Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2021

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 45 of 123

NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 44 JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2021 L I V E + P L AY This year may have a silver lining for skiers, as slopes still plan to pack the powder—but not the people. Capacity restrictions mean having to navigate throngs and zip around others on a downhill thrill is a thing of yesteryear. Getting a gondola during peak times should be less of a lift, too, since riders will be required to tottle up only with those in their party ( forget the awkward elbow-rubbing with strangers). "Skiing is the original socially distanced sport," says Craig Clemmer, director of sales and marketing at Omni Mount Washington Resort. "We've been wearing masks since its inception. And the poles or boards give you a good gauge of just how to stay 6 feet away from people." His 2,000-acre campus nestled inside White Mountain National Forest has been a quintessential New Hampshire getaway since opening in 1902. But this year—like many things in the COVID-19 era—classic experiences have been reimagined. Omni's expansion of food and beverage options will help with mandates for indoor dining at half- capacity. And the Granite State's first eight- passenger gondola, which debuted there in 2019, will help keep a steady flow of schussers who've reserved lift tickets online. Across New England, advance purchase of day tickets is largely required. But a little proactive planning has its tradeoffs. Resorts have gotten creative, with new private slopeside cabanas offering food delivery service, and added entertainment options for all ages. A C L A S S I C E X P E R I E N C E , R E I M AG I N E D Planned enhancements made this year's transitions much more seamless for staff and skiers alike, says Clemmer. While existing Lodge accommodations already have exterior corridors for entrance and exit (meaning no walking by other guests in the hallway), the expansion of the Presidential Wing this winter will add 69 spacious rooms and suites for skiers to spread out across the property. Brand-new Rosebrook Lodge expands the total number of on-site dining options to 16, with almost half of Rosebrook's slope-top seating outside. And just completed is a facelift to modernize the classic main dining room, which now features a custom-made 18-by-18-foot white marble bar. It's all about having choices indoors and out, says Clemmer. The resort has 464 skiable acres for both Alpine and Nordic options, with three peaks for snow bunnies of various abilities. Fat- tire biking, sleigh rides, tubing, and snowshoeing round out the choices for adventure seekers. "While the surrounding area is beautiful, it's possible to spend a long weekend here and never have to or want to leave campus," says Clemmer. K E E P I N G I T LO C A L For seven decades, thousands of children across the Merrimack Valley have taken lessons at Ski Bradford, and that tradition continues this year. Bradford is one of the few spots offering group lessons (through schools and via online sign-up), which also makes Bradford more affordable than other slopes only offering private options. There will be a bit more of a "fair" atmosphere this year, at least in the olfactory sense. Capacity restrictions in the lodge mean there will be more heated outdoor dining and seating options, with a hut for sausages, hot dogs and burgers, and stands for fried dough and waffles. Cocoa will help warm the chilly hands of those who've sped down one of 15 trails spread over 60 acres that also include a terrain park. The proximity of Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford can also help those on the North Shore save some ducats on a resort room, while easily complying with in-state guidelines. In lieu of formal group lessons, they've launched a new "tips and pointers" program this year for ages 7 through Omni Mount Washington is located in the White Mountain National Forest. Ski Bradford offer slopes close to home. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF OMNI MOUNT WASHINGTON (TOP)

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