Mount Washington Alpine Resort opens Friday, and the weather gods seem to be smiling.
According to www.snow-forecast.com, Mt. Washington will get more than 60 cm of fresh snow over the weekend. It could make for one of the best openings in the resort’s recent history.
That’s a relief since the resort has struggled with poor pre-Christmas snow conditions for the past few seasons.
Being open for Christmas is vital for the ski industry. Resorts can make big profits in a few weeks, which impacts the bottom line.
After a couple of tough COVID seasons, the 2021/22 season is off to a good start. November saw plenty of precipitation at the mountain, sometimes in the form of rain. However, enough snowfall was up high to set up a solid early December base.
COVID-19-related Provincial Health Orders have caused numerous challenges for resorts.
Physical distancing is problematic for the ski industry. Lodges and cafeterias are often packed elbow-to-elbow, and skiers are accustomed to sharing chairlift rides with strangers.
That’s not ideal in a pandemic.
Different companies are taking different approaches. Earlier this fall, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies announced a policy requiring guests to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to ride chairlifts and access indoor facilities at all their properties. They own ski resorts in Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley, and Nakiska in the West, and Stoneham and Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec,
Mount Washington is owned by Pacific Group, a Colorado-based real estate and development company. Pacific has four other ski areas in its resort portfolio – Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire, WISP in Maryland, Wintergreen in Virginia, and Powderhorn Mountain in Colorado.
However, Mount Washington doesn’t require proof of vaccination to ski. Unvaccinated people can ride chairlifts, go cross country skiing, and ride the tube park. Proof of Vaccination is only necessary for people who want to sit down and eat at Ted’s Bar & Grill, Eagle View Bistro, the Raven Lodge, and any other indoor events. Resort staff are also required to be fully vaccinated.
If you’ve been missing the slopes, sharpen your edges, and start limbering up, this could be a ski season to remember.