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Utah ski resorts close to prevent spread of virus

Utah ski resorts close to prevent spread of virus
FILE PHOTO- Several Utah ski resorts closed operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As of March 15, the total number of coronavirus cases in Utah is up to 21, not including those from out-of-state visitors. (Rachel Robertson)

Several Utah ski resorts announced they would be closing over the weekend in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. This comes days after the governor announced recommendations to keep public crowds under 100 people.

As of Sunday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Utah was 21, according to the Utah Health Department. This number doesn’t include cases that are people visiting from out of state.

Most of these cases are in Salt Lake County, tallying up to 14 total individuals testing positive. Only one case has been confirmed to be community-spread and is in Summit County.

With these new developments, several Utah establishments — including schools, churches and restaurants — have cancelled and postponed meetings to avoid large gatherings. This, along with other efforts, is all to avoid the potential spread of the virus.

Ski resorts soon followed suit, with many closing their resorts to the public until further notice.

Alta Ski Area

Alta Ski Resort announced it would close the resort beginning Sunday until further notice. Lift operations, food service and rental services would also be closed to the public.

“We sincerely apologize to skiers who are staying at Alta and those who had planned to ski at Alta between now and the end of the season,” said Michael Maughan, president and general manager of Alta Ski Area, in a statement. “We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and may consider re-opening if circumstances warrant doing so.”

Maughan said the resort will continue monitoring the virus to determine when would be the best time to reopen.

Brighton Resort

Brighton Ski Resort announced it would also be closing its resort beginning Sunday until it’s deemed safe to reopen.

“We did not make this decision lightly, and are doing so with the health and safety of our guests, team members, and community in mind,” said Randy Doyle, general manager, said in a statement.

The resort said it would reopen at the earliest opportunity and will keep guests informed on updates.

Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley Resort joined the ranks, closing operations Sunday until further notice. This includes retail, food services and lift operations.

The resort announced on its Twitter page it would work with guests to provide refunds for hotel bookings.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this short notice will undoubtedly create,” the resort said on Twitter. “We look forward to welcoming you back to the mountains as circumstances improve.”

Snowbird

Snowbird initially announced Friday its operations would remain open despite the virus outbreak. However, the resort took to Twitter Saturday to announce it would also be closing.

The resort said it would close Sunday and will remain closed until March 22, when it would reassess conditions to make further decisions.

As of Sunday, the resort said it was still working on closing all resort amenities, including hotel and restaurant services. The resort announced its lodging and restaurant facilities would remain open to serve the guests currently on site.

Solitude Mountain Resort

Solitude Mountain Resort announced Saturday it would be suspending all operations immediately, doing what they “believe is in the best interest of our guests,” according to the resort’s Twitter page.

Alterra Mountain Company, which owns Solitude Mountain resort, announced it would be closing all 15 of its locations across the country.

The resort said it would provide refunds to all guests with hotel or other bookings. The closure includes suspending rental services, dining operations and retail.

Woodward Park City

Woodward Park City announced it would suspend all operations beginning Sunday until March 22, when the resort would reassess conditions before make further decisions.

Memberships have been frozen for the week-long period until normal operations resume. The resort said in a statement it would cancel all outdoor and indoor operations, using the time to determine how it’ll move forward.

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Cami Mondeaux
Cami Mondeaux is a junior communication major with a minor in sociology. Cami got her start as a reporter for the City Journals and spent two separate semesters interning at KSL NewsRadio and KUER 90.1 NPR Utah. She now works as a digital content producer for KSL NewsRadio and hopes to one day report on national politics. Cami is excited to bring her skills to The Forum for a second year on staff.

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