Covid and the Indoors this Winter
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Written by Tom Chasse
Greetings Schweitzer Family,
I’ll be honest with you all, the transition towards opening day has been kind of frustrating this year. Great snowmaking temperatures coupled with 8” of natural snow last week peaked my optimism that we’d be opening well ahead of plan. Yet here we are another week closer and we’re mowing the slopes around Musical Chairs. Don’t fret, though. The temperatures are falling and we’ve taken the mower off of the tractor and installed the snow blower. Fingers crossed.
As we inch our way towards opening, I thought I would update you on our indoor operating plans. The state of Idaho has reverted to stage 3 of Covid precautions which will have an impact and require a few changes. At the resort you will find hand sanitizers throughout all of our facilities, sneeze guards in areas that require close contact between staff and guests, and we will be requiring facial coverings in all of our indoor facilities. Our staff will continue to adhere to a sign in procedure and temperature checks before each shift that includes a series of questions related to potential exposure to Covid.
The recommended guidelines from the Panhandle Health District also call for configuring all our indoor seating areas to maximize optimal social distancing. This obviously means that we will see a reduction in our overall seating capacity. We ask that you refrain from leaving unattended bags, coolers, backpacks, etc in the buildings and under tables or “camping out” for the day inside - so please plan accordingly. Best thing to do is to “boot-up” prior to entering the day lodge, using your vehicle as your locker.
Speaking of lockers, for those of you who have already secured a seasonal locker in the lower level of the Lakeview Lodge, we ask that you self-police your time getting dressed and limit your time in the building to 10 minute or less. There is no need for milling around inside, right? Boot up and ski. That’s why we’re here.
As for restrooms, we know there will be a need, so please watch your time in that space. Focus on getting in, doing your business, washing your hands, and getting back out on the mountain.
In our F&B outlets you’ll see some changes as well. The Lakeview Lodge cafeteria will focus on more “grab-n-go” items to reduce lines waiting for grilled specials. Taps will no longer have age restrictions, and everyone will need to be seated with no standing or ordering at the bar as per state guidelines. Wait staff will service your food and beverage needs. We are planning to have more outdoor options available for our guests this season including food trucks in the Gateway parking lot which will provide a fun ski-in/ski-out lunch option under Musical Chairs.
When weather permits, we are looking forward to BBQ’s and après activities outdoors with firepits, a snow bar, and live music. The Outback will have limited indoor seating to maintain social distancing so once again, we ask you to get in and get out as quickly as you can.
Thanks to our summer season, we’ve already made adjustments to how Chimney Rock, Gourmandie/Mojo, and Sky House operate, and it’s been a good learning experience for us all.
Bottom line is that we’re all here to share our passion for the outdoors. Let’s all do our part so that we can continue to ski & ride with our friends and family in this special place, enjoying that much needed escape from the challenges of daily life.
We’re as anxious as you are to get the season underway and ask that you remember to be kind. Be flexible. Have patience.
CEO Schweitzer Mountain Resort