What a long haul it’s been. North America’s ski resort business has been pounded by the Coronavirus pandemic, losing nearly half of the snow season to the plague that has basically shut down the world. Well, the Great Pause seems to be ending. Two weeks ago we reported on Mt. Baldy ski area in Southern California reopening. Now it sounds as if Oregon is on the cusp of letting its resorts reopen for the important spring season.
Timberline on Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor have traditionally stayed open into the summer months, allowing for a fantastic spring and early summer season and training in the area’s terrain parks. That may be possible soon. According to reports, “ski resorts will also be able to resume activities under a new executive order that will be forthcoming” from the Governor.
As for now, regulations on parks and recreation will still be slow to open as government entities try and prepare for some semblance of a summer season. But resort riding might not be far off. “We are thrilled with the Governor’s news on eventually re-opening the Ski Area,” wrote Timberline officials May 5th on the ski resort’s website. “We are still waiting on an Executive Order for more clarification. Regardless of what comes down, Timberline will do so with a very deliberate strategy, limited operations and a responsible plan to keep employees and customers as safe as possible.”
Mt. Bachelor, whose season was set to run through May 24, told us they’re also waiting on the Governor’s executive order but a note on its website was hopeful the mountain known for its spring riding would reopen: “We are closed for now, including all lodges, facilities, parking lots, and in-town offices, but our goal is to reopen as soon as we can.”
Oregon, which has about 4.3 million people, has had 2,916 confirmed cases and 114 deaths. But those relatively small numbers doesn’t mean government officials are going to rush to reopen. “Enjoying Oregon’s beauty and bounty is one of our state’s time-honored traditions,” said Governor Kate Brown. “As we begin to slowly open up recreation sites, state parks, and ski area opportunities, it is critical we ensure the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and the public. And that begins with each of us taking personal responsibility to be a steward of our parks, and each other.”