OTIS RIDGE Covid-19 Safety Statement & Guidelines

COVID has changed all of our lives in many ways – who would have thought when we closed in March that we would still be dealing with it this season? Everybody’s safety is our primary concern and we will comply with all Commonwealth, local BOH, and CDC guidelines and mandates. Following you will find our procedures for the season to keep everybody as safe as we can – keep in mind that these procedures may change as our guidelines change.

But - we can't do it alone. A big part of keeping everybody safe will fall on you. You may or may not agree with COVID restrictions and that is your right. However, when you are on Ridge property we ask that you respect our policies and guidelines. Be patient, be kind while we navigate a different world and we can all enjoy another ski season, albeit a bit different than in the past.

Our mantra for this year – DON’T BE THE REASON TO END OUR SEASON

Businesses providing outdoor recreational experiences and educational activities are open for instate and out-of-state visitors, provided that all staff and guests have complied with all applicable travel restrictions and requirements of both the home state and destination state, including but not limited to, any and all quarantine or testing requirements. Given the nature of the requirements, we are unable to verify if visitors to the Ridge meet the requirements but we urge you to do the right thing and not travel to us if you don’t meet the requirements for the health and safety of our staff, community, and fellow visitors.

Guidelines for All Guests and Employees
Please help us minimize the spread of COVID
  • Check www.mass.gov for travel restrictions.
  • Guideline reminders are posted throughout the base area.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat. Use the sanitizer stations located in all buildings.
  • Observe traffic patterns when applicable.
  • Face masks/coverings that cover the mouth and nose are mandatory for everyone over the age of 2 except when you are seated and eating. Sitting at a table with a bag of snacks does not count.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others not in your household/travel group.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Observe capacity limits in all in-door spaces. Use your vehicle as your base lodge – please store your bags/belongings in your vehicle.
  • Stay at home if you feel sick.
  • The Commonwealth requires that we do contact tracing. When you purchase your lift ticket, we will ask you for the pertinent information.
Complete Commonwealth of MA Standards National Ski Area Association SKI WELL BE WELL Brochure
STAFF
  • All staff will wear masks/face covering that cover the mouth and nose. When social distancing is not possible (fitting boots in the rental shop, for example) staff will wear safety glasses.
  • Every day, before work, each employee will meet with a supervisor for a temperature check and to answer a health declaration questionnaire which will be kept on file. Anybody with a fever will be sent home for the day.
  • All employees have had COVID training appropriate to their departments.
  • This will be a stressful year for everybody, especially staff on the front lines. Please be patient and respectful as we do our best to keep everybody safe.
LIFTS
  • All lift operators will wear a mask/face covering that covers the mouth and nose.
  • Please double up with your family/traveling group when possible. Other than these groups, the chair and T-bar will have single riders. Exception – per the Massachusetts guidelines - Safety on chairlifts is paramount and maintaining seating distance is not required for ski school groups with students too young to ride chairlifts by themselves or those who require additional assistance or have other needs to ride chairlifts safely.
  • Lift lines will have social distancing signage. Masks/face coverings are required while loading/riding the lifts and tows.
  • Please do not congregate at the unloading areas – maintain social distancing.
RENTAL/SKI SHOP
  • We will follow all guidelines/mandates from the state/CDC/local BOH – as these change so may our policies
  • There are multiple hands-free sanitizer stations available for your use
  • All staff will be temperature checked and fill out a health profile daily
  • Please follow social distancing (6') guidelines. Ski shop staff who are fitting you and are unable to maintain a 6' distance will wear eye protection in addition to face covering. To help us maintain 6' distancing, seasonal rentals will be done in the lodge rather than in the ski shop.
  • To minimize the time you need to be inside, please complete the rental form and seasonal rental agreement, print them out and bring them with you.
  • Masks/face covering that cover your nose and mouth are mandatory for everybody over age 2. All staff will wear a face covering.
  • Please do not handle the merchandise more than necessary.
  • All equipment will be sanitized between users.
  • When you have been fitted, please take your footwear to your car – it cannot be left in the shop.
  • AND - Please be patient, be kind while we navigate a different world and we can all enjoy another ski season, albeit a bit differently than in the past.
TICKETS
  • We do not plan to require reservations for lift tickets. Capacity will be dependent on terrain/lifts open.
  • On weekends and during holiday periods, you will purchase your tickets at an outdoor window. During the week and at night, you will purchase them in the lodge.
  • New this year – on weekends and during holiday periods there will be a morning half-day ticket available.
RACE TEAM
Providing a safe environment for our racers, their families, and our broader community has long been a priority for Otis Ridge, and that commitment has never been more important than now as we rethink how to provide a great race program experience amid an ongoing public health crisis. We are carefully reviewing the evolving guidance and guidelines from health authorities and ski racing governing bodies, and we are confident we can create a program that provides necessary safeguards for our racers. That said, we know things will remain fluid for some time, and that this is going to be a season like no other, so we should all be prepared to make adjustments and changes along the way.
Race Season Update: October, 2020 (subject to change based on circumstances and state and local permissions/restrictions)
We remain hopeful that we will be permitted to have a Race Team Program for the 2021 ski season. A series of precautions and protocols are being developed and should be expected to include: face coverings, social distancing, smaller group interactions, and regular health checks and screenings. We will be posting these when finalized as well as sharing with our team families well prior to the start of the season.
Though we do expect to have a race team program beginning no later than Saturday January 2nd, at present it is unclear if there will be any USSA or Interclub racing permitted through the season. This remains subject to change, and we continue to explore alternative options to provide some competitive experiences for our team, but the outlook for a full race season remains unlikely.
Prior to the start of the season we hope to organize at least a few online team forums with our coaches and families to talk through plans and outlook for the season, as well as hearing any concerns, ideas or recommendations.
In the meantime, if you have specific questions please email info@otisridge.com.
SNOWSPORTS SCHOOL
  • All students will be required to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth and to maintain 6’ social distancing as much as possible.
  • Because of limited capacity in all buildings, extra time will be needed to get through the registration process.
  • For all snowsports lessons, all children must be bathroom independent, able to get dressed and undressed without assistance, able to put on equipment without assistance (except for level 1), and if level 4 and up able to ride chair/t-bar independently or have an adult with a lift ticket as a rider.
  • All participants in all ski school programs will be required to fill out a health screening form and be temperature checked each day.
  • All snowsports programs will be by reservation and must be prepaid. Check the program you want for registration information.
  • All of the programs have had changes this year – check the details for the program you are interested in.
  • To maximize social distancing and prevent congestion at the base area, all snowsports classes will meet at the base of the Bunny Tow.
HYGIENE/CLEANING PROTOCOLS
  • There are hand sanitizer stations located through all buildings. All lift buildings have hand sanitizer available for operators’ use.
  • Soap dispensers in the restrooms are touch-free.
  • The lift buildings will be fogged between shifts and at lunchtime.
  • All buildings will be fogged at night.
  • Rental equipment will be sanitized between each use.
  • There will be enhanced cleaning of all touchpoints in the interior space.
  • There will be plexiglass barriers in place at all points of purchase.
  • Each morning the lift buildings will be stocked with COVID-specific disinfectant and sanitizer. The operators will follow a cleaning schedule during their shifts.
SKI PATROL
  • Ski patrollers will wear surgical masks and eye protection when working with patients.
  • Injured or ill patients must wear cloth face coverings while care is being provided unless the nature of the injury or illness contra-indicates mask use. In this case, patrollers will wear N-95 masks.
  • Everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands when entering the ski patrol room.
  • Ski patrollers will ask COVID screening questions of patients and respond accordingly.
  • The number of people in the ski patrol room will be limited. Children will, of course, be allowed to have an adult accompany them at all times. Injured adults may not be allowed to have additional company in the aid room, depending on the number of people already in the room as well as the nature of the injury. Those accompanying patients in the aid room will be required to wear a face covering, and asked to sanitize their hands and maintain a 6-foot distance from ski patrollers.
  • When advisable, minor injuries will be managed outdoors.
  • All equipment will be sanitized between uses.
  • Records of all patrollers interacting with each patient will be maintained, in case future contact tracing is necessary.
  • In the event that ambulance transportation is necessary, all ambulance staff will follow or exceed our guidelines.
FOOD SERVICE
  • All indoor dining is by reservation only. There is limited seating at the bar – but alcohol is served with a meal only. Check the Grouse House page on www.otisridge.com for operating hours and reservation procedures.
  • Take out is available.
LODGE CANTEEN
  • Food will be grab and go from a reduced menu – no special orders. Please look at the menu and know what you want before you get to the counter.
  • There will be a modified traffic pattern.
  • Beginning 12/28 on weekends and during holiday periods guests will be able to order online for a lunch-time pick up from our outdoor window. Beverages will be available from the outdoor window.
  • All fountain and hot drinks will be poured by cafeteria staff
  • Condiments will be PC and distributed by the cafeteria staff.