Greetings to all of you. I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well. These are certainly trying times and unprecedented in how much we have all had to band together and trust the process. I thought that you may like to know what Monarch Mountain is up to and how we are pressing through this crisis. We have kept the majority of our year-round staff on board full time. Instead of bothering you all with sales campaigns and catchy slogans they are contributing the bulk of their time helping in the community. Their efforts in the making of masks and the delivery of foods to those in need has been inspiring. As you know, this is usually the time of year we ramp up our sales efforts and try to encourage all of our season pass holders to recommit to us. But that, now, doesn’t seem so important. Internally we are trying to wrap our heads around how to proceed when so many are hurting, and there is so much doubt in what the future holds. So I think the best description for how we are approaching the coming season is: with patience.
There is simply no way for us to know what the landscape will look like, not only in November, but even just a few weeks from now. We are told that the economy is going to reopen, but when? I think it’s safe to say that the economy is not going to reopen like anything we are used to.
It’s a fearful time. Will we have a job? Will we have enough money to live? Can we pay the bills? And even if any of that is not in question, will we be able to go outdoors? Can we recreate? If we do, will we get sick? So many questions that are impossible to answer right now. For us at Monarch, we are somewhat accustomed to this kind of anxiety. We believe that each and every day it is our obligation to set the stage for our guests to enjoy. That’s our collective role to play. We are always in a state of fear because we want your experience here to be perfect. Will it be too cold? Too windy? Too little snow? Too much snow? Are the roads too icy? Is there enough parking? There is a whole litany of other fears we have, some that are in our control and some that are not. Every day before we turn out the lights and leave for home, we look out the window and wonder what tomorrow will bring and almost always it isn’t what we expected. This is how it feels now.
So how will this coming season play out? We simply don’t know, but we are certain it won’t be like any other. We are already modifying our base area so that it will be an environment that is more conducive to social distancing. We are changing the way our restaurants operate to make these venues even less likely to transmit germs. We will be changing how and how many can load a lift at any given time. These are only a few examples of what you might expect. Skiing is such an individual exercise. It is just you and your board(s) and no one can do it for you. Yet once you have had your individual time, most of us can’t wait to congregate with each other to celebrate just that: how much fun we just had being an individual. That is the human condition, but it is this communal aspect of the skiing experience that will most likely undergo the largest change for which we will have to adjust. I feel pretty certain that the skiing part will be exactly the same. So regardless of what may take place in the base area, or with the services we provide, we will feel the fresh air on our faces again. We will feel free and independent again. We will ski and ride again, which may be just what the doctor ordered. Some say they will need to see it to believe it, but maybe what is needed more than ever is that first we must believe it in order to see it. At least that is what I am hanging on to.
So this is our belief; we have lowered all of our season pass prices for the 2020-2021 season, including the “Monarch Only Pass,” which is one of the most affordable passes in the State of Colorado. Knowing that travel may be more difficult, we have also increased the number of Monarch Only Passes available to purchase. We know this is a difficult time, so our early season pass pricing will be extended to July 31, 2020 rather than the end of April. We have also extended the payment plan to end December 1, 2020, which allows those who start it sooner, the option to increase the number of months for which to pay it off. It also allows those who are on the fence the ability to wait until September 1, 2020 to initiate the payment plan. We know it is a lot to ask for you to commit during these times, so we need to commit to you as well. We will guarantee that the lifts will spin for at least 90 days during the season or you will be refunded the prorated amount of your pass for days missed, regardless of how many times you have used it.
Thank you for taking the time to listen and thank you for the patience you have already shown. The commitment of all of us working together to limit this crisis shows, without a doubt, that there is plenty to be hopeful for. I’ll see you on the slopes, if not sooner.
Randy Stroud, GM/COO Monarch Mountain