Ski Resorts and COVID-19: planning ahead this year is essential

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Gore Mountain kicks off ski season

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)-It’s been a long spring and summer for skiers and snowboarders looking forward to hitting the mountains this winter. Nearly three feet of powder, the stuff skiing, and riding dreams are made of, fell across most of the state Wednesday and Thursday which means people are ready to hit the slopes.

Mountains are ready to receive guests with strict COVID-19 rules in place. Avid skiers and riders should be aware- gone are the days of hopping in the car at 6 a.m. and heading out for a day at the mountain. This year will require guests to plan ahead.

NEWS10 looked at six New York mountains to see how they were operating differently this year. All of them require the advanced purchase of tickets online. Many will be without childcare services, require reservations for dining services, and require guests to ride chair lifts with their group. Here’s a look at some of the changes guests will see:

Catamount

Catamount is uniquely located in both Massachusetts and New York. On its website the mountain said is it adhering to COVID-19 guidance from both states. Tickets must be purchased in advance and the mountain is not allowing outside food to be brought in. Tables inside the lodge must be reserved.

Catamount is asking parties who arrived together to ride on ski lifts together also. Private and group lessons are still available. Group lessons for children six years old and younger are not available and there will be no childcare.

Gore Mountain

Tickets for Gore Mountain must be purchased online in advance. The mountain said they are operating at a reduced capacity and will not be selling tickets for weekends or holidays. The mountains website said this does not apply to season pass holders, frequent ski cardholders, or e-tickets already purchased online. Private lessons and the season-long Snow Sports programs are still available.

Lift capacity will be adjusted to ensure social distancing. Gore said a facemask should be worn by visitors at all times except when actively skiing/riding, or when sitting down in the lodge. No indoor childcare services will be available.

Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain said they are not allowing personal items to be stored in lodges and they encourage visitors to get ready in their vehicles. Facemasks must be worn except while actively skiing/riding. The mountain is operating at a reduced capacity and reservations are required. Their website said priority will be given to season pass holders.

Lifts will be operated to ensure social distancing with capacity cut in half. Riders/skiers can ride lifts with people in their party. Reservations to use the mountains food services will also be required. Hunter said they encourage people to bring their own food. Tables in the lodge can be used if available. Full-service bars will not be open. All transactions at the mountain will be cashless.

Plattekill

Plattekill will only be selling tickets online this season. A facemask will be required when not actively skiing/riding or eating. They are also not allowing personal items to be stored in the lodge and are asking people to limit the use of tables for eating to 30 minutes. The mountain said it will offer food/beverages on their outside deck. They will have wind protection and portable heating units for the comfort of visitors.

Ski and snowboarding lessons are available with a reservation. Guests who arrive at the mountain together will be asked to ride chair lifts together.

Whiteface

Advanced tickets must be purchased for skiing/riding Monday-Friday. The mountain said they are not selling tickets for the weekend or blackout dates. Dining capacity is reduced by 50%, they are asking visitors to limit time at tables to 30 minutes.

Personal items can be stored in the lodge in designated areas and restroom capacity is reduced by 50%. Day lockers will be available at a reduced capacity. No indoor childcare services will be available. Whiteface said people taking lessons must have a health screening 24 hours before the scheduled lesson.

Windham

Windham said they are only offering tickets to be purchased online as they are operating on a reduced capacity. No personal items will be allowed to be stored in the lodge and guests must get dressed in their vehicles. The mountain will operate on a cashless payment system.

Reservations will be available for lessons for guests older than 7-years-old.

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