CORNWALL, Conn. (WTNH) — “As long as you’re dressed properly, you can have a blast out there,” said Cassie Schoenknecht, Director of Operations at Mohawk Mountain.
Connecticut ski areas, which opened over the weekend, are hoping to provide fresh air fun in this challenging landscape.
“We encourage families to come out, enjoy outdoor recreation, try something new if you’ve never been skiing before, try this year,” said Schoenknecht, also explaining the safety protocols in place due to the pandemic.
There’s reduced capacity in the lodge, more sanitization stations and a new food ordering system that’s online.
“You can scan the QR code and it brings up the menu; you place your order and you can pick it up outside at the Waffle Hut so you really don’t need to come inside if you don’t feel comfortable.”
Outside, find mazes in lift lines.
“We absolutely are encouraging people to plan ahead and buy your tickets, rentals [and] lessons online, ahead of time,” said Schoenknecht. “As far as capacity goes, we’ll manage it as we see fit. It depends on how many trails we have open.”
Face coverings are required outside at the mountain, but this neck warmer fits the bill. And the sport naturally lends itself to social distancing. Skis keep people 6 feet apart at all times.
The National Ski Areas Association has provided a playbook of guidelines.
“One of them is, ‘If you arrive together, you ride together,’ so, if you came in that car, you can use the lift together,” she said, noting that solo riders will not be asked to sit with a stranger.
Modified group lessons and tubing are going forward while other familiar scenes are on hold.
“This year, unfortunately, we don’t have any of our special events like Yeti Day or Pirate Day, some of the kids’ favorites,” said Shoenknecht. “Goggles will probably come out of hibernation soon and he might be around.”
The next few months are projected to be difficult but enjoying some outdoor exercise just might ease nerves and feel good.
“That’s what we love. Well, we can’t see your smile this year but we can imagine it under the mask. We want people to come out and have fun.”