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Local ski areas gear up for coming season


by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

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Skiers prepare to make their way down the slopes at Bretton Woods last winter. Local ski resorts say they will reopen, under new guidelines. Let the snow dances begin. (Photo by Tara Giles) (click for larger version)
October 15, 2020
REGION — Local ski resorts are gearing up for the 2020-2021 season, albeit under new guidelines given the pandemic. Bretton Woods has noted that they will begin snowmaking in early November, with a plan to open before Thanksgiving. The Nordic Center of course will depend on snowfall.

In a statement, Bretton Woods did say they may implement pre-purchase policies for rentals and tickets. Some services are likely to be modified or halted until there can be a safe return to things as usual.

One program that will be suspended at Bretton Woods, is the Junior Pass Program due to indoor and outdoor restrictions. There is no word yet as to what other guidelines will be implemented or if the base lodge will be available or reduced in capacity.

Over at Cannon Mountain, things will be different this coming season, but what won't be different they said in a statement, is the ability to make the mountain your own. It reads, "Your line through the trees, your favorite view, the snow, your Cannon family and all of the fun ways down the mountain."

Snowmaking and grooming will take place just like any other season. The administration says they are currently working on a reopening plan and relays that they will follow guidance approved by the Governor's Task Force on reopening.

State park guidelines that have been implemented for the summer season will carry on into the winter season. Those include, wearing of face coverings in specified areas, limited capacities in buildings, social distancing measures inside and out and enhanced cleaning protocols ski-area-wide.

Likely to be implemented are the selling of day tickets online and in advance only, selling rentals and lessons online and in advance only, prohibiting bags and gear in buildings, limiting day ticket sales during certain times and reducing the number and types of discounted products.

Avid skiers have questioned whether or not reservations will be needed for pass holders and if visits will be limited. Currently there are no plans to do so, and the powers that be say they prefer not to, but say that things could change.

Cannon plans to open on Nov. 27.

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