As New England Braces for Snow, Skiers Are Excited to Hit the Slopes in Maine

Sunday River and Sugarloaf are getting ready for natural snow to fall during this weekend's storm

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With two of Maine's major ski resorts, Sunday River and Sugarloaf, back open for season pass holders, there's plenty of anticipation in the state about the expected weekend snowstorm.

"We're super excited for some natural snow, we've been skiing on manmade for about a week now," said Karolyn Castaldo, the communications director at Sunday River.

In an interview from the slopes with NECN/NBC 10 Boston, Castaldo explained that while people, including out-of-staters, may be excited to come to Maine to ski at Sunday River this year, they should expect the experience to be a bit different because of COVID-19.

"The biggest thing is that we're requiring masks at all places on the resort unless you're actively skiing downhill or you're eating in one of our restaurants," said Castaldo.

Like most everywhere, coronavirus is affecting Maine's ski resorts as they welcome guests back this season.

Both Sunday River and Sugarloaf have put videos on their websites to illustrate the changes visitors may see, experience or have to adapt to.

In addition to mask-wearing, there is guidance that there will not be bag storage in base lodges and skiers will have to boot up at their cars.

"We modified a lot of our operations to accommodate as much of our business outside as we can," said Noelle Tuttle, the marketing and communications manager for Sugarloaf. "Tickets, season pass purchase and pickup is all outside. We've added a new food and beverage purchasing system so you can place orders online and pick up food to go."

Both resorts are also advising visitors about another key change to keep in mind.

Maine has a 14-day quarantine or COVID-19 test requirement for out-of-state travelers, including those from places like Connecticut and Massachusetts.

As of Friday, New Hampshire and Vermont are still exempt from that rule, but it's possible that could change.

Skiers who do not hold season or other designated passes for Sunday River or Sugarloaf will be able to ski on day tickets at both resorts beginning Dec. 14.

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