Ski resorts prepare to open amid pandemic

North Country

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced new COVID-19 safety guidelines for ski resorts this winter.

Dana Walton works at Maple Ski Ridge in Schenectady County, and said this year, there will be new protocols in place.

“We are asking that people use their cars as their locker room or as their home base,” explained Walton. “People will be able to still come inside, book private lessons, and buy tickets, but we will also be selling them out of a window, so people can stay outside to do those things.”

While more guidelines are expected to be released, Cuomo has already announced that ski resorts will not be able to operate at maximum occupancy. Inside a ski lodge, only 50% capacity will be allowed, and while outdoors, 75% capacity will be permitted.

At West Mountain, two tents will be set up with heaters for additional space.

“Once it starts getting consistently cold, we start blowing snow,” explained West Mountain’s Sara Montgomery. “We have 100% snowmaking on the trails and our goal is to get all of the terrain open at once so we can spread people out, and we are able to get more people on the mountain.”

And just like your hat and gloves, a mask will now be apart of your everyday ski gear.

“You can remove your mask when you’re downhill skiing, the loading, the actual lift ride, and the unloading, just like a lift ticket, we will require you to wear a mask,” explained Scott Brani, President of Ski Areas of New York.

Both Maple ski ridge and West Mountain are planning on being open for down hill skiing in December.

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