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Cuomo says ski resorts can open at 50% capacity

The Hunter Mountain ski resort in New York's

The Hunter Mountain ski resort in New York's Catskill Mountains. Credit: Hunter Mountain / Daniel P. Kenney

Ski resorts in New York State will be allowed to reopen at 50% indoor capacity Nov. 6, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Sunday.

Under state guidelines, skiers must wear masks when not eating, drinking or skiing and must maintain social distance from other groups, the governor said during his daily coronavirus briefing in Manhattan. Ski lessons will be limited to 10 people, gondolas will be restricted to members of the same party and all shared equipment must be disinfected between rentals.

Shuttles, and food, beverage and retail service must conform to state-issued guidance. Outdoor capacity on mountains will be reduced by 25% during peak days or when multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.

Skiing in New York, where the governor said the statewide COVID-19 positive test rate was at 1.08% Sunday, will allow people to avoid states where the infection rate is much higher, he said.

"If you ski New York this year, not only do you have what I think is the best skiing in the United States of America … but you don’t have to quarantine when you come back," Cuomo said. "Go ski in one of these other states, then you have quarantine for 14 days. Ski for two, quarantine for 14."

Visitors to New York’s 50-plus ski resorts generate about $450 million in direct spending annually, according to a 2016-17 report from the trade group Ski Areas of New York. They are typically open from December through March and employ nearly 13,000 people.

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