Snowshoe Mountain prepares for winter opening amid COVID-19 pandemic

From reduced crowds and staffing to masks and tickets, the West Virginia resort looks a little different this year

It's opening week at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

SNOWSHOE, W.Va. – Skiers and snowboarders bundled up for the cold at Snowshoe Mountain, but the coronavirus pandemic means not everything could stay the same at the West Virginia resort.

Everything from restaurants to ticket sales to lessons looks different this year to keep everyone safe.

PR manager Shawn Cassell says masks and social distancing are musts.

“We still expect folks to social distance in the lift line and masks. It could be a lot of people in a somewhat contained area,” Cassell said.

You have to purchase lift tickets in advance as the resort had to cut down capacity to keep crowds small. Other aspects including class sizes and staffing have been reduced as well.

“We’re definitely missing a big chunk of our international workforce with the way things are right now,” Cassell said.

Although the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, families on the slopes are riding out the rest of 2020 with hopes it’s all downhill from here.

BJ Parks and his two boys spent the afternoon on the mountain and said it’s a welcome relief from quarantine.

“We had family vacations canceled. It’s really nice to be able to get out here with us stuck inside for months,” Parks explained.

Meanwhile, David Lawson, of Roanoke, said he feels safe outside.

“It’s nice. They got a lot of snow. And you can be out here without worrying about COVID,” said Lawson.

If families want to enjoy a long season on the slopes everyone has to do their part.

To that, Cassell says: “Mask up and keep your distance and do all those things and take care of each other. If we can do all that then it’s going to be a good season.”

About the Author:

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!