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Ski Resort Response to COVID-19

deadheadskier

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Cooped up a half year or not, families with young kids are going to be skiing less. That's a large chunk of the clientele. Unless the lodge restrictions change or the outdoor break areas are more comfortable than I'm anticipating, I fully expect to have a number of frustrating, colder days with my five year old where I question why I bothered going.

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kbroderick

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It really sounds like few people will be able to handle skiing this coming season.

I'm beginning to think that it will be an outstanding season with few crowds and excellent conditions if, as usual, the weather cooperates.

I think we're going to see a lot of pent-up demand early in the season, dropping off as people who come for the whole "resort experience" realize that while the skiing hasn't changed much, the rest of the experience has. I wouldn't be surprised to see higher traffic levels on nicer weekends in the spring, though, if people decide that the January/February weather isn't worth dealing with.

Access to slopeside lodging may also be a significant factor for a lot of people, especially families, to mitigate limited day-lodge access.
 

kingslug

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How often is it so cold that you can't stay outside all day or as long as you want?
Stowe and Jay Peak are pretty cold places. Last year windchills went below 20 below..that wipes out most people and is a bit dangerous if your not protected enough. I'm good with it though.
 

kingslug

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That applies to me also. I don't really "get cold" in my core. But long before I "feel cold", my fingers and toes would freeze. :(

My fingers in particular, gets cold really easily. I wore mittens even in "normal" days. On cold days, I had to consciously move my fingers (make a fist, open hand, repeat). Or my fingers would lose feeling. When I take my mittens off, my fingers were terribly cold to the touch.

My toes too, got cold easily as well. There, there's not much I could do. Between getting decent control with my boots, and keeping my feet reasonably warm but without sweaty, my toes just got the short shift. Even on normal days, I could only do about 3 to 4 hours before my toes got so cold I had to warm them up indoors.

On really cold days, I could only ski an hour before my toes lose feeling. I dare not go much beyond that for fear of doing permanent damage to my extremities.

This coming season, with limited access to lodges in reduced capacity, and the heighten risk indoors, it may turn out to be mostly short days on the mountains for me. (that is not such a tragedy though, as I expect to do mostly day trips without overnight stay, the drive before and after skiing would be less tiring with a shorter day)

Lenz heated socks were the trick for us..yes expensive but really made the difference. Super warm mittens also. There were a few days at Stowe when I had liners and 2 heat bags per mitten..could barely feel the pole but it worked.
 

abc

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Lenz heated socks were the trick for us..yes expensive but really made the difference. Super warm mittens also. There were a few days at Stowe when I had liners and 2 heat bags per mitten..could barely feel the pole but it worked.
I've been curious about heated socks since it came out. Though not entirely sure about warmth being the real issue for my toes. It's more of an issue of reduced blood flow. As my toes weren't getting its maximum blood flow, they're not getting sufficiently warmed by the blood. The "cure" was always taking the boot off. I could feel the blood rushing back into my toes (that tingling feeling). And the toes immediately "warm up". But on really cold days, the "blood flow/warmth deficit" accumulate just so much quicker. I had to either stop and taking the boot off, or at least warming the boot back up to room temperature

Fingers are a slightly different matter. Like my feet, my palm sweat a lot. Yet my fingers remain cold. There, I can purposely move my fingers to keep the blood flow going. Also, my hands aren't restricted as my feet are.

I've not invested too much in "warming" gears because in the past I simply not bothered to ski on super cold days. I've gotten to a certain temperature point where all my extremities are in the same temperature zone. To go beyond that set temperature, I would need to invest not just in socks, but glove-liners, helmet liners and face masks... just for a few rare cold days that's worth skiing. I didn't feel like bothering.
 

JimG.

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Just going out on a limb that it’s actually going to be a pretty busy season. Everybody has been cooped up for half a year at this point and a visit to the mountains in a safe manner is very appealing. Who knows, but that’s just my prediction.


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I met a lot of new fishermen this year so you might have a fair point.
 

drjeff

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Cooped up a half year or not, families with young kids are going to be skiing less. That's a large chunk of the clientele. Unless the lodge restrictions change or the outdoor break areas are more comfortable than I'm anticipating, I fully expect to have a number of frustrating, colder days with my five year old where I question why I bothered going.

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I think it depends on the age of the kids in the family DHS.

With the age of your kids, where more direct and constant parental supervision, especially with the likely lack of kids ski school programs and/or daycare options at many ski areas this Winter, I can certainly see that as a hinderance to going numerous times.

With kids the age of mine (mid-late teens) who are basically fully independent and basically only need my wife and I to flip them another $20 or so for food every now and then, I don't see this season being much of a hinderance at all, and frankly my 2 kids, who's highschool is still all virtual (although they're scheduled to start 1 day of in person classes a week the 2nd week of November), frankly they can't wait to get out of the house, right now! Heck, even after she's had her driver's license now for about 3 months, my daughter still actively wants to go to the grocery store for my wife and I, just to get out of the house for a bit!!
 

abc

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Just going out on a limb that it’s actually going to be a pretty busy season. Everybody has been cooped up for half a year at this point and a visit to the mountains in a safe manner is very appealing. Who knows, but that’s just my prediction.
Not so much of "cooped up for half a year", more like there're little else open (restaurants, parties, shopping malls), little else to do.

My observation is there're a lot of people head out to the outdoors. But they're all going to the "big name" destinations (trails, parks, campgrounds in the summer). Those who know some of the off-the-beaten-path places will find them still reasonably quiet, and sane.

I went camping in Lake George TWICE. It's a place that are usually hopping and crowded. But without the partying and "events", it's no more busy than usual. And once past Labor Day, it's just as dead as any other years.

Take Minnewaska state Park vs Mohonk Preserve. Those two parcel of lands sit on the same ridge. Have the same extended network of carriage roads. On a sunny warm day, Minnewaska has cars lined up for 1/2 mile waiting to get into the parking lot. Mohonk Preserve? The main parking lot may get full by late morning, which by their standard is "crazy busy". But the remote satellite parking lot never got completely full.

I was at Mohonk Preserve last Sunday, when they had an "event". Still plenty of rooms to roam.
74223C4D-5FF2-4AD4-8C2E-9788D5942770.jpg
Someone showed a picture of the crowds at Minnewaska, you pretty much need to push your way past the crowd to get through the waterfall area and on the shore of Lake Minnewaska!

So yeah, there will be increased participation on SOME mountains. But likely still plenty of quiet areas out of the consciousness of the casual skiers.
 
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JimG.

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Take Minnewaska state Park vs Mohonk Preserve. Those two parcel of lands sit on the same ridge. Have the same extended network of carriage roads. On a sunny warm day, Minnewaska has cars lined up for 1/2 mile waiting to get into the parking lot. Mohonk Preserve? The main parking lot may get full by late morning, which by their standard is "crazy busy". But the remote satellite parking lot never got completely full.

I was at Mohonk Preserve last Sunday, when they had an "event". Still plenty of rooms to roam. Someone showed a picture of the crowds at Minnewaska, you pretty much need to push your way past the crowd to get through the waterfall area and on the shore of Lake Minnewaska!

So yeah, there will be increased participation on SOME mountains. But likely still plenty of quiet areas out of the consciousness of the casual skiers.

To be fair, Minnewaska does not charge for parking but Mohonk Preserve (privately owned) charges $10 for each person in the car. I'm quite sure that is a main driver of the usage difference.

You can park at Minnewaska and hike to Mohonk, but that is a fair extra distance. Probably outside the roaming desires of most hikers.
 

abc

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You can park at Minnewaska and hike to Mohonk, but that is a fair extra distance. Probably outside the roaming desires of most hikers.
I’m not totally convinced the cost is the main driver.

On Sunday’s event, there’s free parking for people who park on the Pine Rd entrance. And it can also be reached from the new River to Ridge trail. But I only saw a few handful of people accessing from those points. Sure, most people don’t know about those access points. But that points to the direction most visitors aren’t familiar enough with the Preserve.

I bet 1/2 the cars waiting to enter Minnewaska don’t even know about Mohonk Preserves. Let alone finding out how much it cost to get in.

How many Okemo or Stratton skier know Magic exists? Never mind how much it cost to ski there, or how much terrain are there?
 

ss20

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I think for every one rational person who sees skiing as one of the safest possible activities during a pandemic there's one person who's cooped up inside fearful to leave. Unfortunately my dad in in the latter camp...64yo and in perfect health but doesn't leave the house besides work and the grocery store once a week. I'm sure we all know at least one or two people similarly.

I'm getting more concerned now about when the actual season will start. Looks like we're gonna end October without a snowgun blasting anywhere, let alone a place opening.
 

JimG.

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I amazingly find myself feeling pretty certain I will take the refund for my K midweek pass by 11/20.

There is still a small chance I will keep it as a hedge against Cuomo shutting NY ski areas down.
 

abc

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I amazingly find myself feeling pretty certain I will take the refund for my K midweek pass by 11/20.

There is still a small chance I will keep it as a hedge against Cuomo shutting NY ski areas down.
I know several people who normally have multiple passes are cutting back on the number of passes this year.
 

abc

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I think for every one rational person who sees skiing as one of the safest possible activities during a pandemic there's one person who's cooped up inside fearful to leave. Unfortunately my dad in in the latter camp...64yo and in perfect health but doesn't leave the house besides work and the grocery store once a week. I'm sure we all know at least one or two people similarly.
I would split the difference.

I think skiing is perfectly safe. But everything else surrounding skiing is highly suspect: lodging, access to base lodge, life line... Not to mention the pain in the butt reservation requirement!

Frankly, there're safer activities that are equally healthy and fun, without the need for long distance travel and the pass commitment: xc skiing, winter hiking, mountain biking... So I struggle to justify the expense and risk associate with downhill skiing. Sure, I enjoy it. But for me, it isn't such a big deal to NOT SKIING either...
 

deadheadskier

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I think it depends on the age of the kids in the family DHS.

With the age of your kids, where more direct and constant parental supervision, especially with the likely lack of kids ski school programs and/or daycare options at many ski areas this Winter, I can certainly see that as a hinderance to going numerous times.

With kids the age of mine (mid-late teens) who are basically fully independent and basically only need my wife and I to flip them another $20 or so for food every now and then, I don't see this season being much of a hinderance at all, and frankly my 2 kids, who's highschool is still all virtual (although they're scheduled to start 1 day of in person classes a week the 2nd week of November), frankly they can't wait to get out of the house, right now! Heck, even after she's had her driver's license now for about 3 months, my daughter still actively wants to go to the grocery store for my wife and I, just to get out of the house for a bit!!

I don't disagree the proposed operations won't be a hindrance for teens. Hell from about age 16 to 25 I barely ever stepped foot in a lodge. Boot up at the car and then tailgate at the car as I got older and couldn't yet afford beers and food in the lodge.

That's why I said families with "young" kids. It's a crappy situation for those in my shoes. If it's 30 at Crotched vs 10 at Wildcat, I'll end up heading to Crotched because of the lodge situation.

Thankfully I have my work minivan I can use for the ski commutes and my company doesn't restrict use of the company can for work purposes only.

Probably the single thing I'm most pissed about is no Cat Pub and Mug Club this season. [emoji36]

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