Chestnut Mountain Resort values and prioritizes our guests, staff, and local communities’ health and safety. To demonstrate our commitment, we are proud to implement the Ski Well, Be Well best practices for the 2020-2021 winter season, or for as long as needed, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Ski Areas Association collaborated with ski industry leaders from across the United States to establish Ski Well, Be Well, according to scientific guidelines put forth by infectious disease experts, including the CDC and WHO. In addition to these measures, we will comply with additional federal, state, and local regulations as they are released.
Benefits and Advantages of Winter Outdoor Recreation
Snowsports offer the mental and physical health benefits of outdoor recreation. Our slopes and Farside Terrain Park are uniquely positioned to allow our guests to enjoy outdoor recreation while maintaining physical distance. Below are just some of the benefits and advantages we offer for low-risk outdoor recreation.
- Space: We have over 220 rolling acres of space allocated for outdoor recreation and the expertise to monitor and manage the flow and volume of traffic in our outdoor playground.
- Natural Outdoor Environment: During the winter, the majority of time guests spend at our resort is on the slopes or in the terrain park enjoying the beauty of the Mississippi River valley and crisp winter air while cruising down runs or practicing their tricks on our rails and features.
- Standard Gear: Face coverings, including neck gaiters, goggles, gloves or mittens, and helmets are usual attire for skiers and snowboarders.
- Slope Safety Etiquette: Skiers and snowboarders have a long-standing etiquette that requires people to respect one another and have sufficient space between themselves and others.
- Health Benefits: Snowsports provide both physical and mental health benefits. They improve the strength and overall fitness of the skier or rider while reducing the risk of depression.
- Shared Responsibility for Safety: Everyone needs to do their part to help protect our community’s health and safety. We encourage all employees, guests, and visitors to follow the posted requirements to mitigate infection risk while at Chestnut Mountain Resort.
- Touchless Transactions: As much as possible, we have adopted technologies to reduce personal contact between employees and guests.
- Low-Risk Transportation: All our lifts are open-air chairs where riders experience a constant flow of fresh, clean air. They check most of the boxes as a low-risk means of transportation.
- Face coverings required
- Outdoor environment
- Skiers and snowboarders will ride the lift with their traveling party
- Lift rides are almost always under 15 minutes
- Lifts travel between 5 and 17 mph, creating one-way directional airflow
- Chairs are typically spaced 50 or more feet apart
- Physical distancing in lift queues occurs organically due to the length of skis and snowboards
Keeping Our Community Healthy
We are committed to providing outdoor recreation in ways that promote health and safety while reducing infection risk. Below are some of the safety protocols we have put in place to keep our employees, guests, and visitors healthy. Our current COVID-19 policies are available on our website.
- Face Coverings Required: Whenever physical distancing isn’t possible, we require face coverings be worn in both indoor and outdoor spaces, except when eating and drinking.
- Physical Distancing: Our team has created a plan that allows for appropriate spacing between parties at locations where people typically congregate. Including but is not limited to lift, ticket, & rental queues; ski & snowboard lessons; restaurants; and Mountainside Outfitters.
- Cleaning and Disinfection: We have adopted and implemented cleaning and disinfection procedures across all resort areas. Including high-touch areas such as restrooms, restaurants, ticket offices, and our rental shop. All cleaning products used follow CDC and EPA guidance on agents that are effective against COVID-19.
- Operating Plans: We will continue to review and amend our overall and individual department operating plans to comply with local and state regulations; maintain physical distancing requirements, and adhere to cleaning and disinfection best practices.
- Communication: Our website is an excellent resource for guests to stay abreast of our plans and requirements. We encourage all guests to visit our website before arrival at Chestnut Mountain Resort and accept their shared responsibility in keeping our community safe. Guests are responsible for understanding their obligations, including the requirement to wear a face covering whenever physical distancing isn’t possible. To assist in this endeavor, we have posted on-site signage to remind everyone of the best practices to stop the spread.
- Reporting and Notification: We will comply with state and local public health orders and follow CDC best practices when reporting a positive case of COVID-19 at Chestnut Mountain Resort. Employees are trained in these practices by our leadership.
- Employee Training: We train our employees in COVID-19 safety and disinfection protocols, consistent with recommendations from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health. Daily wellness checks of all employees occur before the start of their shifts. Employees will be sent home or asked to stay home if they have encountered a positive COVID-19 case or exhibit relevant symptoms.
It is our goal to keep our guests safe and healthy while visiting Chestnut Mountain Resort. Snowsports are a weather-based business that requires the daily scaling of operations to respond to current conditions. As such, we are uniquely prepared to pivot our operations with little notice.
Our team has the knowledge and expertise to manage our outdoor recreation space so all can enjoy the low-risk, high-value recreation that skiing and snowboarding offers. We are committed to a collaborative relationship with state and local authorities to provide outdoor recreation in ways that reduce the risk of infection.
*Blog photo provided courtesy of the National Ski Areas Association.