Winter will be here before the pandemic is over. But the good news is outside recreation will be an option. Whether you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or sledding, Governor Cuomo announced that the slopes will be allowed to open!
One local ski slope, Woods Valley Ski Area in Westernville, has been waiting for this news from Governor Cuomo. The owner of Woods Valley Ski Area, Tim Woods, says "We've been planning for this all summer. We have a playbook. We'll tweak the playbook to line up with the state's guidance and we'll communicate that clearly with our guests."
Governor Cuomo says that ski resorts can open at 50% indoor capacity, but must reduce capacity to 25% outdoors on peak days, or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions. Woods Valley says they're prepared and have been getting advice from other ski areas. Mr. Woods says "My wife sits on the board of SANY and she's been involved with weekly conference calls, and again talking to ski area operators that have dealt with this all year in their seasons in the southern hemisphere. We feel like we're well prepared."
Woods Valley says they will be strict with enforcing the Governor's guidelines in order to remain open for the season. This includes social distancing, wearing masks, and capacity limits. Mr. Woods says "Stay tuned for how, you know, the final guidance dictates the program here at Woods Valley and also other ski areas in the East, well in New York specifically." This final guidance will be out soon as ski areas are allowed to open as early as November.
Mr. Woods says "We always hope to open Thanksgiving weekend. That's our goal. Last year it was a week before Thanksgiving, just because we had a great early run of snow-making. And we'll open as soon as possible." Woods Valley says they will be able to make snow as soon as the cold weather hits.
If you're planning on hitting the slopes this winter, remember to social distance and mask up.