September 25, 2020
The vibrant colors of fall arrived early to Lincoln, letting us know winter is close behind. To me, fall always feels like it's gone too soon. I chalk it up to the buzz that surrounds every winter here at Loon. This winter, the anticipation is coupled with a heightened level of uncertainty. So, I'd like to share with you some of the operational decisions and strategies in place for the season ahead.
November 1 is the start of snowmaking season here at Loon. At that point, our team will begin monitoring weather patterns for windows of sustained cold temps to get our system fired up. However, our normal snowmaking strategy will change this winter.
To assist in spreading out skiers and riders, we plan to be more aggressive in opening terrain across the resort. In a normal winter, our team would focus on opening groups of trails in one area before moving on.
This year, our strategy will be to open select trails at each peak to get more lifts and lodges open quickly. It will challenge our mountain operations teams, especially during the early season, to set up and break down snowmaking more frequently.
However, our snowmakers are currently installing 41 new KLIK hydrants on Flying Fox, Link and Crosscut, which will support this strategy immensely. With weather permitting, we will open with top-to-bottom skiing and riding. And with any luck, we will be skiing on South Peak earlier than years prior.
We plan to operate all lifts, including the Gondola, this winter, as snow and conditions permit. Expect to see Seven Brothers Triple and East Basin Double operating more frequently.
Facial coverings will be mandatory while in lift queues, loading, riding, and unloading all lifts. This includes while riding inside the Gondola. Wear your mask. And wear it correctly.
When you arrive at Loon this winter, your car will be the place to boot up. No boot bags or equipment bags will be allowed in our lodges. To control our restricted indoor capacities effectively, the Octagon Lodge, Governor Adams Lodge, Pemigewasset Base Camp, Summit Café, Camp III and Boyle's Break House will all function as restaurants.
Guests will be greeted at a designated lodge entrance and escorted to a table. Guests will be able to order food or drinks via their mobile phone, or from the lodge menu.
Only dining guests will be allowed in these venues, and proper face coverings will be required, unless seated. Each venue will have a designated entrance and exit(s). The Paul Bunyan Room and Babe's Blue Ox Lounge will operate similarly.
Restrooms inside the Octagon Lodge and Governor Adams Lodge will be available for dining guests only. Additional restroom facilities are being added near these locations for non-dining guests. Restrooms accessible from the outdoors at the Octagon Lodge, Summit Café, Camp III and Pemigewasset Base Camp will be open to all guests.
The Governor's Pavilion and the upper level of Loon Mountain Sports will be open to any guest looking for a quick warm up. (Gear from Loon Mountain Sports will move to The Whistle Stop.) The decks of Camp III, the Paul Bunyan Room and Pemigewasset Base Camp will have additional weather protection to shield guests from the elements, and make taking a break outdoors a little more comfortable.
We understand you may need to ski or ride with a small backpack to keep snacks, handwarmers or an extra facemask. When riding the lifts, remove this bag prior to loading the lift, and keep it on your lap as you ride.
When inside a lodge or facility, please keep this bag with you and take it when you leave. There will be no bag check, cubbies or paid lockers available at the resort.
Shuttle services to local lodging properties will be limited to select areas. There will be defined stops at each lodging property where guests must load and unload. Guests must be seated and wear a face covering while inside the shuttle. The number of seats available on each shuttle has been reduced. To find out if your property is included in the shuttle service, please contact your association.
On-resort shuttle service will operate to transport guests between base areas. And yes, we expect the J.E. Henry Railroad (the Train) to operate this winter under the same restrictions as shuttles – face coverings required and reduced seating.
The Loon app will be a helpful tool for real-time updates and communications while at the resort this winter. It will also give you quick access to online ordering for dining venues.
We will continue to roll out our winter plans and provide answers as we know them. There is still much to learn as we accelerate toward opening day. Our team is working diligently, but ultimately, we must follow the guidance and mandates set forth by government officials. So, like all plans, they are subject to change.
In the meantime, please do your part. It is up to you, me, and each member of the Loon community to act responsibly and stay healthy. This is the only way to ensure a successful winter.
We're in this together,
President & General Manager