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So what's going to happen next season?

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Anyone care to speculate?

Will there be a season? Will it be delayed? Will resorts put in effect the same parameters as Mount Baldy in California? Or will they just let proceed as they always have?

I realize that this is really in the Who-Knows-What-Will-Happen department, and it's probably useless to speculate. But if the virus is still a danger -- and it will be, unless there's a vaccine or some amazing treatment -- this is something that will have a profound effect on ski season for all of us next year.

I think it's safe to say that some standards will be put in place. Consider this: California's governor is shutting down the beaches and state parks again because they were packed this past weekend and people wouldn't adhere to social distance protocols. Could this happen to ski resorts, if restrictions aren't put in place?

What do you think?
 
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#2
I’m extremely worried, at least for those of us who ski in different states than we reside in. I heard today that Maine has supposedly extended their 14 day self quarantine for out of state travelers until August. I assume others might follow if that is the case? Not sure though, and will it be enforced? That doesn’t seem like a good sign for ski season potentially though. Making it more and more difficult for me to want to book a seasonal condo/house rental..

It’s also really worrisome for resorts. How would some make it through without the larger visit numbers they depend on? What about all of the restaurants and lodging that depend on the tourist dollars? Perhaps smaller places with less snow making etc. would be okay, but the larger areas with lots and lots of overhead?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
There are certainly going to be shifts that may turn the ski industry upside down for a while. The trend was to bigger destination resorts with more on-mountain services and slopeside lodging, with the expectation that the majority of customers would fly and stay for at least 5 nights. As Mt. Baldy is demonstrating, a small ski area can be more nimble to make adjustments to serve locals who can drive. Presumably while still managing to make money. Or at least help cover fixed expenses with some revenue in the short run in order to stay in business for the long run.

From a revenue standpoint, there are 4-season resorts that stand to lose more if they can't re-open by June. I'm getting announcements from the timeshare companies about extensions and new limitations to serve owners only. So in some cases, how things run or don't by July may provide some hint of what could happen by December.

Another place to watch is New Zealand. There won't be air travel into NZ from other countries for a while. Not even from Australia. The club fields with essentially no amenities besides a surface tow may be more likely to open than the few resorts.
 
#4
It's so hard to guess! Another factor is staffing. Will employees be able to lodge in dorms or group housing situations? If not, how do you run your resort? Smaller ski areas might not have to deal with this as much, but thinking about Sun Valley, with all of their foreign workers on J1 visas living in employee dorms and apartments...
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#5
It's so hard to guess! Another factor is staffing. Will employees be able to lodge in dorms or group housing situations? If not, how do you run your resort? Smaller ski areas might not have to deal with this as much, but thinking about Sun Valley, with all of their foreign workers on J1 visas living in employee dorms and apartments...
Many ski areas across the country, depend on foreign employees for the season. Tough to envision right now.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Consider this: California's governor is shutting down the beaches and state parks again because they were packed this past weekend and peopleouldn't adhere to social distance protocols.

What do you think?
Its only one county he is shutting down, which will of course cause everyone to go to the other counties that have open beaches. This is way blown out of proportion by media, potentialy politically driven and taken from the view of a telephoto lens. Just saying.

Closing one (beach/ ski resort) just makes others flock to another which increases the density and makes distancing that much harder.
 
#7
SC County Public Health officials are implementing something new beginning May 1 for our beaches. It's called "sand closure." So you may do water sports, i.e surfing, SUP, boogie boarding, swimming and are allowed to cross the sand to get to the water. However, you may not be on the sand for any reason. No running, walking, sitting, standing, no beach chairs, towels, umbrellas .....This will be tough to implement. Today I went to the beach and walked a couple of miles (we have beautiful beaches) and not a ranger in sight. Guess they are strategizing for this weekend.
As far as ski resorts go, it remains to be seen. Trying to envision how Heavenly and Northstar would work. Both resorts have gondolas which are the main way to get up the resort but also have chairs. I guess they could close the gondola and Tram at heavenly and the gondola at Northstar. Kirkwood only has chairs but not all high speed...... What they should do is limit the number of skiers. Northstar did that for years.
 
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NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
I’m extremely worried, at least for those of us who ski in different states than we reside in. I heard today that Maine has supposedly extended their 14 day self quarantine for out of state travelers until August. I assume others might follow if that is the case?
Yes, I feel like these state by state quarantines can be especially devastating to the economies of New England states. Our states are so small and close together that people routinely cross the borders just to do normal business, not even counting travel/tourism. At my company, we have people who commute from New Hampshire and from Rhode Island--and those are just the ones I know of. I certainly understand that states that are less hard hit want to keep it that way, but keeping people out presents a whole other set of problems for businesses that depend on people crossing the borders. In searching for news on the Maine quarantine extension, I see articles already where businesses that depend on tourists coming are quite concerned that they will lose the summer season now---who knows about next winter.
 
#9
Yes, I feel like these state by state quarantines can be especially devastating to the economies of New England states. Our states are so small and close together that people routinely cross the borders just to do normal business, not even counting travel/tourism. At my company, we have people who commute from New Hampshire and from Rhode Island--and those are just the ones I know of. I certainly understand that states that are less hard hit want to keep it that way, but keeping people out presents a whole other set of problems for businesses that depend on people crossing the borders. In searching for news on the Maine quarantine extension, I see articles already where businesses that depend on tourists coming are quite concerned that they will lose the summer season now---who knows about next winter.
I imagine it will be utterly devastating for all of the little oceanside towns in Maine to lose the summer. If a 14 day quarantine is required to visit, no one could do short term rentals, go eat at the many restaurants, stroll through the little shops, or just do a day trip anywhere. How do you come back from that as a business if you lose the entire season?? I don’t imagine the local economy will be able to make up for the loss of tourism.
 
#11
The virus has left so many businesses in the ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation. No way to be right and too many ways to be wrong.
So sad.. I can’t imagine having your business destroyed and being powerless to fix it..

I imagine you’ve been seeing all of the summer events being cancelled in RI the past couple of days as well? Reading the ranting on social media on each announcement definitely drives home how much people are not taking this seriously. I’m quite surprised at the venomous tone, so many people seem to be personally blaming the governor, like she wants to be doing this. Sidenote: I never really paid attention to Raimondo, but omg I love her!!! She’s done such an amazing job imo.

I was sad to see the Washington County Fair cancelled officially.. I knew it was coming, but still sad we won’t be able to attend this year since we usually do.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#13
Yes, I feel like these state by state quarantines can be especially devastating to the economies of New England states. Our states are so small and close together that people routinely cross the borders just to do normal business, not even counting travel/tourism.
I see that MA has joined a regional council for New England states. There is also one for the Pacific coast states. So in some regions there will be at least communication with neighboring states as decisions are made about lifting restrictions. Larger states like NY and WY will take a regional approach to take into account the vast differences between very rural areas and large cities.

April 14, Patch
MA Coronavirus: State Joins Regional Council To Reopen Economy
Gov. Charlie Baker joined a coalition with the leaders of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island.
https://patch.com/massachusetts/andover/ma-coronavirus-state-joins-regional-council-reopen-economy

For NC, coordinating with neighboring states is unlikely. VA and SC have taken a very different approach from NC. Although I would think the individual beach communities are paying attention to how things are going in other states with beaches.
 
#14
Its only one county he is shutting down, which will of course cause everyone to go to the other counties that have open beaches. This is way blown out of proportion by media, potentialy politically driven and taken from the view of a telephoto lens. Just saying.

Closing one (beach/ ski resort) just makes others flock to another which increases the density and makes distancing that much harder.
Can you imagine? Everyone will say "let's go to Venice, SM, or Malibu."
 
#15
Unless there is a very specific reason not to, why aren't all towns cohesively opening or closing so things are not concentrated anywhere..? At least within a region where it makes sense within a distance people would likely drive to from other places.
 
#16
In my area, County Public Health officials are making decisions regarding their own jurisdictions. So Santa Cruz beaches are closing "sand" with the exception of access to the "water." Monterey county (45 minutes south) beaches are still open with restrictions (for exercise not sunning, etc).
 

StayWarm

Certified Ski Diva
#17
The ski resorts (and every other in-person business) are going to have to think this through from at least two angles, with a key follow-up question:
  1. Are we permitted to open under current restrictions?
  2. Can we create a safe enough environment that families will want to come?
  3. Follow-up question: Given the limitations of (1) and (2) can we cover our costs enough to survive?
I can imagine a situation where resorts open, have a big PR failure on maintaining distancing/protections, and then lose every single family that might've attended that season if they felt safe enough to do so.

This'll be extra hard without some serious on-mountain enforcement, because (and I realize I'm stereotyping here) the more risk-tolerant dudes will be on the mountains as soon as they can, but also may be less reliable at following distancing measures. And the resorts need dudes *and* families to come if they're going to survive.

I think daily attendance caps, limited lodge services, and requiring reservations for specific dates are guaranteed.
 
#18
When this all began, the resorts initiated some half-hearted social distancing measures, such as not trying to fill the gondola by squeezing in strangers, but allowing people to travel just with their groups. Someone forgot to tell the lifites, who continued to stuff in extra people, at least at Killington.

The lines for the lifts and gondola, not to mention the mob scenes in the lodges, are petri dishes waiting for a cough. Do I sound pessimistic? So much of the revenue comes from big crowds, big restaurant and bar bills, and the let-the-good-times-roll happy carelessness of people on vacation.

I'm worried about next season. Not to mention, Mr. Blizzard has been so despairing about missing spring skiing, I will have to get a room somewhere if we miss next season. Either that, or set ourselves up for AT. I'll never hear the end of it.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
Not to mention, Mr. Blizzard has been so despairing about missing spring skiing, I will have to get a room somewhere if we miss next season. Either that, or set ourselves up for AT. I'll never hear the end of it.
AT all the way. :thumbsup: The US Forest Service has is right by keeping trails open. Plenty of skiing still to be had on easily accessible USFS trails with no one around.
 
#20
He did buy a backpack he plans to rig up to carry his skis. He prefers to snowshoe up and ski down. Really, he greatly prefers lift-served skiing, where he can break the land speed records on run after run, but we shall see.
 

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