The Quebec Ski Areas Association (ASSQ) and its 75 resorts have been given the green light to complete their preparations for the 2020-2021 ski season, said an Oct. 16 release. Quebec ski areas will have to comply in full with the province’s Public Health recommendations, according to the colour of the alert level of their region in order to ensure the safety of winter sports enthusiasts and ski area personnel.
The health measures that will apply to ski resorts this winter have been finalized with the Public Health Department in collaboration with government authorities.
"The authorities have carefully examined the specifics of our industry and the operational realities of ski resorts,” stated Yves Juneau, President and CEO of the Quebec Ski Areas Association. “The analytical work has been exceptional. The success of our season now depends on adherence to these measures by the resorts, of course, but also by all of our future visitors. The combined efforts of all stakeholders will allow us to have a great season despite the pandemic."
The operational adjustments applicable to the ski industry personnel will be confirmed by the CNESST following the analysis currently underway concerning the protection of workers in winter conditions.
It should be noted that the measures enacted for Quebec are part of a worldwide movement that aims to allow snow sports enthusiasts to practice their favourite activity this winter. Whether it is elsewhere in Canada, the United States or Europe, the main countries where winter sports are practiced have all authorized the opening of ski resorts on their territory.
From a business perspective, the restrictions that will apply for next season will have a significant impact on the operational costs of the ski areas. In addition, ski areas will also incur a substantial loss of revenues, especially for ski areas that will not be able to operate their rental service and ski school under the red alert level.
“We are helping our members to deal with the situation to ensure the health and safety of all, while providing an enjoyable experience for skiers under these extraordinary circumstances,” said Juneau. “In fact, the Association is currently preparing an extensive awareness campaign to encourage customers and resort personnel to follow the health and safety rules for the coming season.”
Guests’ log book
To fully take advantage of the coming winter season and to avoid any unpleasant surprises; skiers should be on the lookout for information from their favorite ski resorts which will be communicated soon. Among the various measures put in place, Public Health authorities ask to keep a daily registry of all guests. The
ASSQ has also launched a project to enable ski resorts to use an electronic tool to comply with this measure.
The collaboration and compliance of the ski community will be paramount to ensure that the experience on the mountains this winter is enjoyable and safe for all. Here are the four main recommendations for skiers and snowboarders:
- Inform yourself in advance of the health measures and directions put in place by the resort
- Buy your lift ticket in advance on the resort’s website or on boutique.maneige.ski
- Wear a face covering at all times whether indoors or outdoors
- Comply with the Mountain Code of Conduct
Basic guidelines applicable to all alert levels
- Maintaining a distance of 2 meters in all places frequented by skiers and snowboarders;
- Wearing a face covering indoors;
- Wearing a double layer neck warmer or balaclava covering the nose and mouth outdoors for all visitors aged 3 and over;
- Frequent hand-washing
"Keep in mind that the 75 ski resorts in Québec will implement health measures in a demanding environment that has never been experienced before. The Association hopes that skiers will reaffirm their sense of belonging to Quebec's resorts by continuing to visit them in complete safety,” concludes Yves Juneau.
Founded in 1979, the ASSQ is a non-profit organization that brings together all the ski resorts in Québec.
— Association of Québec Ski Resorts and Industry (ASSQ)