DENVER – Time to dust off those boots and tune those skis. At least one resort high in the Colorado Rockies is planning to reopen after a more than two-month hiatus caused by the coronavirus.
Arapahoe Basin will open Wednesday with restrictions, offering a sign of hope for a devastated industry and for mountain communities that were disproportionately affected by the disease early in the pandemic.
The resort near the Continental Divide west of Denver will limit the number of skiers and snowboarders by requiring reservations, and guests must wear a face covering if they can't maintain social distancing.
A-Basin's “beach,” the row of parking closest to the lifts, won't host any parties this spring, and tailgating is barred in all the parking lots.
“This is going to be very different,” Alan Henceroth, the resort’s chief operating officer, wrote on his blog Sunday.
A-Basin's reopening comes after the approval of Summit County’s request for a variance from the state public health order that closed resorts March 14. Gov. Jared Polis is expected to make an announcement involving all Colorado ski resorts Monday.
But the rapidly melting snowpack in the high country means most won’t be able to reopen. So far, only A-Basin, which tops out at 13,050 feet (3,977 meters) above sea level, is planning to fire up its lifts.
The resort usually stays open until early June and sometimes into early July, depending on the snowpack.