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Ski areas work on reopening plans

Kumi Tucker
Updated: October 28, 2020 07:02 PM
Created: October 28, 2020 05:30 PM

EASTON - There is no snow, just green grass and colorful trees at Willard Mountain in Washington County these days. 

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New York ski areas recently got reopening guidelines from the governor. 

Restrictions include 50% capacity in lodges, and only sharing chairlifts with members of your own party. 

"What we will not be doing, we will not be insisting that people double up as we have in the past," said Willard owner Chic Wilson.  

Many business owners are hoping to see some tweaks to all the guidelines.

"We need our government to understand that we're not all Vails.  There's not thousands and thousands and thousands of people here on a weekend," said Wilson.  

There are a lot of smaller ski areas in the state, like Willard. 

Willard is a place where thousands of children learned how to ski and gained a love for the slopes. 

Out of its 235 employees, 139 are ski or snowboard instructors. 

These days, the office and ski shop are open, and pre-season sales are up. 

"Our programs, Little Colonel programs, our Star programs, the programs that are pre-sold, we are limiting them to 50% of last year's capacity, the years before  they were relatively the same." 

They are working to control and balance their numbers, given the restrictions.  

They're hoping for a good snow year. If not, owner Chic Wilson says they'll get crushed. 

Wilson believes demand will be strong. They're also hearing from people who want to try the slopes, after finding indoor winter sports affected by the health crisis. 

"We've seen several of those families come to us," he said. "I think it's the tip of the iceberg."


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