Vail Resorts, Alterra To Shutter all North American Resorts, Others Follow
UPDATED Sunday, March 15, 2020 - All North American ski mountains operated by Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company will close Sunday for at least a week as the coronavirus spreads through North America.
“We have made the difficult decision to suspend the operations of all our North American mountain resorts and retail stores … and will use that time to reassess our approach for the rest of the season,” Rob Katz, Vail Resorts’ CEO, said in a news release. “Our lodging and property management operations will remain open to service the guests we have on location or those with existing reservations, but we will not be taking new reservations for this upcoming week.”
Ski resorts under Vail’s ownership include Vail, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo, Mount Snow and Stowe in Vermont, Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, along with other international destinations such as Park City in Utah, Heavenly in the Lake Tahoe area and Whistler in British Colombia.
Alterra Mountain Company made the announcement Saturday to close all resorts. "After careful thought and deliberation of our duty in the face of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, and in what I believe is in the best interest of our guests, employees and local communities, Alterra Mountain Company will suspend operations at our 15 North American ski resorts, starting the morning of Sunday, March 15, until further notice. All lift operations, food, and beverage, retail and rental services will be closed until further notice," Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory said in a statement.
Alterra-owned destinations including 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 Tuesday, March 17th).
In Vermont, both Jay Peak and Burke Mountain closed for the season after operations on Saturday (March 14). Jay Peak President and CEO Steven Wright said in a statement announcing the mountain’s closure that restrictions on travel imposed by the Quebec government on cross-border travel were the “most recent tipping point” in deciding to end operations for the season. On Sunday, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain announced that both mountains will be close March 15-22.
Vermont's Middlebury Snow Bowl will also end its season this weekend when lifts stop spinning at 4 p.m. Sunday. The mountain, along with the nearby Rikert Nordic Center, is part of the Middlebury College campus, which sent students home this week.
In New York and Massachusetts, Catamount ski area and its sister Berkshire East ski area has closed for the season due to the spread of novel coronavirus, the areas’ owner Jon Schaefer said in a website post. Other resorts are closing gondolas, bubble chairs and removing seating to add space between patrons in lodges and restaurants.
All of Switzerland's ski areas, per Swiss authorities, are closed as of March 14. The country is just days behind both Norway and Austria in shutting down its slopes.