Mount Washington Alpine Resort plans to open Dec. 4 this year with COVID-19 protocols in place.(Submitted photo)

Mount Washington to open Dec. 4 with COVID-19 protocols in place

Reservations for some services, face coverings will be required

When Mount Washington Alpine Resort revs up the ski lifts for its planned opening date on Dec. 4, face coverings will be required to access the mountain.

The new rule is part of a number of regulations the ski hill announced to email subscribers in a letter from General Manager Dean Prentice on Sept. 11. The letter has since been posted to Mount Washington’s website.

“There has been so much uncertainty since the COVID-19 pandemic first upended our lives. Among the many lessons learned is the importance of clear and consistent communication, the setting of realistic expectations, and the need for tolerance for unexpected changes,” writes Prentice. “The embrace of all these lessons is going to be critical to a successful ski season, as is the recognition we’re all in this together.”

In addition to requiring face coverings to access the mountain, in lift lines, while loading, unloading and riding chair lifts, they will also be required in the base area, inside all buildings and during all ski and snowboard lessons.

READ ALSO: Mount Cain planning a modified winter season for north Island ski and snowboarders

“We are asking everyone to support these necessary changes and cooperate with resort workers who are in the challenging role of ensuring everyone’s safety,” he said. “Guests who don’t comply with the guidelines will be asked to leave.”

The resort will be designing lift lines to allow for physical distancing, and food will available for take-out, grab and go and via online ordering. The resort is also asking visitors to be prepared to spend their time at the resort outdoors, entering facilities when necessary.

While there’s still uncertainty of what capacity may be this winter, the resort said its main way of controlling the number of people on the mountain will be by limiting the number of daily lift tickets it sells. The resort said it intends to allow season pass holders access to the mountain any day it’s open without needing reservations.

However, reservations will be required for equipment rentals and all lessons and programs.

READ ALSO: Mt. Washington opens Island’s longest zip line

“There is no avoiding the fact that navigating your way around the resort will be different this winter,” said Prentice. “Compared to the alternative of no season, I hope you’ll agree the changes are manageable and worth any inconvenience.”

The resort is offering anyone who purchased a 2020/21 season pass to defer it to next season.

But for those who opt to keep their pass for this season, weather allowing, the resort will open Friday, Dec. 4.

“As always with our coastal climate, this depends on the weather,” said Prentice, “but our snow-making system is ready to blow, and we hope for cold temperatures as we as Mother Nature’s support for an on-time opening.”


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marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

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