Chicopee is all set to open up for the 2020 winter season despite the second wave. Expecting more snow in the coming days, the site will be reopening from Dec. 19 with required COVID-19 protocols put in place. However, the reopening depends on weather conditions.
“If it gets cold enough, we make our own snow and that’s really the key to success in southern Ontario,” said Bill Creighton, CEO of Chicopee in an interview.
If the weather cooperates and the hill opens up, then this year’s skiing experience at Chicopee will be slightly different as visitors will have to abide by a mandatory mask policy, sanitation and social distancing requirements. These protocols will be required at all places inside the property. Site officials have also recommended skiers to wear masks while skiing; although, it will not be mandatory.
“You have to wear a mask on the property, on lift lines, on the lifts and keep social distancing,” Creighton said.
Creighton said people will have to convert their cars into a ski lodge as everything would be outdoors this time. He also said online booking will be a benefit for people as they won’t have to stand in long lines.
Skiing and other winter activities will also act as a tool to improve mental health for people who have been struggling with it due to the new normal. The fresh air, beautiful scenes and exercise will help improve the mental state and physical fitness of skiers.
Pankti Patel, 21, a regular visitor of Chicopee said skiing is a helpful activity for her mental health. “Skiing is one of those activities that gives fun and fitness, both together. Especially, this year where things haven’t gone the way we had planned and our mental health has affected a lot, activities like skiing and snowboarding will be very helpful to get ourselves out of the COVID-19 stress,” she said.
Creighton said people will need an outlet to overcome the stress that they have experienced during all these months due to COVID-19. He added that even under lockdown, skiing is allowed to remain open so it will be a great recreational facility for locals to relax and have fun.
Creighton encourages people to come and ski as that would give them a change from COVID-19 anxiety.
“When you are out skiing, there is a feeling of freedom and it’s a way to get rid of some of that stress,” Creighton said.