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A Look At Pandemic Safety Precautions For Skiing In Utah

Although skiing is an outdoor activity, ski resorts are still taking steps to help keep guests a little safer during the pandemic.

State COVID-19 precautions mean that mask wearing is mandatory across the state and that in order to stay open, businesses have pandemic precautions they have to take. 

When it comes to hitting the slopes, Sarah Sherman, the communication director at Snowbird, said the resort is taking some additional measures specific to their operation, like a parking reservation system. This helps them more closely control the number of people on the mountain at a given time.

“We're adjusting a lot of our food and beverage operations to shift towards a grab-and-go food experience where you're spending less time inside, if any at all," she said. "And we're also opening two new food trailers on the property so guests can grab food outside without ever having to go indoors."

But even though there are state guidelines and different measures put in place by resorts this year, the nature of skiing and snowboarding means the experience may not feel that different to visitors. 

Kelsey Hill-Cucuk, who has a season pass at Brighton, said the resort isn’t requiring reservations, but is spacing out vehicles, encouraging people to use the UTA ski bus and taking other measures to ensure social distancing.

“Once you get to the resort, I wouldn't say it is that much different. All resorts are requiring some kind of face covering, but that's kind of already a natural thing you do as a skier because it's cold. So most skiiers wear some kind of gator or face covering anyways,” Hill-Cucuk said. "And your skis and your board already make you about six-feet away in line."

Hill-Cucuk said she feels the precautions are keeping her safe.

"I mean I feel totally safe," She said. "I mean, once you're on the mountain, they space you out more on the lift and you can only ride with people that you're with. And then once you're actually on the mountian, you're not really talking to anyone and your gator is usually up because the winds are hitting you anyway. And it's just kind of you on the mountain. We just need some snow!”