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Are ski mountains staying busy and safe between holidays?

Published: Feb. 7, 2021 at 10:54 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - We’re halfway between Martin Luther King Day weekend and Presidents Day weekend. Are ski mountains staying busy and safe throughout the pandemic?

Okemo Mountain is a popular pick for skiers and boarders all the time, so holiday nweekends are no different.

“Numbers are really good, our visits were very strong. There’s a huge demand for people to get out on the slopes. I think it’s a sense of normal that they’re trying to regain,” said Bonnie MacPherson of Okemo.

While their numbers stay high, so do their guards. While they didn’t have an exact tally for MLK Day weekend, visitor numbers are controlled by capacity restrictions.

The same limits are in place every day. That’s not the only measure they have in place; they also promote physical distancing, a reservation system that keeps crowds at bay and capacities set based on mountain conditions. These rules apply for both pass-holders and day-ticket sales.

Okemo says they’ll continue to be vigilant about those rules on Presidents Day weekend to keep everyone safe, Vermonters or not.

“People are asking, ‘So can I come to Vermont?’ And the answer is yes, we welcome everyone. We’re just asking that you comply with the quarantine guidance,” MacPherson said.

Not many green plates in the parking lots suggest many folks are visiting, enjoying the terrain in the Green Mountain State and claiming compliance.

We asked some visitors if they were following the state’s guidelines

“Absolutely,” said one.

When asked why they came to ski in Vermont, they said because there isn’t anything comparable to these mountains where they’re from in Massachusetts.

Vermont is choosing to educate rather than enforce quarantine restrictions. Mountains can only take visitors’ word as true. That cap remains in place for Presidents Day. In a nonpandemic year, sales would hover around 600.

A mountain that constantly boasts smaller lift lines, Mad River Glen says the nature of the resort keeps crowds small anyway.

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