It’s no surprise that community is at the heart of everything we do at Taos Ski Valley. As the first certified B Corp ski resort, we are constantly looking for ways to improve and give back to those that help define who we are. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in ways that were unimaginable only a month ago. Yes, ending the season early means less days on snow, but also lost wages for our staff and the employees of many local businesses in our tight-knit town. Once the decision to close the resort was made, our Food and Beverage team quickly realized we had a surplus of incredible food that would no longer be needed on the mountain and would be put to great use distributed to those in need in Taos. Chris Goss, Director of Food and Beverage, explained: “We feed hundreds of skiers up on the mountain every day with these same ingredients, yet being able to donate this quantity of quality food to feed our own community at a time like this feels much more impactful. We are grateful to help in this small way.”
In an effort to reduce expenses over the coming months, Vail Resorts will furlough the majority of its U.S. year-round hourly employees and institute pay cuts for salaried employees. It will also significantly reduce capital expenditures planned for this summer. The moves stem from the uncertainty of when, or if, the company’s businesses will be able to reopen this summer as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic grow.
Aspen Skiing Co. plans to proceed with multiple capital improvement projects this summer despite losing a significant chunk of revenue due to the coronavirus crisis.
Indiana's Perfect North Slopes acquired West Virginia's Timberline Four Seasons Resort at an auction in November last year with a bid of $2.2 million. Timberline had filed for bankruptcy earlier last year when it abruptly closed for the 1918/19 season at the end of February. At the time Perfect North said they planned on having it open next season with substantial improvements.
On Tuesday, March 24, Sonja and Bill Allen’s home radio crackles to life at 1:10 p.m. There is no cell service in Ophir, Colorado, an 1880s mining town 20 minutes south of Telluride encircled by 13,000-foot peaks. But its 180 residents and virtually all the skiers who seek out the world-class backcountry above town know about the two-way radio frequency that fills the void. Many locals keep their radios tuned to the “Ophir channel” when they’re at home, if only to monitor the chatter among fellow powder seekers.
More resorts are banning uphill traffic as skiers flock. And as a second snowy weekend approaches with the entire state now under stay-at-home orders, more health departments and sheriffs are following that lead with both orders and requests to limit outdoor activity by visitors from afar.
Five Front Range ski areas and the U.S. Forest Service have collaborated to produce a video message imploring uphill skiers to stay away from their resorts.
Ski Blandford in western Massachusetts will not operate next season. The ski area was purchased in 2017 by the owners of nearby Butternut, and they made a variety of improvements to lifts and snowmaking. However, the area has continued to lose money, and coupled with the current economic uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners made the difficult decision now to close the ski area.
The old Telemark Resort, near Cable, Wisconsin, hasn’t been open for winter activities for 20 years, and the lodge since 2013. A Florida based hospitality group had planned to reopen the shuttered resort, but the plans fell through.
Sean Glackin’s phone exploded within minutes of the news that Vail ski area was closing. The outdoor retailer’s entire rental fleet of alpine-touring skis was quickly rented by a flood of uphill skiers the following day.
As all but a handful of U.S. resorts either suspend operations or shut down for the season, a number of them still permit skiers and riders to climb their slopes and get a few turns.
A fast-moving coast-to-coast storm system will impact California to Maine with varying types of precipitation. And while many ski areas remain closed throughout these challenging times, we still want to keep you updated on the weather. Here’s the forecast around North America for the first days of Spring, March 19-24.
UPDATED 3-19-20 - The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has resulted in closures of many ski resorts across North America and Europe. SnoCountry is actively tracking all closures and will continue to update resort status on the snow report listing page of SnoCountry.com. However, please double-check the website or social media feeds of your favorite mountains before heading out to the slopes.
UPDATED Sunday, March 15, 2020 - All North American ski mountains operated by Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company will close Sunday for at least a week as the coronavirus spreads through North America.
Whitefish Mountain Resort will begin a two-phase operation geared towards improving access to Hellroaring Basin terrain for all ability levels and moving Chair 8 to allow for earlier seasonal access to the Basin trails.
Amidst the hoopla of Epic and Ikon pass marketing battles, the Mountain Collective -- the original multi-resort pass -- is still alive and thriving for skiers and snowboarders who can be on the move.
As more resorts start to speak to their audiences about COVID-19, I’ll be gathering these tweets and posts so we can learn from others’ messages and communicate thoughtfully and effectively during the following days and weeks.
Do you wanna build a snowman?
Living in beautiful New England is about embracing every season. Snowy days and snowscaped scenes are part of who we are, and getting out into them really boosts the soul.
But snow has been sparse around these parts this winter. Great for those who hate to shovel, not so much for those who want to have outdoor fun.