North America ski resort conglomerates Alterra Mountain Co., and Vail Resorts both announced Saturday that they will be halting their ski seasons until further notice to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes suspension of ski activity until further notice at popular Canadian resorts, Blue Mountain, Mont Tremblant and Whistler Blackcomb.
Alterra Mountain Co., is the Denver parent company of 15 North America resorts located in including Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood and Mont Tremblant in Quebec, while Vail Resorts owns 37 destinations including Whistler Blackcomb, Okemo and Stowe Vermont.
Alterra’s announcement came from their CEO, Rusty Gregory who said that in the face of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, it is in the best interest of their guests, employees and local communities, that Alterra Mountain Company suspends operations at all 15 North American ski resorts, starting the morning of Sunday, March 15, until further notice. Gregory said this includes all lift operations, food and beverage, retail and rental services.
Alterra assures its patrons that “each resort will work directly with guests in cancelling their visit and will provide refunds to those who have hotel and other bookings during this closure period. We anticipate heavy call volume over the next several days and appreciate guests’ patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries.”
While at Blue Mountain president and COO, Dan Skelton says “All lift operations, base lodges, attractions and rental services will be closed as of Sunday morning March 15 until further notice. but their “hotel operations remain open and we are working with Guests to adjust their plans as they see fit.” In anticipation of heavy call volume over the next several days they appreciate guests’ patience as “we work hard to respond to all inquiries.”
Gregory says, “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this short notice will undoubtedly create.” His statement goes on to explain all the measures Blue Mountain is taking in order to slow the spread including increased disinfecting in high traffic areas.
Vail Resorts CEO, Rob Katz said in a statement that “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. 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.”
Katz went on to say, “we have made the difficult decision to suspend the operations of all our North American mountain resorts and retail stores beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020 through Sunday, March 22, 2020 and will use that time to reassess our approach for the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, as of March 13, 2020, Horseshoe Resort and Mt. St. Louis Moonstone said they would remain open for March Break but have taken numerous health and safety measures to assure the well-being of guests. Snow Valley in Barrie announced at 12:30 pm Sunday March 15 that “Snow Valley Resort will cease regular operations for the season beginning the morning of Monday March 16th. All lift and snowtubing operations will be closed.”
Alterra Mountain Company resorts closed until further notice are:
Alterra Mountain Company destinations are Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain and Big Bear Mountain Resort in California; Stratton and Sugarbush Resort in Vermont; Snowshoe in West Virginia; Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario; Crystal Mountain in Washington; Deer Valley Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah; and CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures in British Columbia. (CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures will continue to operate through Saturday, March 21 with no new guests arriving beginning Tuesday March 17)
Vail Resorts properties inlcude:
Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Stevens Pass in Washington; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
story by Terry Lankstead