Blog :: 09-2020

Telski announces lift ticket prices - Telluride Ski Resort Skiing 2020/2021

Advanced purchase required for day passes, ski school products

Ski pass pricing

Kids enjoy the slopes during Opening Day last year. Telski announced lift ticket prices this week. Resort officials will continue the discussion about the 2020-21 operating plan during today’s county meeting. (Planet file photo)

While season passes have been on sale, Telski announced the lift ticket prices for the upcoming 2020-21 ski season this week, which will be available for purchase online at beginning Oct. 8. 

Early season prices, which are effective Opening Day Nov. 26 through Dec. 15, are $140 for adults, $71 for children ages 6-12 and $104 for seniors ages 65-79. Regular season prices from Dec. 16 to Closing Day April 4 are $169, $96 and $147, respectively. The resort anticipates hosting the annual Donation Day Nov. 25, which benefits the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club, snow conditions and COVID-19 restrictions permitting. 

All lift tickets and ski school products must be purchased in advance online, as there will be no day-of purchases at the ticket window this season due to the coronavirus protocols. Ski school products can also be purchased online starting Oct. 8. 

Carson Taylor, Telski’s director of skier services, explained that the resort has been focused on providing the loyalty discount for those who held season or multi-day passes and wish to renew before the upcoming season. With the discount, which ends today (Wednesday), a season pass is $1,500. Regular priced passes for this year are $1,750. 

“We've been selling passes for three weeks now and demand remains strong. The first phase of the pass sale has focused solely on last winter's season pass and multi-day card holders, of which the reception to having extended the loyalty discount or credit towards the purchase of a pass this winter has been very positive,” he said. “The product sales team has made some adjustments and are focusing on pre-fulfillment as it pertains to the purchase of any winter product, whether it be a season pass, T Card, lift ticket or ski school product. The goal is to reactivate season pass cards for those whom still have them or advance print and mail to as many guests as possible prior to their arrival.”

Telski officials have previously said that there will be no reservation system for pass or multi-day holders this year like Vail Resorts has implemented, though requiring advanced purchases for lift tickets ski school products helps the resort as it operates during a global pandemic, Taylor added. 

“Currently, we are not strategizing to deploy an advanced reservation system for season pass and multi-day card holders,” he said. “However, other traditional winter products like lift tickets and ski school will require advanced reservations. Requiring reservations for lift ticket and ski school products provides for inherent control features in the form of capacity management if or when necessary.”

The resort has been proactive in how it plans to have a successful season during an unprecedented pandemic, including expanding on-mountain dining outdoors in temporary tents that can withstand the weather.  

“We're all more or less being forced to navigate these uncharted waters and subsequently do not have clarity on how certain changes to our day-to-day operations will impact our staff and guests' experience,” Taylor said. “Our primary goal remains to make decisions that provide a healthy and safe environment for all, so we can ride the chairlifts and ski down the mountain.”

Jeff Proteau, Telski’s vice president of mountain operation and planning, CFO Tom Richards, director of risk manager Matt Thomas and Chad Horning, who is the son of majority owner Chuck Horning, were part of last week’s San Miguel Board of County Commissioners virtual meeting in discussing the resort’s operating plans for the upcoming season. The talk continues during today’s county meeting, starting at 12:45 p.m. The agenda item is budgeted for an hour. For a complete schedule of the meeting, visit

Special Thanks Telluride Daily Planet

Airbnb Releases Ranking of Countries and U.S. States With the Cleanest Listings: Telluride #1


The U.S. listings that made the rankings are mostly on the west coast.

Special thanks to CAILEY RIZZO 

Airbnb released a ranking of countries and states that have the most listings now certified with its Enhanced Cleaning program, which was sparked by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Months after Airbnb released a new set of health protocols and Enhanced Cleaning training for hosts more than 1.2 million in over 220 countries have complied. The training certification process teaches hosts about new CDC sanitation standards, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Listings which have opted into the Enhanced Clean program see, on average, about three times more bookings than those which do not.

“Cleanliness and safety are top of mind for our hosts and guests,” said in a press release on Thursday. “In the last weeks, hosts have embraced and adopted our new rigorous guidelines, with thousands more attesting to the Enhanced Cleaning protocol every day. This effort shows how our hosts are dedicated to the highest standards and committed to keeping their guests and communities safe.”

Airbnb rental


As hosts complete the certification, Airbnb has been keeping track of the listings that became certified this summer. Of the top 10 locations in the world where Enhanced Cleaning is implemented the most, nine are in the U.S.

The U.S. listings, which are mostly in the western part of the country, are:

  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Destin, Florida
  • Walla Walla, Washington
  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Oregon Coast
  • Peak District, Hope Valley, UK
  • Grant County, Washington
  • Big Sky, Montana
  • Mammoth Lakes, California
  • Winter Park, Colorado

On a global scale, about half of the top 10 Enhanced Clean countries on Airbnb are:

  • United States
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Greece

The ranking shouldn’t be read as a metric for which home-stays are cleanest, as the list is affected by several factors. For example, the ranking is skewed by the availability of Airbnbs in each country. When Airbnb adjusted the metrics for total listings available in each country, Barbados, Korea, Japan, and Portugal also became top-ranking Enhanced Clean locations.

The numbers also don’t necessarily reflect which countries have the cleanest Airbnb listings, only which hosts have received COVID-19 cleaning training.

Recently, Airbnb launched a partnership with the National Park Foundation to encourage travelers to book a rental close to a national park.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitteron Instagram or at

Lodging capacity increasing to 75 percent in Telluride, CO

Current caseload, less people coming to the area factored into decision


A look at the local cases, as of Thursday afternoon. (Courtesy image)

After a summer season that limited lodging occupancy to 50 percent, San Miguel County officials approved an increase in capacity to 75 percent, which will go into effect Oct. 1

Officials, who heard county public health director Grace Franklin’s six-month COVID-19 report Wednesday, took into account the maintained case levels and “anticipated decrease in drive traffic and camping in the coming months” in making the decision, according to a county news release.

Occupancy will be measured on a monthly basis. With the updated capacity, single units and self-managed properties like Airbnb and VRBO) can rent each unit 23 days per month, and 21 days in February.

“The lodgers have worked diligently to comply with public health orders, and implement best practices for our guests and community,” Lodging Oversight Committee Chair Larry Mallard said in the release. “We are grateful to the Public Health Department for working together to increase capacity and are confident that we can maintain metrics with continued safety protocols.”

Michael Martelon, Telluride Tourism Board president and CEO, explained occupancy for October is currently up compared to last year, though that doesn’t mean more people are visiting the area but instead staying longer.

“At this point in time, October paid occupancy is just north of 12 percent, compared to last year's 10 percent; an increase that correlates with the average length of stay increasing from three to four nights year-over-year,” he said. “Summer overall has the same average-length-of-stay growth. October paid occupancy currently opens with a strong weekend and continues a downward trend through Halloween, with slight upticks on weekends until the middle of the month.” 

Similarly, owner stays mimic the pattern throughout the month.

“Current data shows owner stays starting the month at 19 percent occupancy and finishing at 9 percent, mirroring at least for now, the reduction in the paid segment,” he added.

Overall, paid and owner occupancy for the month of October is currently 26 percent compared to 22.3 percent last year.

A new trend that has occurred during the pandemic is the booking window, the days from a guest booking to a guest arrival, has shrunk, Martelon pointed out.

“Summer booking windows have decreased by 60 percent year-over-year from a summer average last year of 80 days to 31 days this summer. The festival booking patterns and market behavior in a pandemic have influenced this metric,” he explained. “That’s a long way of saying that, so far anyway, consumers have a newfound fondness for the outdoors, which produces an elevated number of stays booked seven to 10 days in advance, rather than 80-124 days.”

While tourism has remained healthy given the uncertainty of the coronavirus, the county caseload indicates that both locals and visitors have taken precautions seriously.

During the week, officials announced one new positive case from test results Sept. 16-18, but the 17-year-old male isn’t a resident so he is not counted toward the overall case count, leaving it at 90, as of press time Thursday afternoon. The male is symptomatic and in isolation; close contacts have been notified. There were no new positive cases announced Tuesday from test results this week. The next update will be today (Friday).

Entering flu season, it is important to get tested, especially if experiencing coronavirus symptoms, since illnesses this time of the year may have similar traits. Testing “is highly encouraged for individuals who are symptomatic, and/or who are a close contact of a confirmed positive case,” according to a Tuesday county news release.

“Testing plays an essential role in managing COVID, and we want to provide as many resources as possible from education to testing capability,” Franklin said. “There should be no barriers to getting tested if a person is symptomatic or was in close contact with a known positive.”

Testing by appointment is available at the Telluride Regional Medical Center and Uncompahgre Medical Center. Individuals must have an order from a health care provider or public health to get tested. Mesa County Public Health is offering free drive-up testing to all, including out of county residents, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Tuesday through Saturday every week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be found at

For more county information, visit

Special Thanks so Justin Criado, Telluride Daily Planet

Town and TMVOA partnering to expand dining options

Winter Dining Rendering


Mountain Village and TMVOA partnering on winter plaza dining enhancements

As communities across the country have pivoted countless times this year to respond locally to the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Town of Mountain Village and Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association (TMVOA) are partnering to offer a unique solution to help support restaurants this winter.

At each of their monthly regular meetings last week, both the Mountain Village Town Council and TMVOA board of directors approved to split funding to install private dining cabins made from refurbished gondola cars and yurts on Mountain Village’s plazas to offer guests and residents space to socially distance while still patronizing Mountain Village’s restaurants and bars. The Town is also currently pursuing various grant opportunities from the state to contribute toward this effort.

The winter enhancement plans will also assist Mountain Village restaurants with the rental of temporary weatherproof structures to be placed within current dining patios adjacent to restaurants and offer matching grant funds for outdoor heating elements to further support outside dining.


Special Thanks to Katherine Warren

Telluride Ski Resort announces 2020-21 dates

Ski Pass prices to be released Tuesday

Special thanks to the Telluride Daily Planet

Telski dates

Telski owner Chuck Horning stands at a conference table in his office during a previous interview with the Daily Planet. (Planet file photo)

Telski released more details about its plans for the upcoming 2020-21 ski season this week, including dates — Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) to April 4 (Easter Sunday), weather and COVID-19 restrictions permitting, according to a news release. 

The annual Donation Day, which benefits the Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club, will be Nov. 25.  

“Our teams here have been working tirelessly to make this happen, and we all appreciate their efforts,” Telski majority owner Chuck Horning said in the release. 

Season pass and lift ticket prices will be released Tuesday, according to Telski officials, but people can expect increased rates due to the financial impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, though there will be lower-priced pass options as well. 

“The ski resort is facing a challenging ski season due to reduction in visitors, decreased flights and lodging/restaurant occupancy restrictions. While the resort is preparing for a significant drop in revenue, the expenses required to run the mountain will remain constant in many areas, but in general, it’s more costly to operate in the COVID environment,” according to the release. “This season, there will be additional expenses in crowd management, food service, sanitation and other COVID-related issues. The community should expect increases in prices to help offset some of these costs as well as new lower price pass options with date restrictions during our busiest times to accommodate capacity constraints brought on by COVID.”

When Vail Resorts announced its season operating plan last week, mainly the reservation system that will be open to Epic Pass holders initially this year, Telski told the Daily Planet that there would be no such system in Telluride this season. 

Horning previously told the Planet that the resort will follow any local or state COVID-19 guidelines that may be in place and are planning accordingly, including purchasing temporary outdoor structures in an effort to socially distance diners and investing in software for contactless sales. Telski’s mountain operations team is also working on snowmaking and lift plans “to safely spread skiers out around the mountain.”

“The safety of our employees and guests are paramount to us,” Horning, “This is a significant part of our planning process right now. … We've had tough times before, and we remain committed to deliver a quality experience this winter, facing many unknowns and constraints. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. We will work with this community to continue improving our mountain and this year is no exception.”

Horning reiterated his commitment in explaining part of the resort’s long-term plan is to work toward “economic sustainability.” 

“We keep moving the economic situation closer to sustainability every year. I know we’ve made progress,” Horning said in a previous interview with the Planet. 

For an area like Telluride and Mountain Village, such sustainability can be challenging, but there are similar resort communities in Europe that may be able to serve as a model for the area, he explained.    

“This region’s economic sustainability, in spite of the years of economic growth, remains marginal for many businesses, and for people who grow up here or relocate here for work,” according to the release. “Over the next few years, the ski resort plans to participate with the community to understand a path to economic sustainability. They will work with merchants to strengthen the core economy, something that is challenging for a remote ‘no-growth’ community. There are few successful models in Europe of resorts who are remote, intentionally limit growth and are good places to raise a family. The ski area plans to continue to learn from them.”

Creating more affordable housing is another piece to the puzzle, Horning said, adding that the resort will move forward with its current projects, but more needs to be done. 

“We are in this for the long term. Folks here care about Telluride, and while there is a history of fighting over the progress or lack thereof, today we enjoy amazing success from the creation of communities, while preserving the quality of life, environmentally and culturally,” said Horning. “ … We will be moving forward with the projects for which we have approval or are in progress, but that is only (27) units. We probably need several hundred units, and this is doable. We need another Lawson Hill, which will require zoning changes. Lawson Hill required a zoning change and it was controversial but, today, it reflects what can be done. Opening up some land for employee housing is the only responsible thing to do. With the growth limitations our communities have, we can carefully but safely and without creating growth issues, solve our employee housing needs”

He’s also told the Planet that an additional $35 or $40 million would be needed to make the resort “what we consider optimal.”