Only a handful of U.S. ski resorts are open at the moment but a slew of them have tentative dates pending by the end of November and into the beginning of December. The operative word is “tentative” due to the spike in Covid-19 cases and, in some cases, unusually warm temperatures not conducive to natural snowfall or even making snow. Meanwhile, the fact that clubs across the country are filling trips is a sign that demand exists, at least for more dedicated skiers and snowboarders.
Perhaps surprisingly, Wild Mountain (MN) was the first ski area to open on October 19 and Wisconsin’s Trollhaugen followed suit on October 20. Both were forced to close temporarily due primarily to weather issues but both hope to re-open the weekend of November 13.
Killington, typically one of two “first-to-open” resort (certainly in the east) is fighting unseasonably warm weather. Its perennial competition for “first-to-open” honors – Keystone – is one of four Colorado resorts now in operation. The others are Arapahoe-Basin, Loveland and Wolf Creek.
With so much uncertainty due to the pandemic, this year will require snow sports enthusiasts to do a great deal of research and pre-planning before embarking on a trip to the slopes. Resorts will have to comply with state guidelines that could change on a dime. Popular ski/snowboard destination states such as Colorado, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York already have detailed their current positions on precautionary measures with some demanding proof of a 14-day pre-arrival quarantine from out of state visitors staying at lodging facilities.
The governor of Utah just announced mandatory mask wearing at least for the time being although travel restrictions to and from Utah are minimal at this time. Most Utah resorts are not set to open until later in November or in early December and the Ski Utah web site is a good resource.
Individual resorts also are taking their own steps to adhere to safety requirements, For example, Killington is requiring reservations for its parking lot in an effort to control crowds.
In fact, the web sites of resort associations in states with resorts serve as good starting points for information on Covid – 19 and also on who is open and who is not. The newly revived web site OnTheSnow.com also keeps on top of ski resort developments. The National Ski Council Federation offers plethora of information on clubs throughout the country.