NEWRY, Maine — The first Nor'easter of the season dumped 12 to 16 inches of powder in the Maine mountains which is good news for skiers and snowboarders alike. However, like most things in 2020, skiing and snowboarding will be a little different this season as resorts around the state comply with coronavirus regulations.
At Sunday River and Sugar Loaf resorts in Maine, all skiers and snowboarders are required to wear their masks everywhere except with they are actively heading down the mountain though most may opt to keep them on to stay warm.
"Skiers have been wearing masks for a long time. This isn't that much different. This is a tool to keep you warm. We're hoping that it is an easy thing that people can add to their ski routine if they don't already wear one," says Karolyn Castaldo, director of communications for Sunday River Resort.
Along with masks, there are capacity limits in lodges and spacing out lift lines, and asking patrons to review screening questions before they come to the resort.
Originally the state of Maine mandated that each person purchasing a lift pass answer three detailed questions about covid symptoms and being out of the state. Ski Maine Association pointed out that asking the lengthy questions would increase lines and the potential spread of the virus.
Castaldo says they are encouraging skiers to gear up at their cars though lodges are open with limited capacity.
Both Sunday River and Sugarloaf are allowing anyone,in-state or out-of-state, who purchased a season's pass to roll it over and use it next season if they don't feel comfortable hitting the slopes. That pass has to be unused.
Sunday River staff say they are working with other ski resorts across the country to find the best ways to keep skiers and snowboarders safe this season.