A letter from General Manager, Peter Johnson:

Anthony Lakes Passholders and Guests,

With the first dusting of snow this past weekend, we wanted to get a quick update out to all of our passholders and guests with what operations are looking like this winter at Anthony Lakes. Long story short, this winter is going to be a lot of fun. Just different. Yes, we are going to have to make a number of adjustments due to COVID-19 as the safety of our guests and our employees is our number one priority. However, given our size and ability to adapt and adjust accordingly, this winter is going to be one to remember, and in a good way. Outdoor operations will remain mostly the same but with a few nice additions, while lodge operations are going to require some adjustment.

Overall, we plan to keep it simple, keep it safe, keep it fun, keep everyone moving and focus on the one reason we are all here, skiing and riding.

We have been working directly with Union County Health Department (thanks again Ryan for all of your help) on implementing this plan and we will continue to work directly with Union County as guidance changes.

For now, this is what we have planned:

Face Coverings

Face coverings will be required in every part of Anthony Lakes operation’s. From the moment you pull into the Anthony Lakes parking lot to when you leave, we are asking (and requiring) face coverings of some sort. This will be instrumental in ensuring the safety of our employees and guests. The only exception will be when sitting down to eat or drink.

Face coverings will not be a discussion point this winter and will not be optional. Face coverings will be required.

Capacity

As most of you have seen over the recent years, we have already been operating at capacity most weekends and the lodge is where we feel it the most. If we were to continue with the same model, social distancing would not be possible. Therefore, we really have no choice but to limit the number of people on the hill each day. Visitors to the mountain will be prioritized in the following order:

1. Pass Holders: Pass holders will not be limited on the number of visits and will not be required to make any sort of reservation or appointment to go skiing. Our pass holders are the reason Anthony Lakes is what it is. So, if you have a season pass, no need to worry about getting as many days in this winter as snow allows.

2. Lodging Discount Passes: As everyone has taken a significant hit throughout this pandemic, our priority will be to show support to our local lodging partners and our small businesses, which make up a significant part of our local economy. In hopes to encourage guests that are traveling from outside of our area, second priority will be given to any guest with a lodging discount voucher. Not only will you be guaranteed a ticket but you will also receive it at a discounted rate. All we ask in return, is that you go out of your way while in Baker, Union, Grant or Wallowa Counties and spend a few extra dollars here while you are traveling.

Here is a list of all participating lodging partners.

3. Supporting Local Business: In addition to supporting our local hotels and lodging partners, Anthony Lakes will be encouraging out-of-towners to go out of your way to spend a few dollars locally while you are in the region. For anyone traveling from out of the area or even guests residing locally, Anthony Lakes will have twenty (20) 50% off day tickets available each operating day and set aside for anyone who can provide a recent receipt (within seven days prior to ticket purchase) of $40 or more from any locally-owned restaurant or retail shop in either Baker, Union, Grant, or Wallowa Counties.

Note: All discounted or donation tickets, including Lodging Partners tickets, Supporting Local Businesses discounted tickets are all available at the ski area at the ticket window only. Just show us your voucher or receipt and we will print you a ticket for the day.

4. Day Ticket Sales: Day tickets will be the main area where we will limit the number that we sell as given our technological capabilities, this is actually the only area we can control. Tickets sales will be available online only and only through the Anthony Lakes website at www.anthonylakes.com. Day ticket sales will go on sale for the entire season on November 1st. Day tickets will ONLY be available via the Anthony Lakes website.

We will not be completely cutting back on ticket sales, just reducing the amount of day tickets sold each day to the point where we can manage day-to-day operations while comfortably practicing social distancing. The number of day tickets available for any given day will be based solely on previous years ticket sales. More details to come prior to November 1st.

As much as we dislike having to limit the number of people at Anthony Lakes, we feel this system will not only ensure a safer environment but will also create a much more pleasant atmosphere with plenty of space to recreate. So, plan your trip in advance, purchase your tickets online, stay with one of our wonderful lodging partners, and go out of your way to spend some dollars here locally and we will see you on the slopes.

Outside Operations:

With skiing and snowboarding being an inherently safe social distancing activity, outdoor operations will remain mostly the same as years past. We will be making a few minor improvements to supplement our lodge operations and move as much as we can outside, but overall, the reason we all head to Anthony Lakes will be the same. Not necessarily the same as it ever was, but as long as we get snow, we are going to be loving it.

I have outlined a few other operational items below but, overall, plan on making turns when the snow does arrive.

Lodge Operations

Lodge operations is where you will be seeing the biggest adjustment and we are asking everyone to please not just respect the guidance that we have in place, but also respect all employees and guests and keep a positive outlook.

Here is a brief snapshot of what it will look like:

  • We will be reducing the number of tables and seating both upstairs and downstairs by roughly 50% to provide proper distancing.
  • We will be disinfecting tables and chairs and high use areas between each use.
  • A social distance and COVID safety compliance officer or “Floor Walker” (Cool Hand Luke definition, not Google) will be on duty during all business hours. The Floor Walker will be helping our guests maintain social distancing requirements, disinfecting all high use areas, tables and chairs as needed, and will also be available to answer any questions or help with any specific needs.
  • Our employees have been trained and directed to ensure we are in full compliance of local, state, and federal guidance regarding COVID-19, so anyone who does not wish to follow the requirement of wearing a face covering or any other guidance provided while they are at Anthony Lakes will be asked to leave. Anthony Lakes is striving to create an environment that fosters respect and will allow us to operate and will not be tolerant of activities that compromise the safety, health, and wellbeing of our employees and customers.
  • We will be asking our guests to limit their lodge time to 30 to 45 minutes in order to respect others who are looking to warm up or grab some food. Of course, our staff will be available to guests with families if additional time is needed, but we request that each of our guests respect each other by ensuring people who need a place to sit down and warm up for a bit have it.
  • The Café menu will be streamlined and our kitchen staff will be doing their very best to keep everyone moving along and properly spaced.

Starbottle

Like the Café, we will be reducing the number of indoor tables and seating. However, we will be adding a ski-through window and offering plenty of seating outside of the Starbottle. We removed the deck this fall and we will be putting in a larger “snow” deck in its place for this winter. So, plenty of outdoor seating will be available. In addition, we are working directly with OLCC and Union County CHD on providing a few additional options on the hill itself. We will get back to you with more detail as it develops.

Cat Skiing and Yurts

Unfortunately, cat skiing will most likely be on hold this winter. Given the fact that we will have people traveling from all over, we are simply not comfortable putting 12 different people from different parts of the region in Lady Bug in between laps. We will be following all guidance and as things start to ease up, we will get Cat Skiing going as soon as we can.

Yurts will operate as normal, but with a significant amount of additional cleaning and disinfecting in between guests. We will be asking for all yurt guests to please help us out and leave the Yurt in better condition than you found it, which means a deep clean prior to departure. Anthony Lakes staff will then clean and disinfect in between each guest. Reservations for the yurts will be available online at www.anthonylakes.com starting October 15th.

Rentals

We will be limiting the number of people inside the rental shop in accordance with social distancing guidelines by setting up the rental shop to allow for appropriate guest flow through the building, which means guests will enter on the ticket booth side and exit on the carpet side of the rental shop. Equipment will be fully sanitized between each guest use. For portions of the rental process that require close interactions with our rental shop staff, our employees will take additional precautions, including wearing eye protection and gloves.
Retail Shop
The Anthony Lakes Retail Shop will be stocked with all of your favorite goods and we’ll be limiting the number of guests allowed in the shop at a time. We will have other shopping options available as the time nears, so please stay tuned.
Season Passes
We have created a contactless system for purchasing and obtaining your season pass this season.

  • If you have already purchased your pass, you will be receiving an email with instructions on creating your Anthony Lakes “My Account” to update your information and upload your photo. We will then print and mail your pass.
  • If you have yet to purchase your pass, please visit Anthony Lakes’ website where you will be asked to create a “My Account.” You will enter your info and upload your photo. We will print and mail your pass.
  • Any questions can be directed to chelsea@anthonylakes.com

Ski School

Anthony Lakes Ski School will be mostly business as usual with the obvious precautions in place. We will be offering online booking for lessons in advance this year so we can ensure to keep group sizes small and schedule staff properly ahead of time. Reservations for lessons will be available online at www.anthonylakes.com

Ski Patrol

Anthony Lakes Ski Patrol will operate as close to normal as possible this season with obvious precautions. All patrollers will be wearing face masks and other protective equipment necessary to keep guests, employees and patrollers as safe as possible. This season there will be limited access to the patrol buildings and when appropriate ski patrollers will be doing more patient assessments outside.

Overall

This year is going to be different, but different in a good way as there is no reason we cannot have a little fun with the new normal. There will definitely be times that will feel inconvenient and different from years past, and frustrations are anticipated. However, we are asking everyone to continue to work with us and understand that we are all in this together and are all navigating the day-to-day changes that come our way during a pandemic.

Please keep in mind that at the end of the day, these changes will keep us doing the one thing we love more than pretty much anything: skiing and/or snowboarding. That will not change, and the chair will keep turning as long as we have snow (and not too much wind). So please, plan on being outside a little more this winter, plan on supporting our staff and the lengths we are going through to keep the doors open and the chair turning, and plan on appreciating the fact that we will be skiing this winter.

We are all looking forward to see you again soon. In the meantime, pray for snow as without it, all of the above doesn’t really matter.

Peter Johnson
General Manager
Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort

X