Skiers are hitting the slopes in Southwest Colorado, looking for some exercise and a short escape from the whirlwind of the COVID-19 pandemic and polarized politics, but even so, a sense of normalcy is hard to come by these days.
“It’s very different coming to a ski resort this year,” said Dave Rathbun, general manager of Purgatory Resort. “It’s just not the same.”
Colorado ski resorts were among the first casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic after Gov. Jared Polis abruptly shut them down on the night of March 14, effectively canceling the rest of the 2019-20 season.
At the time, some of Colorado’s largest mountain communities – such as Chaffee, Eagle, Gunnison, and Pitkin counties – had some of the highest COVID-19 rates in the country as tourists from all over the world mixed with local residents.