Several ski areas closed down ahead of Gov. Polis' decree.
As coronavirus mitigation continues, one of Colorado's biggest economies is the next to be impacted.
On Saturday, Governor Polis issued an Executive Order requiring the state's ski areas to suspend operations for one week, starting on Sunday, March 15.
Polis released a statement after he made his order on Saturday evening:
“Never would I have believed that a global pandemic would force the temporary closure of our world-class ski resorts...We are aware of the great cost that mountain communities face if our downhill ski resorts close, even temporarily. These costs will be borne by local residents and businesses, and by the individuals and families who come to Colorado to enjoy our beautiful mountains and world-renowned skiing. But in the face of this pandemic emergency, we cannot hesitate to protect public health and safety."
Several resorts had already stopped their lifts on Saturday, March 14. Vail Resorts, Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Snowmass, Telluride, Arapahoe Basin, and Loveland all announced closures prior to Polis' order.
Vail Resorts was the first to suspend operations in the state.
"Colorado is strong and we will get through this together. The safety and health of our most vulnerable and of our communities is our top priority. I commend Vail Resorts for taking this difficult, responsible step and urge other mountains and resorts to do the same. Coloradans and our business community must continue to rise to meet the demand of these challenging times and everyone must do their part in stopping the spread of this virus. The slopes will still be there when this is all over,” said Governor Polis.
The decree came just a day before the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's recommended that anyone who has been in Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, or Gunnison counties in the past week should minimize all contact with other people, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. This is due to the extensive spread of COVID-19 in the mountain communities. You can read more about the advisement on the Colorado.gov website.
We are interested in hearing from you—what do you think about the closure? Are you an employee or directly affected by the closures? Was your trip to the mountains affected? Let us know in the comments.