Waitsfield is home to two ski clubs, Miramar Ski Club on Bridge Street and the Swiss Ski Club on Joslin Hill. Both generally run multiple ski trips each winter, bringing skiers from the New York metropolitan area to The Valley via tour buses.
Ski club members ski Sugarbush, Mad River Glen and sometimes Stowe. They enjoy congregate cocktail parties and dinners in their lodges and sleep in dorm-style, private and semi-private rooms.
While Miramar is planning to open its lodge and host skiers, the Swiss Ski Club website lists no trips on its calendar for the coming ski season.
Blythe Austin, a member of the Miramar board of directors, said that the club will operate, but under different parameters. For starters, club members are responsible for managing their own transportation to and from Vermont. The lodge will operate at reduced capacity this year. The club’s capacity is 54 people and it will operate at 50% capacity.
“People who are not in the same social bubble will not share rooms and most rooms will only have one person in them,” Austin said.
The lodge has 13-14 bathrooms, and, at most, there will be two rooms sharing a bathroom this season, she said. Guests will be required to police and clean the common surfaces and areas that they encounter and a good supply of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies have been laid in. Guests will also be required to maintain social distancing and wear masks inside.
The lodge is large enough that the inside spaces have been able to be configured so that tables and chairs are more than 6 feet apart.
Austin said that club director does anticipate that people will socialize, but safely and from appropriate distances. Lodge rates this year do not include food and drink. People will need to bring or purchase beverages and she anticipates people will get takeout from local restaurants.
Club members will have to have a negative PCR COVID test in order to come to the lodge. Austin noted that COVID testing in NYC is free without appointment and said that results are coming back in 18 hours.
Skiers will also be on their own in terms of lift tickets as the club can’t provide discounted tickets through the club. Austin said that a large portion of club members already have IKON passes.
The president of the Swiss Ski Club board could not be reached for comment.