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Ohio Ski Season: Some Resorts Uncertain About Opening Date, All Implementing New Guidelines

Signs at Alpine Valley Ski Resort remind guests to wear a mask and practice physical distancing
Tom Conti
Vail Resorts
Signs at Alpine Valley Ski Resort remind guests to wear a mask and practice physical distancing

With the arrival of colder weather, Ohio’s ski resorts are slowly beginning to open. Alpine Valley in Geauga County opened for the season on Monday with new guidelines in place.

Thomas Conti is a spokesman for Vail Resorts, which owns Alpine Valley as well as in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He says Vail Resorts has not set an opening date for Boston Mills or Brandywine because of to uncertainty with snowmaking.

“It's always about 2 to 3 degrees warmer at Boston Mills, Brandywine than Brecksville or Chesterland or Peninsula. And because of that, it's kind of affected our snowmaking," Conti said. "We haven't had an opportunity to make as much snow as, for example, Alpine Valley has. We're really looking for this weekend. That's definitely our goal,” Conti said.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, new guidelines are also in place at all three resorts.

All employees are required to undergo temperature checks and answer a health screening questionnaire before being permitted to work, but Conti said there is no such requirement for guests.

"We would love to but that would include HIPAA violations, which nobody in the whole country can violate HIPAA restrictions," he said. "You can't ask about somebody's health and their personal health and wellness ..."

Conti said the resorts have put a strict mask-wearing policy in place for everyone and are encouraging social distancing, including on ski lifts. All transactions are now cashless, and reservations are required online before entering the resorts.

Conti declined to disclose the limits on capacity because of the pandemic.

He said the resorts will not be hosting any special events this season to avoid mass gatherings.

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Jay Shah is an aspiring broadcast journalist pursuing a Master of Arts in media and journalism at Kent State University. Jay’s student media career began as an undergraduate student at Old Westbury Web Radio (OWWR) of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. She is passionate about raising community awareness on social justice, and environmental issues as well as local music and art. Her spare time involves attending local music showcases, experimenting with weird food combinations and painting. Jay wishes to use her journalistic abilities for providing a voice to the voiceless.