Navigating the NH Ski Area COVID Guidelines
Being the eternal optimists that we are, people who work in the ski industry always anticipate that this winter will be amazing, will have the most snowfall, will reward us with the most epic trail time ever. The 7+ inches of snow that the mountains of northern New Hampshire received over the weekend is probably feeding that narrative with our ski industry workers even as I write! But while the covid-19 pandemic doesn't have us thinking any differently about expectations for the weather and trail conditions this year, it does have us making some plans for keeping people safe that will be implemented this winter.
There are some changes that you can expect will be consistent across all ski areas this winter, which are highlighted in the bulleted list below and are based on state guidance and the ski industry's own recommendations for how to keep both you and our staff safe (visit SkiNH.com for more information and links to ski area websites). Keep in mind that ski areas are unique in their layouts and use a variety of systems for things like tickets, rentals, lessons, etc., so there will be differences in some aspects of your experience at each resort.
At New Hampshire ski areas this winter, you should expect to:
- Know before you go. This is the most important aspect of skiing this winter. Find out things like whether you must pre-purchase tickets, what lodge changes are in place, what the conditions are, etc.
- Wear a face covering when inside, in lift lines and on the lifts, as well as during the loading and unloading of lifts, and anytime that 6 feet of physical distancing isn't possible.
- Practice social distancing. There's plenty of open, outside space at ski areas - enjoy it!
- Boot up at the car and bring only absolute essentials with you on the trails. Generally speaking, you won't be able to leave your bootbags and other belongings in lodges, as resorts are trying to limit the amount of people and time spent inside.
- Buy tickets & passes online in advance. Most ski areas will be either encouraging or only selling tickets online to avoid lines of people.
- Stay home if you're feeling sick. Ski areas welcome you back another day!
For their part, ski areas are implementing additional safety protocols as well, such as decreasing the numbers of tables inside to allow for extra distance between people, enhancing their cleaning regimens throughout the resort, performing daily wellness checks for staff, and following state and CDC guidelines.
In short, our motto this year is Let's Work Together to be the Reason We Have a Season!