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Hot Crossed Buns: Winter Outdoor Dining in the age of COVID

Heated outdoor seating provides another solution to current social distancing guidelines. DragonSeat photo.

The great outdoors have made a comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic. National parks have seen record visitors, bike companies are completely sold out, and many restaurants have made large expansions to their outdoor dining options. But what does the arrival of winter mean for happy hour on the patio? While some restaurants are opting for things like semi-permanent heated geodesic domes or old gondola cars to offer heated dining experiences while adhering to social distancing protocols, DragonSeats is offering an alternative. The Ohio based company started out making heated benches for sports games that proved to also be perfect for ski resorts.

The heated benches are made from fiberglass and can be heated up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The company also offers an add on helmet warmer and spot to dry cold, wet gear out on.

A number of resorts have already begun utilizing these toasty benches. Stratton Mountain, Catamount Ski Resort, Okemo Mountain Resort, Butternut Ski Resort, and Boston Mills/Brandywine resort have all installed DragonSeats to enhance the winter outdoor dining experience. Most recently, one of these heated seats popped up at Jackson Hole’s Alpenhof Lodge with a view of the Tetons from the bench.

While these benches may not be the only solution to increasing winter outdoor dining, they certainly provide a pretty good one. We’re pretty stoked here in Jackson to have something to keep our buns warm for those cold après beers.

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Nice. I could make do with some of those.

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Great idea and innovation! I really appreciate mankind’s instinct to promote safety and get through problems even amidst this pandemic. Thanks for sharing this! Emergency Tree Service

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​Kai Jones and Tim Durtschi Climb And Ski the Grand Teton
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