GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (KOIN) — The ski slopes at Timberline were open for business on Thanksgiving day, though with restrictions in place to follow state COVID-19 guidelines.
“Yesterday was absolutely wonderful, the conditions were outstanding. Ironically, this year’s snow is not the challenge,” said John Burton, the director of marketing at Timberline Lodge. “We got over 50 inches on the ground, it was cold, customers were extremely happy. Frankly, it was great to see some smiling faces.”
Starting Saturday, reservations will no longer be required to ski and ride at Timberline.
“Tomorrow — Friday — is our last day of reservations so Friday is sold out, to be clear,” Burton said. “Starting Saturday, we are pivoting to a different way to safely manage our capacity at the ski area. We are going to a first-come, first-serve strategy.”
Timberline said its reservation system “wasn’t the best solution to manage capacity” during the pandemic.
Instead, Timberline staff will limit the number of people based on how many cars can safely fit in the parking lot. Parking lot availability will be first-come, first-served and Timberline Road will be closed once the lot is at capacity. Newcomers will be allowed in once other spaces open up. Guests should wait to get up to Timberline after 7 a.m. when roads are plowed, but before 9 a.m. before the road closes.
Burton said people hoping to spend some time on the slopes but who don’t get an early start may have luck getting into the parking lot around lunch time when people start leaving.
Reservations will be required for Thursday and Friday.
Guests must still wear face coverings while visiting Timberline and maintain physical distance. The Day Lodge is closed to indoor dining, though the outdoor cafe is still serving to-go meals. Guests are asked to only visit Timberline and use the lift chairs with members of their households.
“To be specific, there is not even any sitting in the Day Lodge, you can’t go in there and hangout. The restrooms are metered, retail is open and it’s metered. Ski school is open for private lessons only,” Burton said.
Timberline Lodge is closed to everyone other than hotel guests during Oregon’s two-week “freeze.”
“It’s great to be back up and running, super cool to see these happy faces,” said Burton. “Remember, winter driving is in full effect so come prepared properly with traction tires and give yourself extra time and be patient and kind to your humans.”