Coronavirus has prompted the abrupt shutdown of major ski/snowboard resorts throughout North America and likely the end of the 2019/2020 season.
Many resorts have shut down despite ample snow conditions that would have us busy schussing and riding until mid-April.
Name your favorite area in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California, Vermont and even Canada, it’s likely closed, most probably without warning.
So this year, there will be none of the joyful thing that accompany spring skiing and the end of the season.
No pond skimming contests, no green snow for St. Patrick’s Day, no dressing up as the Easter Bunny on Easter Sunday, no dressing up in tutus or superman capes for the last day of the season.
Coronavirus killed all the downhill and apres ski fun.
More importantly, it’s killed jobs for thousands of lift attendants, hotel workers, restaurant waitstaff and bartenders, ski and snowboard instructors and ski patrollers.
Many western resorts have their best conditions in March and April when snowfall is abundant and days are warmer and longer, so as alongtime skier, I am bummed both personally and professionally.
If you were planning another ski trip this season – as I was – get in touch with your airline, hotel or resort reservation service – as I did – to find out what about cancellations or refunds or rebooking for next season.
Snowbasin and Deer Valley, Utah and Sun Valley, Idaho, close Monday, March 16. The announcement was Sunday, March 15.
Click here for additional information, including an FAQ for guests who have questions.
Jackson Hole announced at 2pm on Sunday, March 15 that it would shut down for the end of the season at the end of the day, a few days after cancelling the popular \Jackson Hole Rendezvous Spring Festival March 26-28, 2020 and all Music Under the Tram series.
Alta Ski Area also stopped running the chairlifts starting Sunday morning, March 15, and although the notice I received says “until further notice”, it is unlikely they will re-open again for just a few days or weeks until the originally-scheduled end of the season in Aril. \ Lift operations, food service and retail and rental services will be closed. Avalanche control work will continue as necessary to protect ski area assets.
Also in Utah, Ski Utah the trade group representing the state’s resorts, reports these immediate closures
After careful thought and deliberation of our duty in the face of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, and in what I believe is in the best interest of our guests, employees and local communities, Alterra Mountain Company will suspend operations at our 15 North American ski resorts, starting the morning of Sunday, March 15, until further notice.
All lift operations, food and beverage, retail and rental services will be closed until further notice.
Alterra Mountain Company destinations are –
- Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado;
- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California;
- Stratton and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont;
- Snowshoe in West Virginia;
- Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario;
- Crystal Mountain in Washington;
- Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah; and
- CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia. (CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures will continue to operate through Tuesday, March 17.)
Each resort will work directly with guests in canceling their visit and will provide refunds to those who have hotel and other bookings during this closure period.
We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests’ patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this short notice will undoubtedly create. We look forward to welcoming you back to the mountains as circumstances improve.
Everything in Colorado is shut down for a week starting Sunday, March 15, by executive order of Gov. Jared Polis.
His order came a few hours after Vail Resorts suspended operations at its resorts from March 15 – 22, planning to make additional assessments, such as re-opening or staying closed, closer to March 22.
Vail Resorts operates Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge and Kirkwood in Colorado; Heavenly and Northstar in Lake Tahoe, California; and Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, among others in the West, and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada.
For lodging owned and operated by Vail Resorts, you can receive a full refund for any bookings made for dates during the resort closure period.
Epic Mountain Express, Vail’s Colorado shared-ride shuttle service, will continue operations to support the travel needs of suddenly stranded guests.
Vail Resorts also is closing its corporate offices, and apart from essential personnel, is asking other employees to work from home, where possible.
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico also shut down for the remainder of the season at the end of the ski day on Sunday, March 15, one week early of the original closing date of March 22.
Guests who are currently lodging at the ski resort, The Blake, are the exception to the closure. Taos officials said will continue to serve those guests until they can safely return home.
Sugar Bowl in California has suspended operations “indefinitely”.
Coronavirus and Winter Resorts in the East
Vail Resorts also operates In New England. Killington and Pico in Vermont, also suspending operations from March 15 – 22.
Vail Resorts purchased Hunter Mountain in the Catskills just before the 2019/2020 season started, so it is also closed through March 22nd, and unlikely to re-open, considering the recent warm weather that has melted down much of the snow base.
Separately, New Hampshire’s King Pine ended its season ahead of schedule on March 15, as did Maine’s Sunday River.
Other New England resorts such as Sugarloaf in Maine, Cannon, Loon Waterville Valley, and Gunstock in New Hampshire and Wachusett in Massachusetts have announced precautions being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, but have said they remain open for business.
That could soon change, according to the Sun & Snow Adventures report by my longtime friend and fellow winter sports writer Mary Jo Torallo. New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) managed ski areas and all its venues will suspend operation at the close of Sunday, March 15
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and guidebook and smartphone app author – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
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