – Moveon.org

View our current laws for corporate data breach by state. However, what we need to adopt is a law requiring a single breach notification standard for sensitive personal data similar to the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This will set a data breach notification bar for all businesses of “not later than 72 hours” after a data controller has become aware of an intrusion.

Do you value protecting your personal information? If yes, consider exercising your consumer and democratic voting rights: here’s how you can help to begin the process of getting tougher consumer protection laws enacted…

Tell Congress to do their jobs to make stringent laws to hold Equifax and other companies like them accountable:

(1) https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-hold-equifax
(2) Federal Trade Commission(FTC) https://www.change.org/p/federal-trade-commission-investigate-equifax
(3) https://consumersunion.org/equifax/
(4) email and write letters to your local and state representatives demanding accountability and new laws to protect consumer personal information

+ Insightful and worrisome Equifax cyber security lapses:

https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/358810691/Sen-Warner-Asks-FTC-to-Probe-Equifax

+ Egregious negligence? Horrific news: Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s decision to hire Susan Mauldin as Chief of Security Officier(CSO) of the company’s data security with qualifications of degrees in music(she does not have the cybersecurity education to competently work as CSO):

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/equifax-ceo-hired-a-music-major-as-the-companys-chief-security-officer-2017-09-15

+ How Equifax hackers could file taxes in your name and get a refund from the IRS:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-the-equifax-breach-could-impact-you-during-tax-season-2017-09-08

Five Steps You Can Do Now To Protect Your Credit Data

Here are five steps that you can take right now to protect your personal information from being misused. Caution: you risk financial chaos by doing nothing. Take action.

(1) Find out if your information may have been exposed. You can do this by entering your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number at Equifax’s website. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the data breach.

(2) You can enroll for a free year of credit monitoring. Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll.

(3) Contact the nationwide credit reporting companies and review your free credit reports from each of them. You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You can request a copy from AnnualCreditReport.com. Be sure to monitor your accounts for any unusual activity. Accounts on your credit report that you didn’t open, incorrect personal information on your credit reports, and credit inquiries from companies you’ve never contacted are all potential signs of fraud or identity theft.

(4) Consider placing a credit freeze. Placing a credit freeze on your reports makes it more difficult for a thief to open a new account in your name. Remember that a credit freeze cannot prevent a thief from making changes to your existing accounts.

The are more than 8 million new victims of identity theft each year in the U.S. Many of these victims find that crooks have used stolen personal information like Social Security numbers to open new accounts in their victim’s name. A security freeze gives consumers the choice to “freeze” or lock access to their credit file against anyone trying to open up a new account or to get new credit in their name.

When a security freeze is in place at all three major credit bureaus, an identity thief cannot open a new account because the potential creditor or seller of services will not be able to check the credit file. When the consumer is applying for credit, he or she can lift the freeze temporarily using a PIN so legitimate applications for credit or services can be processed.

(5) Consider setting a fraud alert. This requires creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account or increasing a credit limit on an existing account. A fraud alert will not prevent a lender from opening credit in your name the same way a freeze does, but it does require lenders to take additional steps to verify your identity first.
—Emily Sullivan

If you don’t take any identity theft prevention steps, this is what could happen:

Financial identity theft

Because the Equifax credit reports contained so much personal information, including Social Security numbers and financial account information, fraudsters could use the report for reasons including new account fraud, medical identity theft — using insurance information to have a medical procedure, which can create confusion on the true insured person’s medical file for years — or tax fraud, Levin said.

The fraudster could open credit cards and start utility bills in your name, which would go unpaid, and into collections, which could ruin your credit score, said Adrian Nazari, the founder and chief executive of Credit Sesame, a credit monitoring service. As a result, it could become difficult to be approved for home loans, car loans, jobs and desirable interest rates in the future, he said.

Bloomberg reporter Drew Armstrong wrote this week about his experience when his identity was stolen, which took three years to resolve. In the meantime, the man posing as Armstrong opened accounts in his name at Wells Fargo and went to the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach.

Fraud affected some 15.4 million consumers in 2016, or roughly 6.15% of all consumers, up 16% from 5.3% of consumers in 2015, according to Javelin, a security firm, in a report sponsored by security company LifeLock (which obviously has a vested interest in the findings.) The mean amount it cost per fraud victim was $1,038, according to Javelin.

Incidents of new account fraud have risen especially quickly, Javelin found, because so much personal information has been compromised in data breaches over time. New account fraud also takes the longest to resolve, said Al Pascual, a senior vice president and research director at the security firm Javelin. “If you don’t take steps to actively protect your identity, you’re basically playing Russian roulette,” Pascual said.

Criminal identity theft

The fraudster could even commit a crime and turn in fraudulent identification information, which could mistakenly give you a criminal record.

That’s what happened to Jessamyn Lovell, an artist whose identity was stolen when she lost her wallet in 2011, in the San Francisco Bay area. She didn’t realize what had happened until a year later when the woman who stole her driver’s license checked into a hotel under her name. It seemed fishy to San Francisco’s Financial Crimes unit, which alerted Lovell.

It took years to track down and prosecute the woman; Lovell even had to hire a private investigator. By the time the whole situation was sorted out, the fraudster had shoplifted at Whole Foods, and Lovell had to fly to the Bay Area to appear in court (she had since moved to Albuquerque), to explain it wasn’t actually her.

Now, Lovell is training to become a private investigator herself, and she encourages anyone who suspects fraud, even a small credit-card charge, to report it right away. “It’s easy to miss or dismiss,” she said. “Get it taken care of.” Of course, preventing those situations from happening, if you’re able to, is even better, she said.

Consumers Union’s Guide To Security Credit Freeze Protection Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about security credit freeze protection.

Addition reading:

+ Can we trust companies to secure our private personal data? Cybersecurity experts weigh in on Equifax’s failure to install software fix

+ Incompetence: Equifax used the word ‘admin’ for the login and password of a database

+ Impacted by the breach? Wanna Sue Equifax? Here Are All Your Options

+ Will consumers ever find out how much Equifax spends on cyber security versus on lining their deep pockets?
Do we need laws to create a cyber security standard for all companies to protect our private information? Equifax’s Failure to Apply Security Patches Enabled Massive Hack.

+ The Equifax Breach and 5 Years of Missed Warning Signs.

+ Massive Equifax data breach prompts outrage, investigations, bills to ban credit freeze fees.

+ We Need a Law Requiring Faster Disclosure of Data Breaches—Now.

+ Finally, Some Answers From Equifax to Your Data Breach Questions.

+ 3 Equifax Executives Sold Stock Days After Hack That Wasn’t Disclosed For A Month

+ Equifax CIO and CSO Retire Amid Confusion Over Patching.

+ Equifax data breach: Beware these 3 scams as a result of the breach

+ Elizabeth Warren Sets Her Sights on Equifax

+ Read the latest news regarding Equifax’s security breach.

Most likely, you’ll have family and friends affected by Equifax’s security breach incident so share this important information and prevention tips with them.

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