Many of the leading ski resorts in the USA are closing due to the coronavirus outbreak in a major change from the policy of the past week.
The country’s two biggest groups Vail Resorts and Alterra, which together operate nearly 50 of North America’s resorts, flipped from saying they intended to stay open at the start of yesterday to announcing closure of their resorts later in the day.
This includes resorts such as Whistler, Heavenly, Vail, Breckenridge (pictured above last week), Park City, Stowe, Tremblant and many others.
Aspen, which has had at least nine positive coronavirus cases but had said it would keep operating, is also now closing, as are quite a few other resorts.
Vail says the closure is for a week initially, Alterra that their closure is “indefinite.”
Others are taking measures to minimise risk including encouraging ‘social-distancing’, limiting capacity of chair, gondola and tram lifts including limiting use, in some cases, to groups of families and friends with no ‘stranger’ in/on the lift with them, and increasing disinfecting an cleaning.
Jackson Hole has said it will stop operating its famous tram.
More than 1500 resorts have now closed their ski areas in Europe, although many are still operating cross country skiing and ski touring operations.
France announced all its resorts would close yesterday joining Switzerland and Austria the day before and Italy earlier last week.
Ski areas in Andorra, Norway, Spain and Slovakia have also closed.