COVID-19 America adapts to new normal skiing amid epidemic


Denver – helmets, goggles, skis? Check. Hand Sanitizer, Face Covering, Reservation? Check.

After roughly seven months as coronoviruses shortened the ski season at the height of spring break, resorts in the United States and Canada are slowly picking up the pieces and figuring out how to secure this winter again Go While many details are still being worked on, resort leaders are asking guests to curb their expectations and embrace a new normal while skiing and snowboarding amid an epidemic.

This may mean wearing masks, standing 6 feet away in lift lines (about the length of a specific ski), no dine-in service, only riding lifts with your group, and a large gathering for affress drinks. No.

“We’re very optimistic about skiing this winter,” said Dave Bird, director of risk and regulatory affairs at the Colorado-based National Ski Area Association. “The fact that we ski outside in the ultraviolet sun and wind, and it is common for us to have goggles, gloves and face covering. All of those things are considered very good for us as a sport. “

Skiers ride a chair at Colorado’s Bever Creek Resort due to fog. (AP photo / Thomas Peppert, file)

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The resorts, some of which are scheduled to open in early November, are trying to avoid a recurrence of last spring when several mountain communities were completely hurt by the virus as one of the country’s and world’s travelers Slope hit season’s busiest time.

Several counties in Colorado that are home to some of the nation’s largest and most popular ski resorts were particularly hard-hit, and state health officials warned that treating patients with the disease in small community hospitals There were no resources to do it. In Utah, the county that calls Park City a ski resort home reported similar per capita infection rates as New York City and parts of Italy – two major hot spots at the time.

Around this time, industry leaders and health officials are hoping for the knowledge that comes with many months of life during an epidemic will help guide their efforts to provide a safer experience.

Dr., a neuroinfectus disease physician at UC Health University, Colorado Hospital. Daniel Pestula said the outdoor element of ski trips is generally safe during an epidemic, but the virus can spread if people gather in places such as lift lines, lodges, restaurants. Bathroom.

“I think you can ski smartly and safely. Again, not completely eliminating the risk, but actually reducing it, ”he said. Paduka has now listed common safety measures for skiers, among them being as much as possible outside, avoiding congestion and staying home when sick.

Ski lifts in Well, Colo., Are empty after the closure of the ski ski resort for Well in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. (AP Photo / Michael Ciaglo)

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Meanwhile, Bird said the NSA is closely watching how colleges, transportation systems and sports organizations are handling the virus.

“We have the unusual luxury of seeing what others do,” he said. “All of that is going to play over the next two to three months, which well gives us some time. And we’re definitely going to preview how the Southern Hemisphere ski areas in Australia and New Zealand and South America, how they do things Handled. ”

The Perisher Ski Resort near the far southeastern end of Australia completed its ski season on October 5 with several restrictions following a delayed opening day on 24 June.

The ski area required employees and guests to wear masks and stay at least 5 feet (1.5 m) away from each other, which is owned by Colorado-based Vail Resorts. The lifts were run at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, and required skiers and snowboarders to purchase tickets in advance online. The number of guests visiting the mountain was also capped based on the amount of terrain and the number of lifts open.

“We enjoy sensational skiing and boarding while smiling (under masks) from ear to ear!” The resort posted on its website, as well as acknowledging that last summer “the odds were against us” due to the nationwide raging epidemic and intense brush fires.

But other resorts in the Southern Hemisphere did not run non-stop.

Holham Alpine Resort and Falls Creek Northeast of Melbourne, Australia closed their lifts on 9 July due to health restrictions and were unable to reopen for the remainder of the ski. Meanwhile, many resorts in South America also had to reduce their winter weather due to the virus, including the popular ski portillo high in the Chilean Andes.

Portillo’s owners posted on the resort’s website in late August, “Limitations, including weekend quarantine and travel restrictions, will prevent us from working normally.”

Many North American ski areas have already consulted with state and local health agencies and issued regulations for the upcoming season.

Cross country skis stand in the snow during a race at U-32 Middle and High School in East Montpelier, VT (AP photo / Lisa Rathke).

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Most will require the sale of social distancing, masks and online tickets, and this will allow limited space and the number of people in Aadhaar such as restaurants. But many require reservations, which worries some skiers and snowboarders to get a spot on the mountain, going one step ahead, especially during busy powder days.

Vail Resorts, which owns 34 resorts in the United States and Canada, has announced that it will implement a reservation system, which allows pass holders at the beginning of the season, unlimited weekday reservations and a rolling selection of priority days.

CEO Rob Katz said the resort will limit capacity based on previous visit rates, available terrain, upcoming season traffic modeling and how individual resorts are managed.

He admitted that some guests cannot ski and snowboard at any time, but he said, “The bottom line is that for most days in a normal season, our resorts have a level of capacity, which We do not require any limit to be imposed. ”

For many, the reservation system and other restrictions are not enough to keep them indoors under orders of health for more than a year.

During a September 24 earnings call, Katz reported that season pass sales were up 18% this season compared to the previous season – a development bard was titled in the winter for the “cabin fever effect”.

“I think people are looking at 470 ski areas – ski areas in the United States – as a safe outdoor recreation experience,” he said.