Poconos ski resorts optimistic, despite COVID-19

Snowboard halfpipe
Snowboard halfpipe Photo credit iStock/Getty Images Plus

STROUDSBURG (KYW Newsradio) -- As COVID-19 case counts climb and Pennsylvania health authorities advise shelving travel plans for the next few weeks, Pocono Mountains ski resorts are cautiously optimistic they will eventually be able to have a season on the slopes.

Chris Barrett, president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, said the resorts recognize that there’s a health crisis and have committed to the Pocono Promise, a set of safety guidelines for visitors, employees and residents.

"All of our resorts and ski areas, and all of our attractions, have really been committed to meeting and exceeding CDC guidelines with everything they do," Barrett said.

They hope that, as coronavirus cases begin to fall and cold and snow arrive in the weeks ahead, people will eventually feel comfortable returning to the Poconos, Barrett said.

And the resorts are prepared, he said.

"A lot of our resorts have taken away all the processes where you can be exposed. They’ve gone to touchless ordering of ski tickets. They’re mitigating where they need to."

And the changes they're making go beyond the skiing part of the business, he said.

"Some of them have been incredibly innovative," he said, "such as bringing in food trucks and doing a lot of walk-away food options versus a seated option."

He expressed confidence about people returning to the mountains.

"I think we’re going to see a fairly active ski season, because people are going to want to get out," Barrett said. "But they’re going to want to make sure that they do it safely."