Making a tough call that will disappoint skiers and snowboarders all over the country, Vail Resorts announced this week that all of its North American resorts and retail stores will remain closed for the rest of the 2020 winter ski season due to continued challenges associated with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision follows the Company’s previously announced closure of its resorts from Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, March 22.
Vail Resorts will consider reopening Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado, Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia in late April/early May, dependent on the situation with COVID-19 as well as weather conditions.
Additionally, the Company’s owned and operated lodging properties will close tomorrow, March 20, with final check-ins allowed until 4 p.m. MT today. Epic Mountain Express, the Company’s Colorado transportation service, closed yesterday. Both will remain closed until further notice.
“Our decision to end the season now is evidence of the fast-moving situation involving COVID-19, and it was not an easy one to make as we deeply considered the extended impact it will have on our guests, employees and communities,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “While it is incredibly disappointing for Vail Resorts to mark the end of the season so early, we know it is the most responsible path forward.”
The unprecedented move joins other such calls as Hotels and entertainment companies shudder their doors for the foreseeable future. Marriott International, which owns 30 hotel brands and more than 7,000 properties around the world, has announced plans to lay off tens of thousands of workers and significantly reduce operations. In Las Vegas this week, some 14 hotels along the Las Vegas Strip – some of the largest hotels in the world among them — have shut their doors and shows have gone dark. Even Disney’s parks and resorts have ceased operating for the time being while the hotel industry awaits what it hopes will be $150 billion in government aid.
Vail Resorts operates 37 world-class mountain resorts and urban ski areas through its subsidiaries. These include Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte 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, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. 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.