We’re all in this together, and promise together we will shine.
At Smugglers’ we view our owners, guests, and employee teams as a family. Working together in a landscape of compassion and support, we look out for each other in an ever-changing environment. We value our guests just like family.
Summer 2020 is a new day where we face challenges previously unforeseen. We thank you for trusting us to provide safe and sanitary conditions as you visit our beloved mountainside Resort. Our team vows to adhere to strict protocols in an effort to ensure the highest of health and safety standards, just as we expect you to do the same, even before you reach Smugglers' Notch Resort in the Heart of Vermont.
We are showing our respect for the health of your family by wearing a mask at all indoor facilities you may visit and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. We respectfully ask you do the same for our families by wearing your favorite mask. Smuggs will provide masks on the tables at the entry of our public buildings. Effective August 1, 2020, VT State Governor Phil Scott has made masks mandatory in indoor and outdoor public settings where 6 feet of space between people is not possible, with limited exceptions. This requirement will apply to everyone over the age of two-years, except when eating, drinking, exercising or participating in strenuous activity. Additionally, those with medical reasons not to wear a mask will also be exempt; no written documentation will be required in order to preserve the medical privacy of individuals. We thank you in advance for following these guidelines.
We have taken enhanced health and safety measures--for you and your family, our other guests, and our employees. All persons are required to follow all posted instructions while vacationing at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and/or death. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
The following commitment to health, outlines our expectations for staff and guests alike, and aligns with protocols as outlined by Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) and the CDC:
Our Employee Promise
Shining superior guest service is always coupled with safety, at the forefront of our actions. Interactions will be conducted from a safe distance with all possible precautions in place, including masks.
To ensure our co-workers are also shining we follow guidelines to be safe on the job, to offer a promise for a personal hygiene checklist which includes notifying managers of any travel outside of Vermont with their specific quarantine plan.
Employees will follow daily health updates including temperature checks and will remain home if any noticeable symptoms occur.
Condominiums undergo thorough cleaning procedures, including hospital-grade disinfectants, with extra attention paid to high-touch areas to be clean and shiny.
Our Guest Promise
We expect all visitors to Smugglers’ to arrive in good health while continuing to monitor themselves for the presence of any symptoms. Smugglers’ asks that all guests and employees promise to identify symptoms as they may develop. We are recommending face masks be worn indoors when physical distancing is challenged.
Facilities and activities have been modified in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure guest safety and social distancing requirements, while still offering our guests the opportunity to relax and recreate in the Heart of Vermont.
The safety of our guests, owners, and staff has always been our highest priority and we have always followed a very stringent cleanliness protocol for our lodging accommodations and public facilities. Given the need to control the spread of Covid-19, we have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of our guest, owners, and staff.
We want your visit to Smugglers’ this summer to be as carefree as it can be. With that in mind, we would like to share with you our enhanced cleaning protocols.
We have adopted hospitality best cleaning practices and sanitizing protocols throughout the Resort with particular attention paid to high touch items including television remote controls, bathroom fixtures, door handles and furniture, water faucet handles, in-room telephones, light switches, temperature control panels, and flooring.
We have increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing public spaces to include, but not limited to, guest service desk, door handles, public restrooms, ATM, stair hand rails, dining surfaces, and seating areas.
While vacationing in the Resort you will find hand sanitizer stanchions as well as Be Smart, Stay Safe signs at various locations to remind us all to stay home if sick, stay six feet away from everyone, and cloth face coverings encouraged.
Our goal is for you to have a wonderful vacation during this very difficult time. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable.
Residents of other states must adhere to the quarantine guidelines: * Travelers arriving to Vermont in a personal vehicle, may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in their home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions. * Travelers arriving to Vermont via public transportation (plane, train, bus) or from further than a direct car ride would allow may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in a Vermont lodging establishment or with friends and family (travelers must stay in their quarantine location for the duration of quarantine other than to travel to and from a test site).
As of November 24, 2020, the State of Vermont has suspended all social gatherings between multiple households. While in Vermont, you may not participate in social gatherings, this includes sharing an accommodation with another household outside of your own. Travelers may not stay with a Vermont host or stay in a Vermont lodging establishment or short-term rental with another household. Even if you have completed a quarantine, or intend to quarantine with another household, you may not gather with another household in Vermont. (Individuals who live alone may gather with members of their immediate family residing in a different household).
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) requires us to ask you to provide either (i) a copy of a Vermont drivers license; or (ii) a signed document attesting you meet the quarantine requirement, have traveled from a county with similar active COVID-19 caseload per ACCD, are an essential/authorized worker, or are a Vermonter. All owners and guests must also complete a health questionnaire. The form will be emailed to you prior to check-in. You can review this Certificate of Compliance here.
Travelers are encouraged to register with the Sara Alert upon arrival in Vermont to get two weeks of daily reminders, to check for common symptons of COVID-19, via text, email or phone from the Vermont Department of Health.
Please note: Any guests that exhibit signs of illness or COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival may not be allowed to check in. If symptoms begin during your stay you must leave and return home if possible. If departure is not possible, you must self-isolate for the remainder of your stay and the Vermont Department of Health must be contacted immediately. CLOSE
We are happy to be open! We will provide the best customer service, while keeping cleanliness, capacity limits, social distancing, and other State requirements in mind. Thus, the opening dates of our various amenities and programs will be staggered. We will extend hours and days of operation as well as open more venues and activities, if practical, as restrictions are relaxed and occupancy increases We’re confident that our team is ready to make your Fall vacation outstanding! Starting October 14, the following operations will be available:
Our goal is always to provide our campers, guests, and staff with a safe, fun, and enriching experience. We have been following updates from the CDC, American Camping Association, Department of Children and Families, the Vermont Health Department. After much deliberation and in alignment with our goals, we have decided that due to the significant unknowns and challenges of our state guidelines we do not plan run our traditional Snow Sport University camps or TREASURES day care this winter. The long list of protocols provided by the state will make it very challenging to safely run camps while also providing a great guest experience. For more information on lesson programs for all ages go to Snow Sport University CLOSE
Greetings from Morse, Madonna, and Sterling. The question on everyone’s mind up here is when are we going to open? Mother Nature continues to provide lots of ups and downs and it looks like she’s not done yet. We’re going to get some decent snowmaking temperatures this week and snowmaking will be underway. However, it will be a short window, providing only about 36 – 40 hours of good production temps. After that, we may get another opportunity on Monday the 23rd and then there’s nothing on the horizon until possibly the 29th and 30th. The bottom line is that we will most likely have to delay our Thanksgiving weekend opening. Sometime in the week following appears to be the best we can hope for at the moment, barring any unforeseen weather changes.
When we do open, what will it look like?
We expect early season on-mountain capacity will be limited. Simply put, we can only have so many people here at one time to safely operate. We expect early season on-mountain capacity will be limited. Simply put, we can only have so many people here at one time to safely operate. Therefore, only the pass products that allow direct-to-lift access will be accepted on opening day (Season Pass, Bash Badge Plus, Hybrid Pass if midweek). Due to limited available terrain, we have to adjust our comfortable carrying capacity on the hill.
**Please keep in mind that EVERYONE riding the lift must commit to being in compliance with Vermont's travel and quarantine policies before they will be allowed through the RFID gate. Pass Holders will receive an email in the coming days with this information to validate your pass. Look for subject: Important message to Pass Holders. We will continue to communicate about this through social media channels.
We’re still working out specifically how we’re going to manage capacity as the season moves along without requiring reservations, and you can expect to hear more about that soon. In the meantime, consider changing up your ski/ride time (that goes for your lift partner, too). The hours of 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and weekends are when we usually have the highest number of skiers. See if you can adjust your schedule to get your runs in earlier or later in the day and/or spend more midweek time on the hill. Embrace change.
We’re striving to open with as much terrain as possible in order to help spread people out. Here are some things we do know that skiers and riders need to be aware of:
Masks or face coverings will be required around the base area, while in the lift corral, loading and unloading areas; pretty much everywhere except for when skiing down the hill. Keep your distance from the staff; they’re essential and we need to keep them healthy if we’re going to be able to operate.
Dress warmly at all times. On-mountain warming huts will have to be severely limited in capacity or closed to the public entirely.
Think of your vehicle as your personal home base. The Base Lodge capacity is very limited and open only to skiers and riders, however, this season, it is not intended as a place to boot up or get changed. The cafeteria will offer grab-and-go items with table seating available. Green Peppers and the Black Bear will require reservations. One way traffic through the lodge will be in effect, so please follow signs, as this will be different from the past. State requirements dictate that you can only be in the lodge for up to 30 minutes. We ask that everyone remains respectful to these requirements. There will be no gear storage in the lodge.
Lift corrals will be spread out to allow for social distancing.
Partner up. Only people from the same traveling group or families should ride the lift together. Plan to ski/ride with someone you trust that you can ride the lift with.
Auxiliary bathrooms will be available at the Base Lodge, Parking Lot 1, and the Village lifts starting in mid-December.
Parking Lot 1 access will be gated this year, opening at 7:30 am and closing at 5:00 pm. No reservations required. Tailgate parties are not allowed this season. Sorry, all.
Attestation required. Ski and Ride will be reaching out to all existing season pass and bash badge holders to execute their attestation documents. All other ticket purchasers will be prompted to execute an attestation when purchasing tickets online. The purpose of this is to collect contact tracing information. Smugglers’ will be able to identify when and where folks used the lifts with the RFID data collected at the lift gates. From the State of Vermont: “Resorts must require guests to attest that the guest will be in compliance with the state’s travel and quarantine policies when they use the resort either at the point of sale of a ticket or season pass OR when collecting contact tracing information. Resorts must be able to demonstrate to state authorities that each guest completed an attestation. Attestations must include a warning that failure to comply with the state’s travel and quarantine policy may result in the loss of future skiing and riding privileges.”
Stay in-the-know with mountain updates. Opt-in to our Smuggs text messaging service by texting SNOW to (855) 421-2279 for up to the minute information. Check the Snow Report and Hugh’s views on the Smuggs website regularly before you come to the mountain. Sign up for the daily snow report at smuggs.com/email-subscribe
Our Uphill Policy has undergone some changes in light of the many new norms we are experiencing in our daily lives. Our updated policies can be viewed here bit.ly/smuggsuphill
Thank you for your cooperation and let’s all have a great winter!
Smugglers’ Mountain Operations team Pass & Badge Update — October 28, 2020
Our plan for this upcoming winter will be to manage your Ski & Ride experience with these simple safety measures in place; mask wearing in corrals including loading and unloading lifts, social distancing, using your vehicle for changing into gear instead of our base lodge, staying home if you are experiencing symptoms of illness, and joining friends or family who can ride with you on double chairlifts. The management of Smuggs is also very concerned with the health and safety of our employees and our expectations are to work towards establishing a comfortable carrying capacity on the mountain. This is a variable calculated by the overall number of people on the hill compared to trail count and lift operations. Exceeding this capacity or safety protocols leaves our staff and guests in potential unsafe areas of exposure. Based on past historical data there are peak days during holiday and weekends where we could be exceeding our comfortable capacity and will need to limit the amount of ticket sales to the general public. For instance, restrictions may be tighter during early season when trails and or lifts are limited.
At this time we are not planning any reservation process for our loyal local day market. The Bash Badge, Bash Badge Plus, and Hybrid product owners who need to purchase tickets will be required to purchase tickets online to minimize any in person contact. We expect to operate on a first come first served basis for mountain access with robust real time communication system in place to promote in advance if our comfortable capacity is being maximized. Smuggs is planning to communicate through multiple channels to provide every skier and rider with updated mountain status reporting to better plan your day on the slopes (e.g. FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Snow Report email, Smuggs Snow Report, and text alerts*).
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a cold and snowy season so we are planning on you having a great time on the slopes of Smuggs this winter with health and safety foremost.
* Text the word SNOW to 855-421-2279 to receive the most up-to-date mountain information. From Mountain Operations - August 31, 2020
I hope by now that everyone recognizes that there will be a winter this year and we will be skiing and riding at Smuggs! Certainly the weather of late is reminding us that it’s not too far away. The Smugglers’ Mountain Operations team has been hard at work getting ready.
If you’re wondering what happens up here over the summer, well, we’ve got a lot going on, much of which you won’t necessarily notice but which is critical to smooth operation. Here are some highlights:
Planning: During the ongoing COVID pandemic, our first priority is the health and safety of our guests and staff. Across the ski industry and at Smugglers’, planning for safe operations this winter has been ongoing and will probably continue until the day the first chair gets loaded. Countless webinars and Zoom meetings have been attended and continue. Best practices and lessons learned from those who re-opened last spring and who are running now in the southern hemisphere are being closely examined. Conversations amongst resorts across the country occur almost daily. Here in Vermont, the Vermont Ski Areas Association has been diligently working on an opening plan that will require the review and approval of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Health. This effort is ongoing. Under the umbrella of this overall plan, each ski area will be required to have their own plan specific to the needs of the individual resort.
So, while we don’t have all the details worked out yet, here’s some of what we do know:
We have to make every effort to keep our staff healthy. An outbreak amongst our essential staff such as lift operators, mechanics, or ski patrol could cause us to have to close! Expect to see this managed by the use of staggered arrival and departure times for employees, enhanced disinfection practices, plenty of PPE including face shields on lift loaders, extra warm-up spaces for lift crews, daily health checks, and more.
Lift corrals may be spread out to allow for social distancing. The term lift maze may take on new meaning this winter!
Snow Sport University will be taking many measures to enhance staff and guest safety but the learning will go on!
Masks or face coverings will be required around the base area, for indoor spaces, while in the lift corral, and loading and unloading areas; pretty much everywhere except for when skiing down the hill.
Consider changing up your ski and ride time. The hours of 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and weekends are when we have the greatest occupancy. Can you adjust your schedule to get those runs in earlier or later in the day and/or spend more midweek time on the hill?
There will be lots of signage to pay attention to. It’s expensive, please read it.
Base Lodge and warming hut capacities will be restricted. Plan to dress warm and boot up at the car. Think of your car as your new base lodge and while you’re getting ready for winter, you may want to practice walking in those ski boots!
Bathroom capacity will be at a premium – isn’t it always? Expect to see auxiliary bathroom facilities provided in key locations.
Plan to ski with a friend or family member whose health you trust. Smuggs double chairs are probably among the safest way to go in this environment but if we’re going to take full advantage of our capacity, single riders will be unpopular on busy days.
Communication will be key to a smooth and successful winter experience. Guests and employees will need to stay abreast of the latest guidance and direction. No matter how well we plan and execute, things will change as we go along. Keeping up with the latest information from Smuggs website and text messaging service before you come to work or to ski and ride is everyone’s responsibility.
Lifts: We completed a two-year assessment of all our lifts and you’ll be pleased to know they’ve got lots of life left, providing we keep applying plenty of TLC. The assessment included a complete inspection of all running gear by an expert from Doppelmayr lifts. The inspection also included non-destructive testing (NDT) of all lift towers and anchor bolts in addition to the routine NDT work we do on chairs and grips annually. Our biggest efforts this year on lifts include replacement of the lift cable on Madonna I, replacement of the communication lines on Mogul Mouse and Village Lift, and reworking the chair heads and doing a load test on Sterling Lift. The new Madonna I cable, 13,500’ feet long, weighing 46,000 pounds took a week to install. Many thanks to our friends from Claussen’s Crane Service, GW Tatro, and Mountain Wire Rope Service plus the 20 some Smuggs employees who were hands-on with the project.
Snowmaking: Every year the snowmaking team tests all the pumps, motors, on hill piping, and tower guns. Once the testing is done, they go to work on repairs. This summer we’ve sent one pump out for a rebuild. We’re busy rebuilding and replacing hydrants and valves throughout the system. Several tower guns are under repair. Pipe replacement and repair is underway. We plan to be making snow starting November 1st or as soon thereafter as the weather allows.
Grooming: The grooming crew takes every snowcat in the fleet, pulls them into the garage, and proceeds to go through them from stem to stern, inspecting, and repairing as needed. All the tracks get pulled and reworked. Hydraulic pumps are tested and rebuilt, hydraulic hoses replaced. Electronics are tested. Fluids and filters are changed. Tillers are torn down, reworked, rebalanced, and reassembled. All of which means our machines will be ready to roll and perform for the hundreds of hours of work they’ll do this season.
Trails: Trail mowing is now underway. One of the unsung heroes of Mt. Ops is our trail mower, Albert Rogers. Albert has been mowing for us for years. He brings his tractor up and, with an old-style sidebar sickle mower, proceeds to lay down grass and brush in places many of us would be reluctant to drive an ATV. Albert tackles about 150 acres of terrain across all three mountains and we’re incredibly lucky to have him. However, even Albert can’t get on the steeper terrain and that is where the brush cutters come in. We use a crew from Horizon Forestry. These guys and their saws will be hitting the trails and glades shortly after Labor Day and this year will be doing over 100 acres, taking only 3 days to do it! This represents the most acreage we’ve ever done in a single season. On top of that work, the groomers are on the hill for the next 3 to 4 weeks with an excavator, cleaning water bars, repairing any washouts, making sure we’re in the best shape possible to start laying down snow.
Ski Patrol: Signage, rope, toboggans, tower pads, first aid supplies, lift evac equipment, all of this and more falls under ski patrol’s auspices. Inventory, inspection, ordering is all about to get underway, and let’s not forget training! Smugglers’ is blessed to have one of the top patrols in the East!
As we’ve been reminded often, we’re all in this together. Much of our ability to have a fun, successful winter rest in the behavior of Smugglers’ guests and staff, while we’re at the resort and when we’re not. Wearing our face coverings, not showing up if we’re sick, maintaining that social distance, and being patient with one another are going to be critical to a great winter. We will show respect for the health of our guests’ families by wearing face masks – please do the same for ours – you’ll get a big thanks from Smuggs employees! CLOSE
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