Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday that preparations are already being made for ski season in New Hampshire, and he expects it to be a strong season despite restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It will be a good ski season, I promise," the governor said.
Sununu, the former CEO of Waterville Valley Resort, said the ski areas have already been talking in anticipation of the ski season, which represents a substantial piece of New Hampshire's tourism industry.
"There's some very interesting ideas out there," he said.
Sununu said skiing has several advantages over other sports as it already involves mask wearing and social distancing and takes place outdoors. The real risk will be around the lodges, where people generally crowd together indoors.
But he said he expects the ski areas to figure out a way to overcome that by limiting the number of people indoors or requiring people to reserve space in ski lodges ahead of time.
"They want it to be successful," he said. "They don't want it to shut down."
The governor said his administration will be working with the ski areas in the coming weeks and months to make sure they are ready for the start of the ski season.
More on the Coronavirus in New Hampshire
There were 35 additional positive cases of the novel coronavirus and one new death reported Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services. The total number of deaths in the Granite State is now 431 and the total number of COVID-19 cases is 7,194.
Among the residents who recently tested positive are six Granite Staters who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota earlier this month.
Health officials are now recommending that all New Hampshire residents who traveled to Sturgis for the motorcycle rally get tested for COVID-19. They should also quarantine and monitor symptoms for 14 days upon their return to New Hampshire, even if they test negative.
"We don't know how many New Hampshire residents traveled to South Dakota to attend," Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said Thursday. "We wanted to make sure people know there are increasing cases across the country."