Jodi Weiskerger of Falls Twp. appreciates being able to hit the slopes with her family at Montage Mountain Resorts in Scranton a little more this winter.
“Montage is our saving grace since we can’t do much else this year,” she said. “I’m very thankful that it’s open and that we’re able to do this.”
The coldest time of the year coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic gives people fewer options to get out of the house.
Since opening day in mid-December, Director of Resort Relations Tyler Crawford said a lot of people have been eager to get out skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing at Montage. The resort made several changes this season to comply with COVID-19 regulations, including private tents and outdoor eateries to keep people socially distant.
“We’ve seen a great turnout, a lot of people learning for the first time, a lot of repeat guests,” he said. “Membership sales are up. People want to ski this year. It’s great.”
Guests have been “responsive and respectful” to rules put in place for COVID-19, Crawford added, including temperature checks at the main gate.
He said masks don’t need to be worn while skiing, but they’re required while waiting for and riding lifts, and in all public gathering areas.
Crawford called skiing a “naturally social distanced snow sport,” adding that people often choose to wear masks on the slopes anyway.
Midland at Montage Mountain, a new outdoor food and beverage area with fire pits and live music on the weekends, has received positive feedback from guests. Private tents available for rent at Midland — $99 per day from Mondays to Thursdays and $199 per day Fridays to Sundays and holidays — have been in high demand, too.
“It was inspired because of the pandemic, but it’s an offering that guests have been asking for for years and years,” Crawford said. “We’re excited to open it this year during the pandemic, but also keep it open and improve it long after this is over.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged those at Montage to “think outside of the lodge,” Crawford said.
“We’re really trying to make the best of the situation to help the company grow and to grow the options for our guests as well,” he said.
Alice Turner of Scranton comes to Montage every year with her 11-year-old son and appreciates the steps Montage took to keep skiers safe. She plans to come back a lot throughout the ski season.
“It makes you feel like there’s some normality,” she said.
Brooke joined the Wyoming County Press Examiner staff as a reporter in December 2018 after graduating from Marywood University. She covers county commissioners, borough councils, township supervisors and school boards in addition to writing lifestyle and business stories. Contact her at 570-836-2123, ext. 36, or firstname.lastname@example.org.