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Arizona Snowbowl expecting good crowds despite coronavirus pandemic

The Flagstaff ski resort has been busy putting safety measures in place to encourage social distancing.

MESA, Ariz. — Arizona Snowbowl is scheduled to open Nov. 20. It will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Flagstaff ski resort has been working all summer with health officials to come up with plans to make it safer.

“Everyone is looking to go outside and do something,” said Li Zui, marketing coordinator for Arizona Snowbowl.

Zui said the ski resort has put safety measures in place.

“Things like managing attendance levels on peak days. Creating new flows in the base area to help people social distance more easily. Switching to fully online tickets to reduce contact,” said Zui.

Indoor capacity will also be limited inside the ski lodges.

“When you look at the mountain -- we have plenty of space on the mountain,” said Zui.

Not to mention the gear that protects the skiers from the cold could help shield them from the virus.

“It’s not an N95 mask but it’s a thick mask. It’s just about the same as wearing this. The goggle covers your eyes. Your gloves are thick enough where you are not touching everything else everyone else has touched,” said Randy Hensley, store manager for Ski Pro in Mesa.

Hensley said preseason sales are on par with past years.

“People are coming in looking for some new clothing. Getting some goggles. People looking for some hard goods,” said Hensley.

Zui said season ticket sales are strong for Snowbowl and they’re expecting a good turnout for this ski season. 

They’re encouraging visitors to come during the weekdays when the crowds are smaller and tickets are more affordable.