We are so excited! Opening Day is almost here! Chester Bowl opens for the season on Saturday, December 19th, at 11am.
There is a LOT that is different this year, and things have been shifting constantly, including through the Governor’s Executive Order updates announced yesterday. We ask that you please read through this entire post so that you know what to expect this season at Chester Bowl, and to be a partner with us to make sure that we can stay safe and stay open.
Here are the most important things for you to know:
1. Things will change! We are sharing our plan for the start of the season, but we expect shifts to happen throughout the winter. Please continue to read our emails to stay informed if we need to change policies and procedures.
2. We need your help with your children- whether you are here skiing and boarding with them or dropping them off, please talk with them in advance about expectations (yours, theirs, and ours!), so they know in advance what this winter will be like and what they will need to do.
3. For opening weekend, we are open Saturday 12/19 and Sunday 12/20 from 11- 4:30 each day. We are open Monday, 12/21 from 4:30-8:30. After being closed Tuesday through Friday 12/22-12/25, we will open again for Holiday Break, when we will be open from 11-4:30 daily (12/26-1/3).
4. Masks are required! This includes in the lift line, on the lift, in the bathrooms, in front of chalet, or anywhere else that there are others around you. We recommend that you wear a cloth mask, and then have a buff over that, and just get in the habit of always having it on when you are here. And then bring a second set for when the first one gets wet and cold! Please wear your mask so it covers your mouth and your nose. Gloves or mittens are required while on the chairlift.
5. It is essential that we keep social distancing of at least six feet between households in the lift line. The best way to visualize this is to think about the fact that you control the distance between yourself and the person in front of you. If we all keep at least two feet of space between the tip of our skis/board and the tail of the person in front of you, we will be properly spaced. We will also have visual reminders about spacing in the lift line.
6. Only members of the same household may ride the chairlift together. There are no exceptions for riding with those from other households, even if you consider yourself a “pod” or spend time in each others’ houses.
7. Please don’t gather in groups with friends at the chalet or on the hill. We all miss seeing our friends, but we must always be maintaining a minimum of six feet of physical distance between people from different households.
8. The warming space in the Chalet is closed entirely this year, except for use by staff, scheduled volunteers, ski patrollers, and those receiving medical assistance. This season, your car is your chalet. Please arrive ready to ski! The bathrooms will be open from the side door of the Chalet only, with a maximum of two people in a bathroom at any given time.
9. The new Executive Order does allow for lessons to occur, with a “private lesson” model. The departure from our traditional group lessons does decrease our capacity to meet the need for lessons, but we have added lessons on Sundays as well as Saturdays to help more people learn to ski and snowboard! Lessons will be 45 minutes long, with an instructor serving one single household. We are still finalizing the plan, but you can expect to see information about registration (and you must be pre-registered for lessons) within the next few days. As always, lessons are free to those with a season pass or a daily lift ticket. We will offer daily lessons over break (12/26-12/30), and then start weekend lessons on Saturdays and Sundays beginning on January 2.
10. For the first weekend, our outdoor concession stand will be selling hand warmers and daily lift tickets only. We will NOT be selling any food or beverages. Based on the new Executive Order, we are assessing whether we will be able to sell food out of the concessions stand after the first weekend. The concession stand will also be the main point for information or to contact staff. You are welcome to bring your own food and snacks to Chester Bowl. You can eat them in your car or outdoors, as long as you maintain social distancing from those in other households. We will have benches to sit on, but no picnic tables.
11. Do you still need season passes? You can come to Chester during any hours that the hill is open. You can read more about getting passes at https://www.chesterbowl.org/ski-and-snowboard/. Please check in at the concessions stand upon arrival. Be sure to bring cash or a check and a small photograph of each person that we can laminate in your pass! Opening day may be busy, so you may need to be patient if you arrive right away in the morning.
12. Do you still need to rent equipment for the season? We do still have a limited number of skis available. For this weekend, please reach out to us in advance to set up an appointment for a gear fitting. After opening weekend, we are able to fit you for gear during open hours.
13. We are still working on our plan for Cadets. The new executive order gave us more clarity in what Cadets will be able to do this year. If you registered for the Cadet program, you can expect an email from Sam in the next few days.
14. We are not able to offer Freestyle Friday under current restrictions. If this changes, we will re-assess if we can offer the program later in the season.
15. Was this list too short for you, and you want more details? You can read our entire Pandemic Plan here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zs2HBPMHWcXC0W-fafEd-TqZLyT9OE8bN0WDEQaPF_I/edit?usp=sharing Additional overall information is at www.chesterbowl.org.
Thank you for reading through this entire post. With the support of all of you in the Chester Bowl community, together we can minimize the risk of COVID-19 while spending time active and outdoors this winter. We can’t wait to see you on the hill!
Dave & Sam