After what seemed like an incredibly long dry spell, all signs pointed to the greatest snowstorm of the year to hit. Snow levels WAYYY below lake level. Ample amounts of moisture. And MANY days of snowfall. This was it. The moment all skiers & snowboarders were waiting for soooo long. The famine was over, and it was time for the feast! And then… it wasn’t. Here’s a personal look into the days coming up to the COVID ski resort closings from the mountains.
Friday The 13th – Warm, Sunshine & Prepping For The Storm
The day dawned beautiful. Ample amounts of sunshine, warm weather, and barely a wisp of wind. All weather forecasts talked about the storm, but there was no warning outside of it. Every time a huge storm rolls in like this, it makes you realize how the tragedy of the ill-fated journey of the Donner Party happened. We ran around doing our errands, cleaned the gutters, prepped the snowblower, and made sure that our work was done. This was going to be THE storm to harvest some pow. As we went to bed, the winds began to pick up and we could see the first snowflakes hitting our skylights.
Saturday The 14th – The Excitement Builds
Sitting at home, we looked outside and watched the soft snow dancing from the sky. A few inches had fallen overnight, but the next few days were going to be epic, so patience was the recipe. While we watched TV, the harsh reality that nearly every sporting event had been cancelled or postponed hit. In the back of our minds, a small seed of doubt began to grow. If everything from schools to offices were closing, how are the ski areas still open?
Ski Resorts Shutter Like Dominoes
As the snow outside began to pick up intensity and the sun’s rays began to fade, a message came into our mailbox – All Vail Resorts are closed until March 22nd. Our jaws dropped. What?!? Is this real? Then a few minutes later, Alterra makes the announcement they are closing their resorts for the foreseeable future. And like wildfire, one ski resort after another announce their closures.
Colorado Governor Shuts Down Skiing In State Of Colorado & Country Follows
With a few ski resorts still keeping the lifts running including Aspen and Telluride, an announcement thunders in like an earthquake. Governor Polis issues an executive order to shut down ALL ski areas in the state of Colorado effective immediately. And while this is a temporary closure, with it being so close to the end of the season, the million dollar question arises – “Is this it for the 2019-20 ski season at resorts?”
Multiple Ski Resorts Officially Call It Quits
And the answers up and down the country is “Yes.” Telluride, Ski Santa Fe, Jackson Hole all make the announcement on Facebook that Sunday, March 15th is the last day of the season. While there are a few resorts still running, will they last?
Harsh Reality Hits Hard
Frustration and disappointment hits hard. We FINALLY got a cold storm. Self-pity. I yell to the heavens! WHY?!?! Taking a big breath, I step back from my personal feelings. Looking at posts on Facebook of friends from Florida to San Francisco going to the grocery store with no food in the aisles. News streams in of New York’s Broadway closing and San Francisco bars with capacity over a 100 are ordered to close for seven weeks. While it would’ve been awesome to get a powder day, I begin to realize that this is but the eve of a much bigger storm.