Nearly 100 U.S. ski resorts have opened as of December 5, 2020 despite nearly nationwide spiking of Covid-19. Even two resorts in hard-hit New Mexico – Red River and Ski Santa Fe – opened over the weekend. Others are expected to follow soon after a rigid lockdown imposed by authorities in New Mexico that delayed operations.
OnTheSnow.com is a good resource to check for resorts that are open. Resorts are broken down by region and the web site also posts a running alphabetical list of resorts that are open for business.
All but five of Colorado’s resorts were open by December 5 and rightly so by economic standards. Colorado may be the only state were skiing/snowboarding is a major business/economic driver. According to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, “one 2015 study funded by the industry pegged its economic contribution at $4.8 billion, supporting more than 46,000 workers. The state alone accounts for 22% of the nation’s winter sports economy“.
California is second in openings with nine but that state has one of the largest economies in the world so, while winter sports are important as outdoor recreation, they are not as crucial to the state’s economy, California is experiencing a strong Covid resurgence so government authorities have put in place a new “stay-at-home” order. As of December 5, these California ski areas were open.
Eleven Michigan resorts were projecting a December 5 opening date but no Michigan resorts were listed as open on the OnTheSnow.com site. It is best to directly contact the resorts for the most recent information.
Vermont may qualify for the strictest Covid guidelines in the country, a scenario that could have major consequences for the state. Only a handful of Vermont’s resorts were open on December 5 although that is likely more due to weather. The northeast is experiencing a major winter storm this weekend so openings could happen quickly.
And what is going on in Europe? Germany’s Angela Merkle proposed prior to Thanksgiving that all EU country resorts shut down due to spiking. So far, the reaction is mixed and most EU countries will not allow Americans anyway.