Vail Resorts has announced that it will be closing all 37 of its North American resorts, including British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb.
The closures come in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen over 200 confirmed cases in Canada, over 1,600 cases in the United States, and over 140,000 cases worldwide.
Vail announced the closure would begin on Sunday, March 15 and continue until at least Sunday, March 22..
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“We have made the difficult decision to suspend the operations of all our North American mountain resorts and retail stores beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020 through Sunday, March 22, 2020 and will use that time to reassess our approach for the rest of the season,” Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said in a news release.
“Our lodging and property management operations will remain open to service the guests we have on location or those with existing reservations, but we will not be taking new reservations for this upcoming week […] We will be closing our corporate offices and apart from essential personnel, we will be asking other employees to work from home, where possible.”
Seasonal and year-round employees will be paid during the eight-day closure without sacrificing sick days or vacation time, the release states.
Vail Resorts will use the time to assess the situation and determine whether or not it is feasible to reopen for the end of the season.
Those who had plans to visit Vail Resorts can find information about cancellations and refunds on their websites.
“These are unprecedented, challenging times for everyone. We will continue to navigate these unchartered waters with our guests, our employees, and our communities remaining our highest priority,” Katz said in the release.
“I am certain that there have been, and will be, moments where we will miss the mark and potentially disappoint. However, rest assured that we will continue to listen to your feedback – and continue to make the best decisions we can for everyone’s wellbeing.”
Another update on the remainder of the ski season is expected from Vail Resorts by Friday, March 20.
With coronavirus on the rise, Health Canada is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.