Music festivals canceled, mountain to open June 19
In mid-March, when coronavirus hit the Intermountain West, the Grand Targhee Resort management team had to make a series of lightning-fast decisions, first canceling events, music, and the bonus weekend, then on March 15 closing the hill for the season. In anticipation of opening for the summer, the team slowed down the pace.
“That was so hard,” resort marketing director Jennie White said about the decision to close early. “The team got back to work last week and we’ve been in four to six hour conference calls trying to figure out our plans and guidelines, trying to get something we can wrap our heads around.”
On May 13, after two months of what White described as “basically radio silence,” the resort announced its plans for summer. Grand Targhee will open on June 19 with lift-accessed downhill mountain biking (possibly only on Shoshone; there’s still plenty of snow up there). Bike park passes and winter season passes go on sale on June 1. All 2019/20 season passholders will be able to renew their 20/21 season pass at a discounted rate through the first pricing tier, which ends July 31. Targhee has also implemented a flexible refund policy that allows pass refunds and deferrals for any reason until Oct. 15.
Targhee will not sell its popular pool pass this summer due to an expanded cleaning protocol of the pool area, changing room, and restrooms. In lieu of pool passes, 90-minute pool sessions will be available for purchase.
Vacation rentals will be available starting June 1. This year Targhee will introduce expanded camping options including car and tent camping in Lot 4 and the meadow. Reservations are encouraged.
“We’re really hoping people reserve and purchase in advance with all of our tickets, lodging, rentals, and lessons,” White said.
Some offerings that are still in flux include food and beverage operations, on-mountain lodging, and summer camp.
“We are examining new policies and procedures to see if and how we could provide a safe product for our guests,” White said. “Details surrounding all our summer operations are being finalized and may be a moving target throughout the summer.”
Unfortunately, this year’s Targhee Fest, Bluegrass Fest, and Music Camp are canceled. White said the decision was very painful.
“We are deeply saddened at the loss of some of our most cherished summer gatherings, but we look forward to rocking the Tetons with all of you in 2021,” she added.
All other events through July 13 are also canceled. White said that management is holding off on making the call about Targhee’s two late summer mountain bike fixtures, Pierre’s Hole and Wydaho Rendezvous Fest.
“We are taking this summer week by week, day by day, and even hour by hour. At any point, our plans may change,” she said. “Like any other business, we want to keep the resort viable while being safe and respectful and doing the right thing for the community.”