FLAGSTAFF, AZ — While the Phoenix area continues to set daily heat records, a few hours north -- and with slightly cooler temperatures -- Arizona Snowbowl is preparing to open for the season on Friday.
Both Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 and 21, have already sold-out, according to the Arizona Snowbowl website. "More tickets may be released on the day of depending on actual visitation levels. Please check our ticket calendar for updates" a note read.
As of Thursday, lift tickets varied between $44-$99, depending on the day. Sunday, Nov. 23, was the most expensive at $99. That does not include equipment rentals, lessons, or extras like food and drink.
Sunrise Park Resort, another popular ski resort in Greer, Arizona, announced that it would open on Dec. 18, 2020.
Not too surprising, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are changes that skiers and snowboarders will want to know about.
- Everyone is required to wear a mask in "base areas, lift lines, and inside lodges"
- All regular lift tickets have to be purchased online. Pass holders will be allowed to obtain their free tickets or discounted passes at the ticket window, and are not required to make a reservation
- Capacity limits will vary by day and depend on the weather, number of runs open, and the number of guests on the hill vs. at the base of the mountain
- Access to Arizona Snowbowl is first come, first served no matter what type of lift ticket
Access to the indoor lodges and restaurants will be "very limited" this year, the ski resort said. People should expect to be outside more, to order takeout, and spend breaks inside their vehicles.
The AZ Grill will be open for walk-up orders and the Hart Prairie Lodge will be open for dine-in and to. The resort has a cell phone app where people can make a table reservation or order food ahead of time.
Because it is early in the season, a limited number of runs are expected to be open on opening day. To start, the Grand Canyon Express will be open with access to the Midway Catwalk, Logjam, Wild Turkey and Round-Up trails, the resort said.
Arizona Gondola, the new lift that replaces the older Agassiz lift, which broke that year, is expected to be up and running in early December.
That lift has six-person chairs and eight-person gondolas. It is also faster, cutting the time up the mountain from 15 minutes to about 7 minutes, said Li Cui, marketing coordinator for Arizona Snowbowl.
Visit www.snowbowl.ski for more information and to purchase tickets.