BIWABIK, MN - As snow keeps falling, outdoor recreational businesses are hopeful for this upcoming winter season.
"With the cold temperatures, we decided to go all-in for winter. We actually made the decision late last week that we were going to end our summer operations a little early," said
Director of Mountain Sports, Benji Neff.
Giants Ridge recreation area in Biwabik is getting ready to open their winter operations back up after taking a small hit on their food, beverage, and wedding revenue last spring at the start of the pandemic.
"We think we are prepared for it; we know the ski season is going to look different," said Neff.
When the ski hill opens in just a few short weeks, visitors will be met with some COVID-19 changes.
"We are asking people to get ready in their cars. Come to the hill dressed in your ski gear, put your boots on in the parking lot, and leave your gear in the car," said Neff.
Chalets will be open for dining.
"We'll have an online reservation system for that."
Giants Ridge will also have other buildings set up around the property so people can warm up yet still follow occupancy limits and social distancing guidelines.
"So, it's going to be a little more regimented whereas other years it was a little more free form, kind of do whatever you want," adds Neff.
Summer operations helped the business get ready for what's to come, COVID-19 challenges, and all.
"Being open for the summer, running the chair lift for mountain biking really helped us get ready for the season."
The last seven months have been hard, Neff hopes this will get people out and about being that it helps with mental and physical health.
"We'll just have to wait and see but we are thinking people will be excited to get outside and maybe try a sport they haven't tried before," said Neff.
Giant's Ridge typically opens the Friday after Thanksgiving but they said Tuesday by the looks of the forecast it could be sooner.