Ski resorts gear up for tough season in the shadow of pandemic

Many resorts have adopted standards drawn up by industry groups

National Weekend Edition /
Nov.November 22, 2020 12:00 PM
(iStock)

(iStock)

Ski resort operators are gearing up for what could be a tough season.

Operators are adopting measures that will be familiar to most patrons by now, according to the New York Times. Most resorts will require face coverings inside and are limiting capacity in trams. Many are also following the standard produced by the National Ski Areas Association called “Ski Well. Be Well,” which includes daily wellness checks for employees and enhanced cleaning protocols.

They hope those measures will help avoid super spreader events like those seen at Idaho’s Sun Valley, which recorded hundreds of cases in the spring. Around 93 percent of American ski resorts closed last March in response to the pandemic, leading to a collective loss of $2 billion.

For those who plan to hit the slopes, the season looks like a toss-up. Many ski areas plan to limit daily lift tickets and require reservations even for people with season passes, which means it will be harder to get on the slopes. Most resorts have canceled parties and group events that are a staple of the experience for skiers and snowboarders. Venues in top destinations like Vail are closed.

Some diehards are renting or buying mobile homes for self-contained trips. The R.V. Industry Association reported that sales are up 4.5 percent this year, and the group estimates they could be up by 19 percent in 2021. [NYT] — Dennis Lynch


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