As Covid surges continue around the U.S., states and state ski resort associations are firming up plans for the coming winter. Guidelines address operational procedures pertaining to consumers and employees, according to a recent post by saminfo.com regarding four states.
Ski California, the trade association for ski areas in California and Nevada, is promoting a “Know Before You Go” approach, encouraging skiers and riders to always check with the ski area they plan to visit ahead of time to learn about changes in operations, policies, and procedures.
“All of our resorts have been diligently working since March to ensure their operations can adhere to ever changing public health and safety requirements”, said Mike Reitzell, president of Ski California. Some procedures will vary by resort, but all resorts are aligned in their desire to have a full ski season”.
Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment released its guidance for the state’s ski areas, with a strong focus on working with ski areas’ local public health agencies (LPHA). Each ski area must first submit its operational plan to its LPHA for approval, and the plan will be processed for final approval.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu’s “Reopening Task Force” Unveiled reopening guidance for the state’s ski areas. It outlines details about protecting customers and employees including guidance for lift operations, ski area shuttles, ski school, competitions.
Face coverings are required indoors and in lift lines; gondola cabins can have a max of four passengers and windows must remain open at all times; indoor and outdoor capacity limitations will be determined; and online advance purchase for lift tickets, ski school, etc., are “strongly recommended.”
Ski resorts in New York will be allowed to open at 50-percent indoor capacity beginning Nov. 6. New York was probably the hardest hit state early in the pandemic.
Masks will be required at all times, except when eating, drinking, or skiing. Social distancing between parties will also be required at all times.
State guidance on the reopening of ski resorts also includes the following precautions:
- Restrict gondolas/lifts to members of the same party.
- Limit ski lessons to no more than 10 people.
- Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared/rented equipment.
- Shuttles, food & beverage, retail service must conform to state-issued guidance.
- Reduce outdoor capacity on mountain by 25 percent during “peak” days or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.
For the full story, go to saminfo.com.
NOTE: Many plans include the National Ski Areas Association’s “Ski Well, Be Well” guidance. In most cases, individual ski areas must submit operating plans for approval, using outlined protocols as the basis for their plans.