While it is early in the season, France’s Tignes was forced to shut down when the country’s government instituted a “limited lockdown” this past week, according to InTheSnow.com. Similar announcements were made for ski resorts in German. No German resorts are open right now although the Zugspitz glacier was to open in mid-November.
Italy’s Cervinia opened on Saturday, October 24, closed the following Monday but has since reopened to ski racers but not the general public.
The good news is that, due to some early significant snowfall, Verbier, Gstaad and Davos in Switzerland are open for business. In North America, Mt Norquay and Lake Louise in Canada as well as Wolf Creek in Colorado reported early openings. Of course the U.S. – Canadian border is closed at the moment.
In a “normal year”, early ski resort openings would be instrumental in energizing the U. S. snow sports community to get ready for winter. So would the fall consumer shows with most of them taking place in November. The two SIA Snowbound shows in Boston and Denver were previously cancelled outright for 2020 or, “postponed” until next year, according to their web sites, as were the shows in Albany, New York, the Windy City Ski and Sports Show, Portland, Oregon’s Snowvana and Ski Fever shows. The three NorCal Snowbomb shows in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Sacramento have been postponed until 2021. L.A.’s huge Ski Dazzle is going virtual as are the so-called SnowJam shows in San Diego and Las Vegas.
Fortunately, individual shops and local organized ski swaps still are taking place in some areas. For example, several events are taking place in Maryland – at Ski Center, LTD in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the Snow Riders Swap in the Baltimore area (NOTE: This show/swap has been postponed due to new Covid restrictions in Maryland) and a newly revamped swap at Ski Haus in Annapolis. Further north, Country Ski and Sport, Inc is salvaging the big retail discount display that they staged during the Boston Ski and Snow Expo. Since the expo was cancelled, Country Ski and Sport owner Ray Stenson decided to hold a big clearance sale at the shop’s Hanover, MA warehouse. The sale takes place Thursday, November 19 – Sunday, November 22 (typically the timing for the expo). For local events, it is best to check local resources for information in your area.
This year, it might be more challenging than ever for new skiers and snowboarders, considering resorts that are focusing on season pass holders such as this who purchased the Epic and Ikon Passes. Epic pass holders will be required to make advanced reservations for days selected days.
One pass that may appeal a lot more to newcomers is the Indy Pass. It’s a LOT less expensive and it features smaller resorts that are typically geared more to the newcomer category!