OTSEGO, Mich. — There may not be snow on the slopes quite yet, but Michigan ski resorts are gearing up for the new season in the midst of a pandemic.
“When you're a seasonal business you kind of got to work those bugs out at the beginning and this year there's more bugs than usual,” Bittersweet Ski Resort Manager Cindy Gayheart said.
COVID-19 is the main one and with restrictions, comes some changes to how they will operate.
Bittersweet Ski Resort is building an outdoor ticket booth and food areas to limit people from going inside.
To keep people distant, there won’t be any hanging out in the lodge and anywhere you can’t keep six feet apart, face coverings will be required.
“People are naturally distance when they're going in line with skis and snowboards and things anyway so it's just a matter of not riding and sharing lifts with people you didn't come with. And if you're taking a lesson, take it with the group that you came with,” Gayheart said.
It’s going to be a different winter season, ski resorts just want patience so everyone can be safe while having fun.
“We're learning along the way. Just follow the rules. We don't want to be the mask police or the social distancing police, if you just follow common sense general rules it should be a good season,” Gayheart added.
While each ski resort will require face coverings, they will all have different protocols, the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association is urging people to check the website of where they're visiting ahead of time, so they know what to expect before they go.