How Will Covid-19 Affect the Ski Season

This year will be a completely new experience on the ski hills thanks to Covid-19. Things will not be business as usual, that we know for sure. We wanted to know how will Covid-19 affect the ski season, and what changes will be made to the ski and snowboard experience at the resort.
Skiing and snowboarding are an ideal sport to social distance, and on the actual ski hill, that won’t be an issue. The question is, how are resorts going to manage the rest of the experience?

Here is How The Coronavirus will Affect the Ski Season

Official COVID signage from NSAA.

  • Obligatory Masks Inside Buildings And On the Chair Lifts
    For most provinces and territories across the country, the rule of wearing a mask indoors in a public space is already required. So it would make sense that this is enforced, even while you are all geared up in your ski or snowboard gear.
    However, what I wasn’t expecting to see was the requirement to wear the mask while on the chair lift.
    At Sunshine Village, located near Banff, they have stated that wearing a mask on the chair lifts will be mandatory. “…face coverings will be mandatory at Sunshine Village this season, including in lines for lifts as well as in the lodges. Face covering can be a non-medical mask, a face warmer or a buff, and resort staff will be monitoring visitors for compliance.”
  • Heated Outdoor Seating
    There was a report from the Calgary Herald that the resorts located near Banff were looking at introducing the idea of heated tents to reduce skiers from staying inside for too long. Your picnic lunch at the hill will now be taking place outside, and not in the cafeteria. We aren’t sure if this is being adapted across the country, but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see this measure put into place at your local ski hill as well.
  • Limited Number of Tickets Sold in Day
    Ski resorts may limit the amount of people actually skiing during the day to ensure they can manage the flow of crowds. Recently Whistler announced that advanced reservations will be required this season. This isn’t a new concept, here in Montreal most ticketed attractions did the same thing to help reduce crowding.
Social distancing is easy to do on the hill, It’s the getting to the top that becomes more complicated.

  • Longer Lift Lines
    We know the importance of social distancing and trying to avoid close contact with people outside of your daily “bubble.” I’ve already seen a few reports from resorts saying they will not force anyone to share a chair lift. So being crammed into a gondola with 4-8 other people will be a thing of the past. Also, we’ll be expecting a lot of distancing in the actual line too, so there will be an illusion of a longer line based on the fact that it needs to be spaced out.

Based on our findings, it’s safe to say that season will be a different than years past, but it won’t be completely off limits. A few ski hills have already published their winter protocols. Big White, located near Kelowna, BC, published their update on August 19th. Their protocols are pretty much in line with our overall thoughts of what this ski season will look like.

I’m looking forward to hitting the slopes, and even with these new protocols in place (or variations of), I’m sure it’s going to be a great ski season.

Thanks for reading,
Valerie

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