The Vail Resorts in Lake Tahoe – Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood – will close for the 2019-20 ski season due to complications regarding Coronavirus.
All Tahoe ski resorts are currently closed, with most of them on a temporary basis. However, prior to Tuesday, only Mt. Rose ski resort had decided to close for the remainder of the season.
To date, no Tahoe ski resort has reported a positive Coronavirus test among any of its employees. While the rest of Tahoe ski resorts also seem likely to close for the season, they are currently evaluating their status for the remainder of the season.
Vail Resorts announced Tuesday that all of its North American resorts and retail stores will remain closed for the 2019-20 ski season amidst the challenges associated with the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision follows Vail Resort’s previously announced closure of its resorts from March 15 through March 22.
Heavenly Mountain, Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain were open Saturday (March 14) when suspending the season for one week was announced. Ironically, the Tuesday announcement comes at a time when Tahoe is in the midst of its biggest snow storm that has dumped more than 6 feet of snow at some resorts.
“Our decision to end the season now is evidence of the fast-moving situation involving COVID-19, and it was not an easy one to make as we deeply considered the extended impact it will have on our guests, employees and communities,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “While it is incredibly disappointing for our Company to mark the end of the season so early, we know it is the most responsible path forward.”
HEAVENLY COULD REOPEN: Despite the Tuesday announcement, there appears a glimmer of hope for Heavenly Mountain reopening this season.
Vail Resorts will consider reopening Breckenridge in Colorado, Heavenly and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia in late April/early May, dependent on the COVID-19 situation as well as weather conditions.
Additionally, the Vail Resort’s owned and operated lodging properties will close on March 20 (Friday) with final check-ins allowed until 4 p.m. MT on Tuesday. Epic Mountain Express, the Vail Resort’s Colorado transportation service, will run through Wednesday. Both will remain closed until further notice.
Guests can process refunds and credits on pre-purchased lift tickets, lodging, ski and ride school, equipment rentals and more, subject to applicable terms and conditions, using an online form that will be available later today on the Company’s resort websites.
SIERRA-AT-TAHOE CLOSED INDEFINITELY: The resort off Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe announced Tuesday it will suspend operations indefinitely. Sierra closed Sunday (March 15) and announced a 72-hour reevaluation period.
Sierra-at-Tahoe says it will be extending the use of 2019/20 season passes (and many other pre-purchased products) through Dec. 20, 2020. For skiers and riders who pre-purchased lift ticket and lesson products – starting March 7 – the resort says to email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
“We will monitor developments of the public health situation, and depending on the status of public health orders, snow conditions and other relevant factors, we will consider reopening the resort later in the spring season,” stated a statement by Sierra-at-Tahoe. “It is our most important responsibility to act in the best interest of our people and our broader community and are committed to keeping you informed as we move forward, together.”
TAHOE SKI RESORT CLOSINGS (reported March 17)
- Mt. Rose: Closed for the season
- Heavenly Mountain: Closed for the season
- Kirkwood Mountain: Closed for the season
- Northstar California: Closed for the season
- Squaw Valley: Closed, TBA
- Alpine Meadows: Closed, TBA
- Sierra-at-Tahoe: Closed, TBA
- Sugar Bowl: Closed, TBA
- Homewood Mountain: Closed through March 22
- Diamond Peak: Closed through March 20
- Boreal Mountain: Closed through March 22
- Soda Springs: Closed through March 22
- Tahoe Donner: Closed through March 31