Tuesday, September 8

What's Happening in Winter 2020/21?

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Sep 8, 2020

What's Happening in Winter 2020/21?

Dear Sunshiners,


Over the summer, our team has been working closely with Alberta Health Services (AHS) as we’ve developed our 2020/21 operational guidelines for the upcoming winter season. It has been a long offseason. Our team is counting down the days until our anticipated early November opening when we can once again welcome you back to enjoy the healthy mountain air as you carve up our beautiful Rocky Mountain Slopes.


In light of the year 2020, a day carving up Canada’s Best Snow will look a little different this winter at Banff Sunshine Village. At Banff Sunshine, the safety and wellbeing of our guests and our team members is our top priority. To keep our mountain healthy, we’ve initiated changes to our operating procedures that will allow us to reopen for winter and to sustainably operate throughout the entire ski and snowboard season.


The changes we are making to our operations for the 2020/21 Ski and Snowboard Season are for our entire mountain community’s health and wellbeing. We’ve consulted with medical professionals, brainstormed with industry leaders, and have been in close contact with AHS through our process of creating new guidelines for our winter season.


Ensuring we stay healthy will require assistance from all of our team members and you, our loyal Sunshiners.


Here’s a summary of the changes to our operations you will see come November 2020. Please note, these changes and requirements will likely evolve throughout the ski and snowboard season.


As our bull wheels begin to spin for winter 2020/21, know that we at Banff Sunshine are following the relaunch guidance for ski lifts and gondolas as directed by AHS.

Face Coverings or Face Masks, will be mandatory to ride, or wait for, any of our lifts, including the magic carpets and our gondola. On busy days we will be loading our gondola with up to 8 passengers per cabin. While in the gondola, we will require that face coverings stay on for the duration of the ride and that cabin windows stay open to allow for the circulation of fresh air.

When riding the gondola, do so with the comfort of knowing that we have implemented an enhanced disinfecting procedure for the interiors of our gondola cabins. When riding the gondola, we recommend that you heed the advice from medical professionals and refrain from touching any surfaces.

While loading lifts this winter, we encourage you to give our lift and gondola attendants a friendly wave. All our team members working on lifts will be required to wear a mask or a face covering. To prevent the spread of germs, we are encouraging all guests to load their own equipment on the gondola. Our snow hosts and gondola attendants will continue to assist guests who require assistance.

At Banff Sunshine Village, we’re proud to be home to Canada’s Most Modern Lift System. Thanks to short ride times, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, mandatory face coverings, and strong ventilation, we will load our lifts and our gondola at full capacity during busy periods. Loading our lifts at capacity will allow us to prevent large lift lines.


Sunshine Express Shuttle Buses will run this season for both our team members and guests. The use of masks or face coverings for those aboard a Sunshine Express will be compulsory. Each bus in our fleet will be disinfected frequently, with extra attention given to high touch surface areas.

We will have new signage installed at the entrance to the parking lot that encourages all guests to self-regulate social distancing when in the parking lot. We encourage guests to slow down when arriving at our base area to spread out when booting up.


When inside any Sunshine building, face masks or face coverings will be required - except when seated at a table and eating. Throughout the resort, we will have reduced seating in all of our lodges, and tables will be spread out to allow for proper social distancing. We have removed seating from the bar. All guests will be required to order beverages from their tables.

Food-wise, you can expect to see more grab and go options throughout the resort.

We are working to source temporary tent dining facilities and restrooms for guest use this winter to assist with extra seating. To allow for increased seating, we have transformed the top floor of the Old Village Gondola Station (where the big clock is in the village) into a picnic area for guests. It will be heated and will be furnished with tables and chairs. Click here to learn more about our new temporary lodging facilities..

As lodge space is limited, we encourage all guests to pack their own food and choose to eat before or after the lunch rush.


Like lodges, and lifts, face masks or face coverings will be required in all of our retail and rental shops. We will have markers in place to assist with social distancing.

We will continue to rent out skis, snowboards, boots, bindings, poles, and helmets. All rental equipment will be disinfected between each guest.


All of our Sunshine Pros will be expected and required to wear a mask or face covering while teaching, except when they are moving on their skis or snowboard. When addressing the clients, all instructors will be required to maintain 2 meters/ 6-feet of social distancing. For winter 2020/21, Sunshine instructors will not be allowed to join students for lunch.

All Sunshine Ski and Snowboard School Clients will also be required to wear face coverings.


Due to challenges presented by the ongoing health challenge, our Day Care is closed until further notice.


Sunshine Mountain will reopen for the winter season in early November. Within the hotel, masks or face coverings will be mandated in all common areas, including the lobby, hallways, and the locker rooms.

At our hotel front desk, plexiglass partitions have been installed to separate guests from our team members during check-in and check-out procedures. Cleanliness is our key priority for our hotel and guest rooms; in addition to our highest standard for cleanliness, we will be cleaning and disinfecting all aspects of our hotel even more frequently.

Our giant outdoor hot tub, gym, and family room will be open for guests to use. There will be a reduced maximum number of people who can use the facility at a time for each of these areas. Hotel facilities, including the hot tub, family room, and gym, will be reserved exclusively for Sunshine Mountain Lodge guests.


While we will not require reservations for access to the slopes, we recommend all guests to arrive with their season pass, Sunshine Super Card, Mobile Lift Ticket, or Pre-Paid Lift Ticket. Coming with your lift ticket or pass will allow us to reduce the lines at our ticket windows and guest services.

If you are a season pass holder, you can pick up your 2020/21 Banff Sunshine Season Pass at our Calgary Snow Central (open Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 6:00 PM & Saturday from 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM), or at Ski Big 3's Adventure Hub in Banff. On the mountain, pick up your season pass at Guest Services. For speedy pass pick, please take a moment to sign your waiver, and upload a photo for your pass here.

Sunshine Super Cards will remain available for purchase on our estore, at our Calgary Snow Central, at our ticket windows, and at third party retailers. To reduce contact, we recommend that all Sunshine Super Cards be upgraded to a direct to lift pass.

Banff Sunshine Village is the only resort in North America to offer a mobile lift ticket that can be purchased through our free Ski Banff app. With our mobile ticket, once your cell phone is scanned, you can head straight up the gondola.


We at Banff Sunshine are committed to the health and wellness of our mountain community. Daily, before arriving at work, team members will be required to take a COVID-19 screening test. Any Sunshine Team member who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed on site.

Guest of Banff Sunshine will be advised to stay home if they feel unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19.

WINTER 2020/21: FAQ


From all of us at Banff Sunshine Village, we look forward to welcoming you back to the slopes as we embrace the thrill of winter. Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring we can safely stay open this upcoming winter.