Movie theaters & ski resorts given the green light to reopen, but heavy restrictions in place

Over the weekend Governor Andrew Cuomo made two major announcement regarding economic activity in New York.

Movie theaters were given the green light to reopen at 25% capacity outside of New York City beginning October 23rd. Ski resorts in the state were also given the green light to open at 50% capacity beginning November 6th.

“Scientists have told us the virus is going to become more aggressive in the fall, and right now, we are all feeling COVID-fatigue, but our micro-cluster strategy is a smart, data-driven and less disruptive strategy to get us through this season. And so far, the data shows the micro-cluster strategy is working to bring infection rates down in our red zone areas,” Governor Cuomo said. “Beginning next month, Ski resorts will be allowed to reopen with limited indoor capacity, which will allow New Yorkers to have some outdoor activity this winter without having to quarantine when they come back.”

While the news about ski resorts is welcomed, the announcement from Cuomo about movie theaters is likely to do little to help a battered industry that saw one of the biggest players in the business announce it was shutting down until major markets – like New York City – could reopen.

Regal says it will suspend operations at all locations in US

Theaters can open in counties around the state that have a rolling 14-day positivity rate of less than 2%.

In the Finger Lakes region, Cortland, Schuyler, and Steuben counties will not be allowed to have theaters reopen, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo offered the following guidance from New York State:

– Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.

– Assigned seating will be required in all theaters.

– Social distancing between parties will be required at all times.

– Additional staffing will be required to control occupancy, traffic and seating to ensure compliance.

– Enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards must be met by theaters.

The following guidance was issued for ski resorts as they ready to open next month:

– Masks required at all times, except when eating/drinking or skiing.

– Social distancing between parties required at all times.

– Restrict gondolas/lifts to members of the same party.

– Limit ski lessons to no more than 10 people.

– Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared/rented equipment.

– Shuttles, food & beverage, retail service must conform to State-issued guidance.

– Reduce outdoor capacity on mountain by 25% during “peak” days or if multiple trails are closed due to unseasonable conditions.

Last month we spoke with a local movie theater operator, who said that he was hopeful that the state would issue guidance sooner.


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