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Skiing in Colorado in May 2020?


Angel Diva
Not everyone in Colorado has given up on the idea of lift-served skiing in Spring 2020. Wolf Creek is hoping to get in a few more ski days in the next week or two. But needs to start soon or else won't be worth the effort.

April 30, Pagosa Sun
We’re very hopeful’: Wolf Creek Ski Area could reopen on Friday
"Wolf Creek Ski Area could reopen in the coming days if it is granted a variance from the state health department.

Davey Pitcher, president and CEO of the ski area, explained how Gov. Jared Polis’ new Safer at Home guidelines, implemented this week, open a window of opportunity for the ski area to reopen.

“Interestingly, in the Safer at Home guidelines the biggest and actually the one thing that we’re asking the variance for — the new guideline says you can’t recreate more than 10 miles from your house,” said Pitcher, adding, “It’s probably in response to concerns of the mountain communities up the I-70 corridor. Irregardless of skiing or not skiing, I think those communities might have had some concerns about too many people coming out of Denver too quickly … Right below that section is a section that we can get a variance, and we’re very hopeful that this variance is allowed and we can open again on Friday.”
. . .
“We think we can run two to three weeks, but every week we wait it does get harder to rationalize doing this with the expense of grooming and the expense of doing everything we need to do to provide a good service,” he said.

Pitcher explained that Eagle County recently obtained a similar variance.

“Eagle County obtained one last week. The governor’s office [and] department of health has allowed for additional recreation opportunities in Eagle County. Larger crowds than gatherings of 10. I think they’re up to 40 or 50,” Pitcher said, noting the variance took only a few days to get approved.
. . ."


Angel Diva
The CO governor extended the skiing ban through the end of May last night. Not looking good for anyone that wants to open for the spring. https://theknow.denverpost.com/2020/05/01/colorado-downhill-skiing-ban-extended-may/238375/
Perhaps the Governor is trying to avoid mistakes made during the 1918-19 pandemic in Colorado.

March 5, The Colorado Sun
Colorado’s other pandemic: The 1918 flu and the lessons learned — or maybe not — for coronavirus
Aside from some quick action in Gunnison, cities and towns across the state struggled as the flu pandemic of 1918 ran its deadly course
" . . .
In Colorado, an estimated 7,500 “excess deaths,” or those beyond what a normal flu season might bring, occurred roughly from September of 1918 to January of 1919, though less virulent waves continued into the spring. Only 24 states reported their flu deaths, but among those, Colorado’s death rate ranked among the highest, behind only Maryland, Montana and Pennsylvania. Some speculate Colorado’s reputation as a healthful spot to recover from tuberculosis, as well as a prominent mining state, contributed to its high death rate.
. . .
At various points, citizens were required to wear masks in theaters and shops, but not churches and hotels. Restaurant waiters had to wear them. Diners did not. Plus, enforcement proved difficult.

Katie Rudolph, an archivist at the Denver Public Library who has blogged on the flu pandemic, notes that the way local authorities often reversed course inspired neither public confidence nor cooperation.

“One thing I noticed is that they flip-flopped on policies and closures,” Rudolph says. “In the Denver health department, (director) William Sharpley kind of caved to business leaders’ pressure. Specifically, movie house proprietors and theater owners marched to the mayor’s office, wanting the new ban on indoor gatherings to be overturned because they lost money in the weeks prior.”
. . ."


Angel Diva
Guess Loveland made the right call be deciding early on to close and stay closed.

ABasin and Aspen Highlands were also hoping to re-open, but only if the situation with COVID-19 was settled enough to lift restrictions.


Certified Ski Diva
Guess Loveland made the right call be deciding early on to close and stay closed.

ABasin and Aspen Highlands were also hoping to re-open, but only if the situation with COVID-19 was settled enough to lift restrictions.
Agreed. Loveland's also coming through for season pass holders in a way that I appreciate (see below and link -- it's only $359 to renew for next season). We'll definitely be renewing our passes there, and then it'll be a bit more wait and see on Ikon (which we also had this year). I really think the smaller independent mountains are going to have an easier time managing what is likely to be a weird next season than some of the larger resort mountains.

We miss you and hope you and yours are healthy and safe! We thank you for all your support and patience as we work to ensure the health and safety of our employees and navigate these unusual times.

We understand that you are disappointed with how last season ended and perhaps also concerned about how the upcoming season might be affected. Here are our policies to address these concerns.

Starting on Tuesday, May 5, we will offer 2020/21 season passes at last year’s rates and have increased the renewal discount for pass holders from last season. In addition, all season pass holders that purchased their 2019/20 season pass between February 15, 2020 and March 14, 2020 will have their season pass extended to the 2020/21 season. These season pass holders may pick-up their 2020/21 season passes on their first visit of the season.

We expect that the 2020/21 season will be another great one here at Loveland, but understand that these uncertain times might make it difficult for our guests to commit to a season pass at this time. We won’t rush you. We have extended the purchase window and current pricing is valid through December 1, 2020 so you have plenty of time to consider what is best for you and your family.


Angel Diva
Probably not in May, but A-Basin is still hoping to have a few people on the slopes before declaring the 2019-20 season over.

friday, may 22, 2020
If We Can Re-Open.............
We have not stopped trying to re-open. We think doing so would be awesome for Colorado, Summit County, Arapahoe Basin, our guests and, especially, our employees. There has been some encouraging news about the possibility. Let's hope that we get positive news soon.
If we do get a chance to re-open, all of our guests need to have realistic expectations. This potential re-opening will be different from anything you have ever experienced at Arapahoe Basin. To stay open, we will need the help, support and cooperation of every single guest. We are all in this together. If we get the chance to re-open you can expect:
1. Skier numbers will be limited. RESERVATIONS WILL BE REQUIRED. DO NOT SHOW UP WITHOUT A RESERVATION. We will sell a very small number of lift tickets. The vast majority of the available space will be for pass holders. Not everyone will get the chance to ski every day.
2. Tailgating and social gatherings will be prohibited. We can party next season. The re-opening is all about giving people a chance to ski and ride.
3. Physical distancing will be strictly enforced. You will be required to wear a face mask in the base area, in the lift line, in restrooms and other places.
Again, we are doing our best to get the chance to re-open. If we get the chance, we all need to conduct ourselves in a responsible way to continue to stay open.


Certified Ski Diva
A-Basin reopening May 27th! The guidelines match what I was expecting: Reservations required in advance, no base services. They say that they've re-designed their lines to ensure distancing, so I'm curious what that might look like.

Priority for tickets looks like passholders, including season passes and Ikon passes with remaining A-Basin days. Reservations can't be made more than 36 hours in advance, which is actually a pretty effective way of limiting how far people are likely to travel to ski -- there's no guarantee that you'll get a reservation for a specific date, so I doubt anyone will be flying in and playing the lottery.

My husband and I have Ikon and were always intending to use our A-Basin days at the end of the season, before all this, but neither of us has been to A-Basin before, so it feels a little dicey to try a new resort given the circumstances. Very, very tempting, though. It would feel amazing to get in just a few more turns.
We have all our IKON days left. But somehow a 14 hour road trip just doesn't seem feasible right now. I'm very sad but happy for those who will be able to take advantage of this.
So Colorado went to Level 2, Safer At Home, on April 27. More businesses were opening up by May 1, and even more on May 4. Not every part of Colorado re-opened at the same time or with the same restrictions. Quite a few counties have requested and been granted variances, based on specific statistics related to the detection of COVID-19 and ability to provide medical services.

May 24, Aspen Times
State approves Pitkin County variance; “Phase 2” reopening to start Wednesday
". . .
Now that the variances have been approved, Pitkin County’s public health order will be amended effective Wednesday to allow the following:

• Lodging will be allowed to open at 50% capacity with a COVID-19 safety plan to include sector-specific guidance.

• Restaurants will be allowed to open, but indoor seating capacity should be limited by physical distancing requirements or 50% of facility capacity, whichever is more restrictive. The 50% seating capacity only applies to indoor seating and not to outdoor seating, which must meet physical distancing requirements (tables of eight and at least 6 feet apart).

• A maximum group/event size of 50 was approved in the variance. Gatherings more than 10 people must be a county- or municipality-permitted event with a COVID-19 safety plan. Informal gatherings (house parties, etc.) will remain limited to 10 or fewer. There is a preference for outdoor events, and a limit of 50% of facility capacity for indoor events/gatherings.

The current mandatory face mask requirement within Pitkin County will remain in place during phase 2, the news release states.
. . .
While much of the county’s requested variances were approved, some were not: CDPHE did not approve the opening of bars, concert halls and music venues in Pitkin County.
. . ."


Staff member
Got a date picked out yet?
I am at my computer logged into my A-Basin account, poised and ready to aim for a Wednesday reservation. I will be doing this every day until I get a reservation. :smile:

Edited to add: I find myself jobless as a result of this pandemic thing (it's disappointing but fine, we're very lucky) so there is NOTHING STANDING IN MY WAY.

Edited to add again: the reservation site is totally down.

7:07pm A-Basin time: still down.
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It sounded like the first few days of reserving for Timberline did not go smoothly, but then it got better. Hopefully that will happen for the Basin reservation system as well.
Looks like A Basin’s reservation system completely imploded on itself. Now it’s going to be a RAFFLE one day at a time.. This is stressing me out even more for what next season could look like. I mean hopefully it wouldn’t be the same since more places would be open, but that’s not the case early and late season either. Ugh..
Someone posted in the A-Basin FB Page that when Timberline first opened up, reservations were gone after 30 seconds.

At this point, I wonder if some Aspen Ski Co. managers are a little bit glad that the Stay At Home status meant Highlands couldn't re-open.

October is a long way away. Every day a ski area/resort is open between now and then will mean more is learned. Ski resorts in Australia and New Zealand will be open by late June or early July. The speculation about how things will operate are all over the place right now on the Aussie ski forum.

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