GOBLES, Mich. — West Michigan ski slopes are preparing for an extra busy season as many COVID restrictions still remain in place.
With restrictions on indoor activities, many Michigan families are hitting the slopes this year, and Timber Ridge Ski Area in Gobles said they expect it to be a busy year.
"During the holidays, we will have well over 1,000 people coming to ski and snowboard. This year we are approaching those numbers already, and it could get a lot busier," said Timber Ridge Ski Area's Outdoor Operations Manager Luke Schrab.
Timber Ridge said they see a lot of people during the holidays, but this year they're expecting that to continue into 2021, especially as COVID continues to put a damper on indoor activities.
"It's pent-up demand; I mean people are absolutely wanting to get fresh air and be outside. I think we’re gaining a lot of new skiers. They are trying a new sport out for the first time, and they are loving it," said Timber Ridge Ski Area's General Manager Amy Schrab.
This year, Timber Ridge said it was difficult to get up and running, wanting to ensure they were following the restrictions put in place to keep people safe.
"With COVID also happening, we have had to adjust everything about the inside spaces. The outdoor part of the skiing and snowboarding is just fine. We have to make sure that masks are being worn in lift lines and on the lifts," said Luke Schrab.
Even with the restrictions in place, food and beverages are still available outdoors. Attendees are also able to rent equipment.
"We aren’t limiting tickets, because it is outside. We just ask you hang out with the people you came, you rode with, and keep it in your little pod," said Amy Schrab.
This year, they were also able to open the tubing hill early, seeing around eight hundred people each day.
As for skiers and snowboarders, the lifts are up and running, and snow is being made each time it's below freezing to prepare for a busy year.
"We have made a lot of internal repairs on our current system, but we’ve also added eight brand new snow guns. Those eight snow guns make as much snow as all the rest of our guns. Plus, they make really good snow no matter what the temperature is, as long as it’s freezing," said Luke Schrab.
If you'd like to hit the slopes this season, you can find lesson, lift and rental prices for Timber Ridge Ski Area by clicking here.