Press Releases

Kuster Holds Virtual Discussion with Ski NH Leadership, Members to Discuss Impact of COVID-19 on Ski Industry

Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a virtual conversation with Ski NH President Jessyca Keeler and many of the organization’s ski area general managers to discuss the continued impact of COVID-19 on the ski industry. Kuster heard from members about their plans to keep skiers safe at ski areas this upcoming season by taking steps such as offering passes online rather than in person, encouraging skiers to put on their boots in their cars rather than the lodge, asking skiers to wear a mask on the lift, and bringing in food trucks so skiers can eat outside and be distanced from others. 

“As a lifelong skier, I know how important skiing and other winter sports are to our way of life and economy in New Hampshire,” said Rep. Kuster. “While this year’s ski season will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have the utmost confidence in our state’s ski area managers, including those who joined me today. Their hard work and dedication to ensuring a successful and safe season is evident, and it was great to be able to speak with them. I look forward to our continued work together to ensure the skiing and tourism industries continue to thrive in the years to come.” 

“New Hampshire’s ski industry suffered a host of challenges when the pandemic caused ski areas to shut down early in March this year.  Fortunately, many of our ski areas were able to take advantage of CARES Act programs like the PPP loan program, which provided an enormously important resource for helping ski areas stay afloat during the spring and early summer months,” said Jessyca Keeler, President of Ski NH.  “Congresswoman Ann Kuster has been a leader that understands the ski industry and that we’ve worked with on a variety of topics of importance to our industry over the years. This year we are particularly grateful for her work on not only the CARES Act and making the PPP program work better for winter seasonal businesses, but also for advocating for United States Forest Service fee deferrals for ski areas that operate on federal lands.  We appreciate being able to connect with the Congresswoman to share both our plans as well as concerns related to operating our ski areas this coming season.”

Kuster is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Ski and Snowboard Caucus. In May, after ski areas across the country closed to stop the spread of COVID-19, Rep. Kuster and Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), co-chairs of the Congressional Ski and Snowboard Caucus, led a bipartisan letter calling on House Leadership to consider temporarily waiving the federal permitting fees for ski areas through June 2021. Last year, Kuster and Tipton introduced bipartisan legislation to support ski areas in New Hampshire and across the country that are operating on National Forest System lands by directing a portion of ski area permit fees to the National Forest System instead of the Treasury Department. That funding would be used to promote year-round recreation activities, infrastructure improvements, and expanded services for visitors through more efficient permitting.