COVID-19 effects on the Winter Park Ski-Music Festival
Communication from Festrival Staff to Attending Director regarding COVID-19 and changes we know of as of now:
Normally, this email would be sent to only explain how to complete the online December Questionnaire. With as many as 75 groups in a normal year, the questionnaire was the most efficient method for us to capture all the information needed to continue planning for all groups. This spring, we will have only a fraction of groups when compared to a normal year. Most are groups that have chosen to apply their 2020 credits for 2021, along with a few groups that are previous customers of the festival. My point to this explanation is to share: we could receive a phone call from all directors attending this spring, to gather the same information. If you want to skip providing your information via the December Questionnaire, just call us prior to December 15, and we can take your information over the phone. You will still need to review what we will be asking you in the Step #1 pdf link listed below, before you call.
Next, we want to give full disclosure with some important updates that will affect how we normally plan for groups. Despite what we published within our 2021 Winter Park Ski-Music Festival information document, we hope each director or travel planner understands the everchanging environment this COVID-19 pandemic produces. With Covid-19 still present within Colorado and within the Winter Park/Grand County community, the Winter Park Resort has implemented new guidelines to be followed for its 2020-2021 ski season. I don’t know if it because I am associated with the skiing industry, but I have received and viewed numerous articles telling how these guidelines are being implemented all throughout Colorado and other states’ ski resorts. These articles surround pre-arranged or “reservation only” components, whether lift ticket sales, rentals, lessons or non-ski activities. No resort is allowing walk-up persons or groups to just show up, for fear of overcrowding guidelines. Below are several known guidelines and changes, and our comments, that will affect how we plan for music groups in 2021. This list may grow or lessen as time nears the festival dates. Call and we can talk through any of the topics you have questions about.
- For groups staying at Beaver Village Condos, Fraser/Founders condos (at resort), and Zephyr Mountain Lodge (at resort): Many condo owners have taken their properties off rental programs, so they can utilize the condos themselves. Right now, the management companies we work with are promising to provide all the lodging we have for your group. We may not be able to provide as many of the larger 2,3, and 4 bedroom condos we have provided in the past. So, for 2021, accommodating a group’s first choice of having some larger condos for several adult couples in one condo unit may be limited.
- At the resort:
o Everyone wears a mask or face covering properly when outside and inside.
o There will be volume restrictions inside any resort building. We suppose these volumes will be posted and/or enforced in some manner for all indoor premises, including the resort eating places, the private restaurants, retail shops, ticketing spaces, and within overnight lodging common spaces or lobbies. Luckily, our festival dates are during low volume ski season, which may not near person volume maximums. If your group will be at the resort during a Saturday or Sunday, it could be more of issue than during a weekday.
o Ski lifts will only allow smaller amounts of riders per seat or gondola. This could create a longer wait time to load a lift. But will probably not be noticeable unless on a weekend day. Gondolas must have open windows, being locked open or the windows removed.
- Resort Rentals. In years past, when a group stays overnight at a resort managed property, we have always had them receive their ski/snowboard rentals at a resort operated rental shop. We can still do this, but need to share some changes with this:
o To comply with volume guidelines, the resort shops are only allowing group rental fittings Monday through Thursday only.
o On any of these four weekdays, the rental times for groups can only be scheduled during the hours of 1:00-3:00 pm, the day prior to a group skiing the mountain. With those rental hours, and the lifts stop running upward at 4:00 pm, a group arriving on any specific day, will most likely not ski the day they arrive, unless getting rentals elsewhere. The fitting, being the day before a group skis, will not count toward the 4 days of rentals we provide.
o The maximum number of group rentals they can provide each day is 100 rentals. And they cannot process more than 25 persons each half hour.
o Rental fittings maybe outside if needed, with only employees getting rental equipment from the inside.
o There will not be overnight storage for rental equipment in the rental shops, or in the black carts that are brought inside each night. Resort rentals will have to be brought to the resort overnight lodging facility each night.
o These are the parameters we have been told to follow when planning for resort rentals. The most concerning aspect to resort rentals is groups arriving before 1:00-3:00 pm the day before they wish to start skiing/snowboarding. So, if there is any flexibility with transportation arrangements as to when you can arrive, keep this in mind if you want to have the convenience of resort rentals.
- In the year’s past, any group that stayed at Beavers or Snow Mountain Ranch, received their ski equipment rentals at non-resort rental shops. This will be the same for 2021. Right now, the only guideline the state and county officials are mandating is the number of persons inside a shop at any time. Currently, this 20-25 persons at a time for fittings. Therefore, date/time restrictive scheduling should not be an issue. We will just need to plan for 20 persons in the shop at a time, with the remainder being outside or in the bus. Rental shops can usually process 20 rentals every 20-30 minutes.
- Ski and Snowboard lessons
o There will only be three lesson start times each day: 9:00 am, 11:00 am, and 1:00 pm
o Each of these three times will be limited to 75 persons only, for all groups.
o We will arrange for this best we can for groups needing lessons the same day. Unlike years past, when an entire group received a lesson at one start time, 2021 may be different with staggering start times.
o Good news is, unlike previous years with 15-20 persons per instructor, the max ratio will be 5 beginners per instructor.
- Non- ski recreation. Below are the changes with how the six vouchers we provide are utilized:
o The scenic Gondola ride to the top of Winter Park and back down will not be available to non-skiers wanting to redeem one voucher for this ride. The Gondolas will be used solely for getting skiers upward, because of the restrictive volumes on all upward lifts.
o The Snowcat tour will be available for booking in exchange for three provided vouchers for each person, BUT because of new COVID-19 guidelines, each tour requires a minimum of 8 persons, maximum of 10 persons, reserve for each tour, with all 8-10 persons being from the same group. If a group has less than 8 persons wanting to take the Snowcat tour, they will not be able to, unless at least 24 vouchers are somehow exchanged for that tour. If a group had 11-20 persons total wanting to take a Snowcat tour, it would require at least 16 persons, (8 persons each tour) redeeming at least 48 vouchers to schedule for two separate tours. One more note about Snowcat tours: In past years, the Snowcat tours originated from the top of the mountain, which the tour included a Gondola ride up the mountain to access the tour, and back down after the tour. So, we always suggested that a non-skier not redeem for a Scenic Gondola ride, when they would get it included with a Snowcat tour. We believe this will still be the case in 2021.
o Downhill tubing. As we published in our 2021 information, the downhill tubing recreation may not be available for the April 15-18 festival week or could close earlier with any festival week because of inadequate snow or temperature conditions. Keep this mind with the new guidelines with the other non-ski activities, and would this persuade some attendees to select skiing or snowboarding rather than the non-ski activities?
o For Snowcat tours, Guided Downhill Snowshoe tours, and Downhill tubing at the resort, everything must be reserved at least one month prior to a group’s arrival. In the past, any non-skiers could select the activities they wished to exchange vouchers for, after their arrival in Winter Park. For resort staffing, overcrowding preventions, and to accommodate all groups visiting Winter Park Resort this season, expect both you and us, to create reservation dates and times for all your non-ski members, at least one month prior to your arrival in Winter Park.
o An incredibly undesirable aspect to these required reservations is students and adults being forced to stick with the recreation choice they register for. In the past, we have always allowed the best we could, for some members to switch their recreation choice after they arrived in Winter Park. Honestly, with all these new guidelines and prior reservations requirements, this previous luxury may not be permitted for 2021. When the time comes for recreation choice decisions made when your members individually register, please encourage them to be extra diligent in their decision making/investigation. As their director, you may want to visit with everyone individually or within a group, sharing how they must commit to their recreation decision, without any promise of alternative recreation otherwise.
- Music Performances. We have so many directors share with us, because of COVID-19 or guidelines within their community/school, their inability to rehearse or perform with their ensembles. We want you to know, if music performances are something you want to eliminate with this trip, despite this being a music performance festival, we understand, and you have that option. We will be glad to refund the performing ensemble charges. Right now, we believe our high school performance site will be available for our use. If something changes with it, we have other location options available to us. We will make more specific decisions later, but each director can pretty much count on your group being the only group scheduled within the performance site at a time, without an audience from other music programs. We are planning to have all performance site spaces disinfected the best we can between attending groups. Recordings, adjudication, and provided equipment to be as usually provided.
- Awards Ceremony. The Winter Park Resort cannot allow us to have our awards ceremony/street dance as usually provided. The local community currently restricts large gatherings. And perhaps no group should be in close proximity with other group members. So currently, an awards ceremony is a festival component we do not believe will occur. However, each group, whether performing or not, can expect some type of private, in group gathering with the festival staff, recognizing performance achievements, or participation in the festival. More to come later on this topic.
As described in the Registration Form Agreement, each group was to complete our online December Questionnaire before December 15th . For this year, just a phone call to us proving the same information will be fine. The information you provide is entirely necessary for many trip planning purposes. And based on your responses, it allows us to update your Billing Invoice amount, so you will know the ½ payment amount due in our office by January 15th.
If your district, school office or booster club requires more than 2 weeks to process and mail a check after the holidays, in time for the festival to receive by the January 15th due date, complete the online December Questionnaire as soon as you receive this email in early December, so your Billing Invoice can be viewed shortly afterward, allowing you to request a payment/check amount well before your holiday break.
If you are group attending the 2021 festival, using 2020 credited payments, you will notice when you view the Billing Invoice after we receive your December Questionnaire information, no payment would be required for the January 15th due date.
Completing the December Questionnaire through WPSMF Online is easy enough to use with the below instructional pdfs . If you need assistance with anything, just call us, and we can talk you through it from start to finish. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Here is how to begin with the online December Questionnaire:
- Before you begin to complete the online December Questionnaire, or call us with your information, you will probably want to research and prepare for some of the questions the online questionnaire, or we will ask you. Open this PDF: “Step #1- Information being asked on December Questionnaire” to help prepare you.
- Now that you know what the questionnaire will ask, and you are ready to answer those questions, open this PDF:“Step#2- WPSMF Online Director Login”. It will provide suggestions and instructions to log in, so you can complete and submit your questionnaire online. The username and password you will need are below in this email. By the way, learning to login with WPSMF Online is not just for the December Questionnaire. You will log in for many other purposes in the upcoming months.
- After your successful login, open this PDF: “Step#3- Instructions to complete December Questionnaire”. Once you have completed the online questionnaire, the festival staff will be alerted, review your responses, contact you with any additional questions (if needed), and then email you, stating your Billing Invoice is ready for you to view/print online. If you don’t hear from us within one business day after completing, please contact us.
Keep in mind, if we do not receive your completed questionnaire, or hear from you by December 15th, we will most likely start reaching out to you. If we have not received by Thursday December 17 or Friday December 18, you can count on us contacting you however we can, until we get in touch with you. Your submitted responses are important when we begin festival scheduling for all groups during the holiday break. Group’s with late questionnaire responses will not receive the same scheduling priority as other timely groups.
While we are emailing this page with the above PDF links to every director, here is a final PDF: “Instructions for Director to use WPSMF Online”. A director does not need to read and get started with this document prior to their school holiday break, unless they choose to. As a matter of fact, there are some early December COVID-19 related editing to perform with some of the information described in this email, for your students and adults to view before they start registering. So, waiting a couple of weeks before you start entering your member names and distributing their instructions would be helpful for us. Every director should read and begin with these instructions well before January 15th. All your students and adult individual registrations will rely on you getting them set up to register online, which also provides important festival information for their individual trip planning needs.
Thanks to all! We are only a phone call/email away and will be glad to assist you.
Overnight Lodging Choices and Descriptions
Snow Mountain Ranch Lodge Rooms
- Located 12 miles from Winter Park Ski Resort in beautiful Snow Mountain Ranch (Local ski shuttle does not service Snow Mountain Ranch which requires a group’s own transportation the entire stay)
- Lodge rooms sleep 6 persons. (3 different facilities, each with one of the following: 2 queen beds + pull out sofa, or 2 queen beds + bunk bed, or 2 bunk beds + queen bed) Each room has its own private bath and WIFI. This is a more budget friendly choice IF group chaperones can share rooms with students, or other chaperones
- Similar to a hotel room (without kitchens) with indoor corridors from lobby. Some lodge rooms (2 queen beds + pull out sofa) have mini fridge and small microwave in each room
- Per Person Price based on Maximum Occupancy. $30 empty bed space charge per space per night may apply for adult rooms filled with less than maximum occupancy
- One male student and one female student lodge room allowed with no empty bed space charges
- Enjoy the amenities of Snow Mountain Ranch: huge rec center (court games, roller skating, wall climbing & more),indoor Olympic sized pool, and laundry vending
- Discounted bus driver lodging available for groups staying at Snow Mountain Ranch
- Optional “All You Can Eat” buffet meals can be purchased for an additional cost
- Breakfast – $11 per person per meal + tax
- Lunch $13 per person per meal + tax
- Dinner $16 per person per meal + tax
Snow Mountain Ranch Cabins
- Located 12 miles from Winter Park Ski Resort in beautiful Snow Mountain Ranch (Local shuttle doesn’t service Snow Mountain Ranch which requires a group’s own transportation the entire stay)
- 2 through 8-bedroom cabins that will sleep up to 42 persons- all under one roof for easy chaperoning. Larger groups can use multiple cabins
- Living area, kitchen (prepare own meals), dining area, fireplace, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and grill for the entire group
- Per Person Price based on Minimum Occupancy. $35 empty bed space charge per space per night may apply for cabins filled with less than minimum occupancy. Ask festival staff about cabin sizes and min/max occupancies
- Enjoy the amenities of Snow Mountain Ranch: huge rec center (court games, roller skating, wall climbing & more), indoor Olympic sized pool, and laundry vending
- Discounted bus driver lodging available within nearby lodge rooms for groups staying at Snow Mountain Ranch
Beaver Village Condos
- Located near downtown Winter Park. Walk into town, ride the free ski shuttle to town, and/or ride the free shuttle to the Winter Park Ski Resort
- Condos sleep 6+ persons within 2 bedrooms and living area. 2 baths in each condo. These multiple bedroom condos will allow chaperoning adults more private separate sleeping space in a condo with students or other adults
- Full kitchens in each condo unit for own meal preparation. Gas fireplaces and Wi-Fi in each condo
- Main building offers an indoor pool, hot tubs, and laundry vending
- Walk or shuttle to local restaurants, shopping, groceries or ski rental shops
Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $55 (March) or $45 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for condos filled less than maximum occupancy
- One male student and one female student condo allowed with no empty bed space charges
The Vintage Hotel at Winter Park Resort
- A ski in/out property located just above the ski resort with a quick two- minute, free gondola ride away from Winter Park Ski Resort base, slopes and Resort Village.
- Studios sleep 4 persons. Two double beds with no separate bedrooms
- Each studio condo has a gas fireplace, cable TV and Wi-Fi
Kitchenette (convection microwave, 2 burner stove, undercounter fridge & dish washer) for preparing meals
- Ski rentals from ski resort with convenient overnight storage at the ski base
- Outdoor pool, hot tub, game room and workout facility
- Conference/meeting rooms possibly available
- Ski shuttle service available to and from town of Winter Park for shopping and groceries
Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $53 (March) or $40 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for all condos filled less than maximum occupancy
Fraser Crossing/Founders Point Condos at Winter Park Resort
- A ski-in/out property located directly across the street from Winter Park Resort base- just a short walk to the lifts
- Most condos are either studio or one-bedroom condos that sleep 4 persons. A very limited number of two bedrooms (sleep 6) are available
- All condos have either kitchenettes or full kitchens for preparing meals
- Outdoor hot tubs, gas fireplaces, cable TV and Wi-Fi
Ski rentals from ski resort with convenient overnight storage at the ski base
- Ski shuttle service available to and from town of Winter Park for shopping and groceries
Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $70 (March) or $50 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for all condos filled less than maximum occupancy
Zephyr Mountain Lodge Condos at Winter Park Resort
- A ski-in/out property located directly within the Winter Park Ski Resort Village at the base lifts
- Most condos are one-bedroom condos that sleep 4 persons. A very limited number of two bedrooms (sleep 6) are available
- All condos have full kitchens for meal preparation
- Outdoor hot tubs, gas fireplaces, cable TV and Wi-Fi
Ski rentals from ski resort with convenient overnight storage at the ski base
Ski shuttle service available to and from town of Winter Park for shopping and groceries
Per Person price based on maximum room occupancy. $80 (March) or $60 (April) empty bed space charge per space per night applies for all condos filled less than maximum occupancy
Overnight Lodging Damage Deposits
Every group must place a credit card damage deposit for the entire group during lodging check-in. The amount is $10 per person, up to a $500 maximum deposit. The damage deposit required at check-in is not included within any payments the festival collects from a group prior to attending the festival. If no lodging damages are incurred, this deposit is refunded, or held funds released.
Now offering seven different lodging options for your group to choose from. We offer cabins, lodge rooms, and condos in order to fit any travel budget and need.
Every package includes a choice between one recreation activity: skiing, snowboarding, downhill tubing, gondola rides, snowcat tours, or snowshoe tours.
Groups compete against same school size, ensemble type and level. Comments and ratings are provided by 3 recognized and experienced adjudicators.
Awards and Street Dance
Each festival week concludes with an exciting outdoors awards ceremony and DJ’d Street Dance at the base of Winter Park Resort.
Groups can choose to stay 2,3, or 4 nights with seven different lodging options. Plan to arrive and depart on days your travel schedule allows, providing you with the utmost amount of travel flexibility.
Participation in performance
Groups will compete each week with institutions of similar size and performance skill. A panel of three respected adjudicators will provide constructive feedback and score the competing groups. Each festival week ends with a highly energetic awards ceremony and DJ’d street dance.
Choice of ONE recreation activity
Every registered participant will choose between 4 days of skiing or snowboarding (including lift card, equipment rental & beginner lesson) or the ability to trade in vouchers to participate in one of our non-ski activities: downhill tubing, gondola rides, snowcat tours, and snowshoe tours.
Travel protection plan
WPSMF will purchase on behalf of every registered participant, a limited benefit, “Post Departure Travel Protection Plan.” Additional trip cancelation/protection insurance can be secured through a third-party supplier.
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Resources for Registered Groups
Is a website dedicated specifically for the directors of our registered groups. This online resource contains all the festival information regarding their trip. For example, you can view trip information reports, adjust attendance counts and build group rooming lists. Ski Locker also allows Directors to monitor the progress of their student’s individual online registration in Start Gate.
Is the online portal for all students and adults registered to attend the festival. Participants can learn more about their recreation options, suggested clothing/items to pack and helpful information to prevent altitude sickness. All attending students and adults will be required to read WPSMF Start Gate topics and individually registering through this portal.
We have teamed up with guidebook to create an app accessible by all registered directors during their time with us at festival. The WPSMF App will allow directors to access all the pertinent information provided on Ski Locker via their smart phone while on the mountain and stay in the know. Important updates and notification to groups will be sent via the app during the festival.
Stay Up To Date With The Latest Updates and Event Info
“The Winter Park Ski-Music Festival has consistently been one of the favorite destinations for my students. The value is incredible, the customer service outstanding, and the musical and social experience for the students is truly exceptional.”
Thomas Rinn, Head Director
Colleyville Heritage High School Choir