Like everyone in the hospitality and tourism industry, our small family-owned business and employees have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently we have been hearing from more and more of you about the need to reconnect with each other and with the outdoors – we look forward to filling those needs in the summer of 2020!
Since March we have sifted through WHO, CDC, Department of Health and State Guidelines to help us create a COVID re-opening plan. We have been given different Guidance in Maine and Massachusetts and below is our plan for each State.
We will open for rafting on Saturday June 13 and will run trips on Deerfield River dam releases through October 11. Here are some specifics on how Crab Apple trips will be the same, but also different from past years:
- We have partnered with Tamarin Health to facilitate regular COVID-19 tests for all employees. Tamarin will help us “… create a safe atmosphere for coworkers, customers and visitors.”
- Staff will follow strict Health Protocols developed with guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Health. A daily COVID-19 Health Self-Check will also be required of each employee. Detailed protocols are in place for Staff members who experience COVID symptoms.
- Face coverings are required for all workers when engaging guests, in the base lodge and in all vehicles with guests. Guests may ask for their Guide to wear a face mask on the river except where doing so may introduce a safety hazard.
- From opening day and likely through the season we will offer private rafts and Guides for each reservation group. Trips will be small with just a few rafts for each trip time. Minimum reservation for Guided Raft trips will be 4 people. Self-Guided Funyak minimum reservation is 2.
Changes at our base camp along the Deerfield River
- Guests will be greeted and asked to park in designated parking areas near an assigned picnic and gathering site. Gathering areas for each group will overlook the river and include a picnic table with shade covering and ample distance between other areas to spread out blankets and belongings.
- Check-in will be done at an Outdoor Service window. Waivers will be sent in advance to Guests for e-signing to ensure a touch-free check-in process.
- Hand-washing stations have been added at all building entrances.
- Access to the Main Building for Restrooms and Changing Clothes will have a specific traffic pattern and Social Distancing markers. All Guests and Staff must wear face coverings inside the main building.
- Safety equipment for rafting will be explained and fitted outdoors. If a Guest needs a Staff member to assist with gear, the Staff member will physically assist wearing a mask.
- Transportation to and from the river will be done in vans and buses. All Guests and Staff will wear face coverings during transportation. Buses will be loaded by reservation group from rear to front with capacity reduced to allow for Social Distancing. Windows will be open. Vans will hold only one reservation group plus a masked driver.
- Rigorous new cleaning protocols in place for common areas such as restrooms, vehicles and equipment in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Health (MDH) and CDC guidelines.
On the River
- We will try to change as little as possible! Face coverings will be required for Guests and Guides at put-in and take-out areas. Distancing will be followed as much as possible between raft groups as they launch, float down the river and collect between rapids. Guests may wear face coverings during the raft trip except where doing so may introduce a safety hazard. Guides may wear face coverings except where doing so may introduce a safety hazard.
- Safety gear will be left by Guests at designated location for Staff to clean and disinfect according to CDC and Department of Health guidelines.
- Guests can access restrooms for changing clothes in main base building.
- Pre-Ordered meals can be picked up at Food Service Window. Meals for all Guided raft trips will be main course of chicken, salmon, veggie burger or hot dogs served with two salads, dessert and drinks.
- Action rafting photos will be made available for as many trips as possible at the Outdoor Office window.
Refund Policy amended for 2020
- Should your travel plans become complicated by the coronavirus within 14 days of your trip date, we promise to reschedule your raft trip or provide you with a raincheck for the equivalent value of your purchase that will be valid through the 2021 season.
As a Family we have made the impossibly difficult decision not to open for rafting at our Maine facility at this time. We feel that the overly restrictive COVID Guidelines from the State of Maine will change the experience of a rafting adventure with us such that we cannot deliver the same quality getaway that we have provided since 1983.
Restrictions to our lodging, restaurant, bar, outdoor pool and rafting trip will affect each facet of your time with us. We simply don’t think that our loyal rafters and Staff can enjoy our facilities and the time on the river together as we have for nearly four decades.
If you want to check in this summer with Chuck, Sharyn, Rob and Carrie at our Maine facility, give them a ring and reminisce over the best rafting weekend you ever had or talk about 2021 when you plan to bring some new rafters for their first ride through the Kennebec River Gorge. The reservation lines will still ring into our Maine office so you can check in anytime.
For 2020, to relieve the rafting itch, head out to our location in western Massachusetts for a day trip. Our extended family will be hosting great trips that will run on four sections of the Deerfield River and range from Class 1-2 to 3-4.