Almost 50 of the largest ski areas in Canada and the USA have closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Similar to ski centres in Switzerland, Austria and France over the past few days, the resorts were operating normally yesterday morning and expected to see out the season, but were announcing closure later in the day.
All the resorts operated by the two biggest operators on the continent, Alterra and Vail have closed, the Alterra groups’ “indefinitely”, the Vail Groups’ for “a week initially”.
The resorts affected include the continent’s biggest Whistler Blackcomb, America’s biggest Park City in Utah, as well as many world-famous resorts such as Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Heavenly, Mont Tremblant, Stowe and Vail itself.
Others not owned by the two groups are also closing, including Aspen where a number of people have tested positive for coronavirus.
“This has no doubt been an incredibly challenging time. With 37 resorts spread across 15 states and three countries, we – like the rest of the world – have been closely tracking every new development related to coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been in constant contact with local health officials for guidance,” said Vail Resort’s boss Rob Katz, commenting on the closure decision, who continued, “Without question, our top priority has been the health and wellbeing of our guests and employees – and to no lesser extent the health and wellbeing of the communities where we operate. We know each decision we make has a broad impact far beyond our operations.”
“These are unprecedented, challenging times for everyone. We will continue to navigate these unchartered waters with our guests, our employees and our communities remaining our highest priority. I am certain that there have been, and will be, moments where we will miss the mark and potentially disappoint. However, rest assured that we will continue to listen to your feedback – and continue to make the best decisions we can for everyone’s wellbeing,” Rob Katz concluded.