This article originally appeared in Travel+Leisure.
Across the country, ski resorts will soon open. Chair lifts will get fired up. Ski instructors will line up their pupils. Skiers and snowboarders will be ready to soar and shred. It will be just like any other season — except, not.
The effects of COVID-19 and necessity of altering habits, including social distancing, extends to the mountains. And if the surge in outdoor recreation this past summer was any indication, mountains can expect high demand. How will they accommodate the masses while also restricting capacity and reducing operations and offerings, as necessary?
“COVID is forcing us to reinvent, to reimagine our winter and how we ski,” says Mike Kaplan, CEO of Aspen Skiing Company, which operates the town’s four main ski slopes. While none of those mountains will limit the number of people on any given day, Kaplan is clear: “People should first and foremost bring a commitment to being safe and staying safe.”