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Grand Geneva

Area ski hills operating with COVID protections

With all the cancelled events and activities caused by the coronavirus pandemic this year, area ski resorts are working to make sure the winter ski season is not one of them.

Ski resorts including Alpine Valley, Wilmot Mountain and the Mountain Top Ski and Adventure Center at Grand Geneva have all implemented safety measures to ensure guests have a safe experience from rentals to ski lifts to hitting the slopes.

The Grand Geneva ski hill, which opened for the season on Dec. 18, has implemented a set of safety procedures which align under the National Ski Areas Association “Ski Well, Be Well” program.

In addition to requiring skiers to wear masks in areas where social distancing is impossible, the resort is also only be selling a set amount of lift tickets online each day and reserve indoor access for those utilizing rental equipment or dining.

Staff members at the ski hill will also be receiving daily temperature checks before starting work and take an additional focus on cleaning high-touch areas and rental equipment.

Lift lines will also be configured to allow for social distancing and skiers are asked to ride lifts only with their travelling party.

In a document outlining best practices under the Ski Well, Be Well plan, president of the National Ski Areas Association Kelly Pawlak said resorts throughout the United States are working to incorporate virus protection into their operating plans before opening for the season.

“I am confident that the ski industry will continue to lead by example during these incredibly dynamic times,” she said in the statement. “Everything has changed – except for our industry’s guiding principle: We always have, and always will, put the health and safety of our staff, guests and communities first.”

The Alpine Valley Ski Resort, which opened on Dec. 5, has implemented similar policies like arranging ski lift lines in ways that allow for social distancing, limiting indoor gatherings and allowing individual riders to take a ski lift alone.

According to the ski resort’s website, tailgating will not be allowed in the resort’s parking lot. The website’s procedures and restrictions page states that only individuals who arrived at the ski hill together should gather and that groups should be made up of no more than 10 people from two households.

Among new sanitary and social distancing procedures, the Wilmot Mountain ski hill, which opened on Dec. 18, will not be accepting any cash payments throughout the season. All transactions from the resort, restaurants, hotel or ski school will need to be made either online or in-person with a card.

The resort’s full-service dining areas will continue to operate through the season but bar service will be limited to prepackaged beverages.

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