Proposed Economic Stimulus Bill Could Help Vermont Ski Areas

The state of Vermont might be able to help out its ski areas during the COVID-19 pandemic via an economic stimulus bill proposed by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

According to a report from The Bennington Banner, the proposed stimulus package could provide $73 million in aid, which would include businesses that did not qualify for funds during the last round of the CARES Act. This package is part of a larger $133 million proposal focused on sole-proprietor owned firms and businesses that were not able to take advantage of other funding.

The funding is intended to assist ski mountains and other businesses as they need to adapt to changes that will be coming for the next ski season. Agency of Commerce and Community Development Deputy Secretary Ted Brady said the ski industry, an industry that brings 4 million skiers to the state each winter, will need help in dealing with lodging capacity and social distancing restrictions that are likely going to be ordered for the states ski areas.

“When we look at winter coming forward, we know we have to put restrictions on ski areas that we haven’t published yet,” Brady told the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development this past Wednesday. “We’re anticipating having to tell them they’re going to be capacity-restricted on their lodges and capacity-restricted or travel-restricted on their hotels.”

Earlier this week Vail Resorts, Inc, announced its own restrictions and adaptions to the coming 2020/2021 season, which covers Mount Snow in West Dover, Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, and Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe. These, however, are company only and these mountains will still have to comply with any state regulations that are handed down from Montpelier.

While Vail owned mountains may be able to handle the COVID-19 season with ease, under the assumption that corporate-owned mountains can survive uncertain times, such as these, much easier than independent hills, the independent hills are the ones being watched more closely. Again, this new bill is focused on sole-proprietor entities.

Photo: Bromley Mountain in Peru, Vermont - Credit: Jared C. Benedict / CC BY-SA


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