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Ski Resorts and Mountains close early to slow the spread of COVID-19


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We started discussing the possibility of closures in the east in Northeast Skiology just yesterday. Now, two mountains have closed, one in Massachusetts, and one in NY. 

Anticipate more to follow their lead. I didn't think this would happen for another few weeks.

Social distancing now.

#iostoacasa

I anticipate Alterra and Vail to follow suit...since they already have their money in the bank from all those Ikon and Epic sales.

https://berkshireeast.com/the-resort/blog/statement-on-covid-19?

 

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In case people were wondering, at 10pm Sunday night, Mont Ste Marie said that after confirming with the ASSQ, they would in fact not open after all.

As was to be expected, yesterday the ASSQ announced that the ski season in Quebec has officially come to an end for this year. They do mention that barring some exceptional circumstance, all mountains

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Camp Fortune has cancelled the Apres Ski party in the bar on Saturday:

ATTENTION: 1920-2020: Celebrating 100 yrs

All outdoor activities planned for our 100th celebration on Saturday are going ahead as planned. The après-ski concert in the bar featuring Mackenzie Rhythm Section has been cancelled.

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From what I have seen on social media in regards to Quebec Ski Areas is that it's business as usual...............for now. The regulation Minister Legault announced recently apparently does not apply to ski areas. The events where there will be large crowds gathering are cancelled however. That may change with a blink of an eye. My planned travels to New Hampshire for the spring are not happening. With Catamount and Berkshire shutting I can see others following suit. At this moment it's business as usual for Sunday River. 

With the weather, and the situation at hand, the ski season may be unfortunately cut short. 

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How were the crowds out on the slopes today? From photos I have seen in social media, it seems like the flow is much less than usual for a Saturday. With alot of mountains often closing around last week of March or first week of April, I wouldn't be surprised if the skier flow is low that they cut their losses and end early. Hopefully that isn't the case, but as the situation continues to evolve it could happen.

Not withstanding, the exception for ski mountains to stay open in Quebec could come to an end as well at some point. For such an industry where the margins are tight especially for smaller mountains, this can put many in a precarious position, with lower revenue and a potentially shortened ski season. March Break is an important part of the business revenue stream after all.

Hope for the best... for the love of snow and skiing!

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Just in... Alterra and Vail are shutting down all of their mountains for atleast a week if not longer effective tomorrow morning. 
These two groups own the biggest resorts in North America. I wouldn’t be surprised if many others follow their lead and close as well. Skiing for the most part is still open elsewhere but that may rapidly change. I would suggest that all who would like to ski before the end of the season should do so soon as the end may come very quickly due to the current crisis. 

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So today was an interesting day, but let's begin the story on Wednesday, when Skiology posted a poll asking if COVID-19 would affect the rest of our season. Of those responding, 5% thought yes, everyone else said no.

Thursday morning, Catamount and Berkshire East were the first to go, with many other resorts announcing "safety measures", followed by a VERY quick about-face by Jay Peak after Canada advised Canadians to not travel outside the country and to self-quarantine on return from *any* travel. Everyone else announced "safety measures" such as cleaning, "social distancing" by not packing chairlifts and gondolas, and so on. However, those of us familiar with the already lengthy Tremblant lines understand very quickly that this measure is not social distancing.

In less than 24 hours, Vail Resorts did an about face and announced the closure of ALL its North American Resorts for one week to consider the situation - but we don't expect them to reopen. Consequently, Whistler-Blackcomb is DONE. Within about two hours, Alterra one-upped Vail by announcing the closure of all fifteen of its resorts effective immediately, and indefinitely - including Tremblant. That's right, Tremblant is DONE.  In short order, the Governor of Colorado issued an executive order closing ALL resorts in Colorado (which is what we think tipped Vail and Alterra's hand). Just around midnight EST, POWDR Corp jumped onboard announcing the closures of its resorts, including Killington and Pico "for a week" but it seems very unlikely that they will reopen.. 

Tonight the lifties at Saint-Sauveur said they don't know what's going to happen yet but we can expect an announcement of some kind from Les Sommets tomorrow apparently. I expect RCR (MSA, Stoneham, Massif) will also fall in line very soon because no one wants to look bad among the other industry leaders. We speculate that potentially ALL Quebec resorts might announce closure by end of day tomorrow....potentially. I am thinking they might waffle for a week or do a "temporary" closure. 

Why is this happening?

The goal of social distancing is to prevent spread. We don't have a huge problem here in Canada yet, and we don't want one. With many US resorts closing, you can guess that untested, asymptomatic Americans will cross the border looking for pow and bring along with them the stupid virus. (In the US, if you weren't aware yet, they are not testing, even as of this week people are being denied across several states according to first person accounts). That being, the smart move of the ASSQ would be to get ahead of that and not give Americans and other would be travellers a choice, thus supporting the safety of the staff and communities of our local resorts.

These changes may come as a shock to many. But there have been many little cues along the way, such as the case of the chalet outbreak in France last month caused by a traveller from Singapore, the fourteen cases in the US that travelled to a resort in Italy together (three in critical condition in California, last I heard), the closure of the entire ski industry in Italy, and now France and Switzerland. There are now COVID-19 outbreaks in some of the ski towns in Utah and Colorado that likely triggered this decision, and you can guess who brought it there. I'll admit, although I foresaw last month many changes coming for other reasons, I really didn't think we'd be ending the season this way, but here we are.

What's next?

Skinning and splitboarding is an option for some, or hiking like I do where you can get away from it.

This is obviously going to be devastating to resorts and local economies and all the resort workers, and they are not alone in the economic devastation that's coming. Today Cuomo said to expect changes for the next 8-9 months. In Canada we are ahead of the curve - we know this as we only have one death, we are early in our timeline. So for that I encourage everyone to support the measures we are seeing put in place, and then take them even further in your personal lives and interactions because imo our government is not yet taking it far enough. We need to rethink every little interaction in our day to day lives. I've been cautiously whooshing since my parents returned from Singapore Feb 2, and my partner and I have made the decision to no longer go to restaurants and bars (think of all the money we'll save!). I skipped the CostCo shitshow, because I started planning when  our CPHO Theresa Tam said to do so many weeks back. We still have some time here in Canada to consciously adapt and restructure our lives so that if lockdown becomes necessary, we stand ready to support health and well being of our frontline health care workers. I wish you all the best in adjusting to the new normal, and hope we are all successful in avoiding exposure to COVID-19.

#iostoacasa

#staythefuckhome

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Quebec ski areas have been ordered to close as of 4pm today for an indefinite period.

Sad day. The situation seems to be ramping up as far as reported positive cases. I hope everyone is safe, stays healthy and recovers fully and quickly if they become affected.

Sad for me as well as I have yet to ski this season. Was hoping to get out during March Break but health and safety is more important than skiing.

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Quebec is not the only Province to close their ski areas. Even though there is only one area in PEI, the Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park at Brookvale has announced that their season has come to and end as a result of the COVID-19 virus. 

Just a matter of time before all the other Maritime ski areas close as well?

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