Saturday, April 25, 2020

Candid Talk On Opening

I want to have a candid discussion on the possibility of us re-opening. I am concerned a few of you may be getting the wrong message. A re-opening will not be happening soon. As a community we have more work to do battling COVID-19. Hospitalization and fatality rates need to continue to fall. We still need to follow all the social distancing recommendations. Culturally, to open we have to be comfortable travelling and driving again.

That said, you know when conditions are right, we will try and re-open. That time is at least a few weeks away. We are working on plans of HOW to open. There is still no plan for WHEN to open. There are no plans to open uphill access at this time.

Don't be discouraged. This is a marathon and A-Basin is a marathon runner. What other area stays open from mid-October to July 4th? We all need to do the right things now if we want to get open again.


49 comments:

AT said...

Right on. Thanks for update. ULLR.

Anonymous said...

Have you looked at Mt. Baldy in California? They were able to reopen and keep distance. I hope you're able to come up with a similar plan.

Tele Leslie said...

Thanks Al, I am ready to help however I can. I heart the Basin!!

Anonymous said...

I do not know what people are thinking. There are hundreds of thousand people sick, 50K deaths. It appears that getting sick of covid is not guarantee of become immune. The president is recommending lysol. The fall could be worse, people making $10 an hour in the supermarkets hoping they do not get sick too.

This feels like the guys from dinner with schmucks are running the show. If we don't get this right, there very well be no 20-21 season.

Internet is making people dumb

Ron Rusnak said...

thanks, Alan.

Alex said...

Al, I wonder if there is some way to limit the crowds IF you reopen. I can just imagine everyone with an Ikon pass wanting to be on the hill. And fair enough. But, with appropriate social distancing, I can also imagine uphill capacity cut in half. Totally unclear what what the solution is. I just appreciate you even trying to think it through when the easiest thing would be to throw in the towel until next year. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

All mountains in Aspen are allowing skinning and they are grooming some runs for the up hillers. What’s the big deal about not allowing up hillers?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if we can shower yet or are we still supposed to just keep washing our hands

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine being the only ski area open and the difficulty in limiting crowds. Single riders on double/triple chair..maybe 2 riders per quad. Closed restaurant. Social distancing in lift lines. There's alot to plan. Do you limit skiers to season pass holders only? 1000 skier limit? This won't be an easy process.

RaflW said...

"Aspen [is] allowing skinning" but keep in mind there's 17,700 people in Pitkin county. Even adding in Carbondale, Paonia and Glenwood Springs, the area of people who might drive to earn their turns there is net a hundred, two hundred people a week, if that?
Out of 3,00,000 in metro Denver, the crowds skinning ABasin (particularly if no other front-range daytrip radius ski areas allow it) would be pretty intense, especially on weekends.

Anonymous said...

We need Herd Immunity and all we are getting is HERD MENTALITY. First despite the panic those 50 and under with no health issues, which are typically 95% of Abasin skiers have no symptoms or mild symptoms from Covid. Covid is a mutation of the common cold and not the plague. The stay in place order is only to prevent overcrowding the hospitals, which is what "flatten the curve". If you have no underlying conditions and don't ever have contact with the elderly and sickly then staying in place is merely just stupid. Also the stay in place order DOES NOT prevent transmission, but only slows it. Sweden does not have a stay in place order and it has only s slightly higher death rate. The average age of death in the US is 79 and those people typically had TWO risk factors on top of their age.

Again delaying reopening will have no effect on the final death toll, but it will have an emotional toll with no benefits.

All those that are old and sickly or have contact with those should stay at home and let the other be free.

Eagle County Resident said...

There won't be many Ikon pass holders on the mountain when it opens. They spent their A-Basin days early season.

Ian said...

My feelings exactly. We are all suffering with no gain to be had.

Anonymous said...

Maybe just allow uphill Mon-Thurs since the weekend is absolutely nuts? With one top-to-bottom groomed run :)

Whatever you and A-Basin decide, I'm sure it'll be the right call.

Anonymous said...

Alan - thanks for the update and transparency. We appreciate you!

Anonymous said...

Lol

Chris said...

I third the motion. Facts beat Fears.

Charles R Nathan Jr said...

well said

Charles R Nathan Jr said...

well said

Anonymous said...

Thanks! My only vote is for A-basin passholders only

Skibum4ever said...

I haven't spent any of my A-Basin days. I don't expect to, but would love to be proven wrong.

Luke said...

Even if it's only lift operations I would be so happy. Nothing like spring/summer riding at the basin

Luke said...

No day tickets, A basin season pass holders only. Crowds would definitely be insane if they open to everyone

Anonymous said...

I second the vote for A Basin Season Pass holders...when you're ready to open. Thanks for all you do, and try to do.

Anonymous said...

This idea that being young and healthy is protection against covid needs to stop. Yes, if you have no underlying health issues and you're on the younger side you're less likely to be hospitalized and especially less likely to die. However, based on current CO data 5% of 20 year olds that test positive for covid are hospitalized. 9% of 30 year olds are hospitalized. 13% of 40 year olds are hospitalized. You can quibble about what those numbers represent, exactly (for example, we know there are people with covid that don't end up having symptoms that won't show up in that data), but compare it to the same data for older age groups...25% of 60 year olds are hospitalized, so if you're in your 40's your risk of serious symptoms is still half of what it is for 60 year olds, for 30 year olds it's more than 1/3 the risk of 60 year olds. Healthy young people are dying from this. Healthy young people are having serious symptoms that require hospital care and may cause long-term lung damage. The risk of it is smaller, but it is not 0 and acting like it is puts people's health in jeopardy.

https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/case-data

Ski Dog Jay said...

Thanks for the information Al and keeping us informed. Baldy apparently did it like golf tee times and people were spread out. Parking was limited. I’m not sure how you would control the crowds, but there would need to be a way. Best of luck on these hard decisions.

Bruce B said...

We all want to be free, but let's use real science rather than wishful thinking.

- The term "herd immunity" is tossed around without the understanding that it likely involves either (a) a vaccine or (b) millions of deaths. This article explains why: https://www.sciencealert.com/why-herd-immunity-will-not-save-us-from-the-covid-19-pandemic

- Covid-19 is a member of the coronavirus family, as are some common colds, but one did not mutate from the other. It's like saying a human and a rhododendron evolved from the same thing. So what? They behave very differently.

- As for Sweden, their death rate is much higher than that of the other Nordic countries, and most ski areas closed under government pressure on or before April 5. Every country is different. But the US has by far the most deaths of any country and surely you're not saying it would be better with fewer restrictions.

- Do you have any basis for your statement that 95% of A-Basin skiers are "50 or under with no health issues"? I bet it is nowhere close to 95%. The ski industry reports that about 30% of all skiers are over 50, and lots of generally healthy people of all ages still have some underlying health conditions. while A-Basin may attract more youthful and healthy skiers than average, I don't think it's all that different. Not everyone over 50 or with an underlying health condition would generally be considered "old and sickly" or want to be dismissed the way you think.

Bruce B said...

I bet any ski areas that open this spring will follow protocols similar to those at Mt. Baldy. They will severely limit the number of skiers and require advance reservations to even enter the parking lot. They will probably need to do this for passholders as well (Baldy did not limit passholders but they are not part of Ikon so they have many fewer passholders). They will not combine parties on chairs. There will be no indoor dining. The bottom line is that only a small fraction of those who want to ski will be able to. It will be a nice gesture and good PR move but not a huge boon to skiers. Let's hope that next winter is better.

Anonymous said...

I usually really enjoy this blog, but this post has to go down as my least favorite as it shows a real lack of understanding on several fronts as to where we are as a state with this virus. While I'm not a huge fan of Polis, if you've been paying attention to his conferences you would be much more informed.

"Hospitalization and fatality rates need to continue to fall." Polis stated that we've pushed the RO value down to between 0.9-1, which is a linear rather than exponential increase. (and that's bending the curve) He said extending the 'Stay at Home Order' won't do much of anything to reduce the rate of spread further.

He did say we need to slowly re-open AND keep the RO value as close to 1 as possible because if we get back into an exponential increase restrictions get put back in place. The field hospital built at the convention center is for the potential surge as we re-open. We're going to be living with the death and hospitalization rates we currently have for months and months they may increase a bit actually.

Looking at the specific phases for re-opening guidelines there is no way a ski resort could open until phase three, which would be in June at the earliest. Yes, The Basin has been open in July in an exceptional year, but this is not one of those years. What a genuine mess it would be to try an re-open as the only resort after this lengthy shutdown the place would have it's busiest day in history.

Leaving aside the issue of uphill access there is no way A Basin will be able to spin the lifts again this season. It's a shame it ever closed, but we don't live in a world where people can be realistic about the facts. If you tried to re-open, there would be tremendous backlash based mostly on emotional, irrational fear. And, the informed person would be upset about you jumping the line for what can and can't re-open. Priority must be given to working people and their businesses before a ski resort decided to let it rip. Let's see what happens to the RO value when barbershops/hair salons open and people can get their teeth cleaned again first. Hair salons alone could potentially put us back into an unacceptable rate of transmission overwhelming our hospital capacity within a month.

The messaging around this issue has ben mixed and confusing to say the least. The more you pay attention to our Governor the clearer this will all become. The only thing he cares about is that everybody who catches this virus has adequate care available to them. There is no stopping the spread, only slowing it or better put keeping it steady as she goes right where it is at this time.

Uphill access is the only issue worth considering opening. That would be fun and it might be feasible. But, right now we're being told to not recreate more than 10 miles from our homes so definitely not yet.

Anonymous said...

I should have known considering the topic that with 22 comments there would be a couple that would be totally out of left field. To bad Vegas is closed since I would have won that bet. Sounds like I also lost the bet that the Basin would be open by May 1 and that's bumming us out big time since we've had that planned for so long. Yet there's so many out there with far more concerns, one of which is the good people working in the ski industry. We're thinking about everyone involved and hope this ends sooner than later, we'll have to try again next spring. You certainly can't get this type of interaction from any other resort that I'm aware of. Thanks for the info and updates - good luck to everyone at the Basin.

BreckenGoldHemp said...

Truth

hikinat59 said...

hour glass shaped lift lines with various pinch points could spread people out, and having various sub groups ski each day (last name a-g today etc) would also manage crowds

Anonymous said...

What is the plan for how to re-open? I'm really unsure of how to describe the disparity between what goes on in Summit and what goes on down in places like Lakewood. 2 weeks ago I had to drive down to get my car repaired at a specialty exhaust shop. I took my dog with me and we went for a walk in one of the parks in Lakewood. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. The parking lots were all packed full of cars. The trails were rather crowded, but most people were clearly conscious of space. Everyone seemed to be staying apart as much as possible, but I thought, wow, if this happens in Summit County they bulldoze in the parking! If hundreds of people have been parking, hiking, biking, golfing at these parks for weeks, then what is the difference in uphill access or even lift access. I realize I may be naive here, but i'd like really like to know why crowds down in the metro area seem to managing just fine while we can't even have a safe place to skin uphill. Not a rhetorical question. Any non-troll replies would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

The basin is gnarly and brainy:

There are a lot of PH.D's at ABasin who can tell Fauci, who has been through the aids, sars, ebola etc, epidemics, what to do.

Or maybe they can tell the country that all the studies that state we need testing several orders of magnitude larger (CEO of the larger companies demand this before anything), or evidence of people suffering the virus twice (possible no immunity), or that the sudden stroke deaths of under-40 seem to be related to covid are just a fabrication of the fake media.

May they could convince the lift-ops to go back to work in a healthcare system that is the laughing-stock of the rich world so they can enjoy the corn snow.

As I said internet is making people dumb. Or maybe they are just that shallow. Logging off

Johnski said...

The US has less deaths per capita than Sweden and many other countries. We've flattened the curb. There's nothing else in plan to help. Closing longer with help. Let's open up and stop killing businesses.

Anonymous said...

Ah the Sunday morning comments after a liquid Sat night. "Flatten the curb"?? Between the thought process there and that comment, all I can say is WOW. The US lack of planning and response is beyond embarrassing, hence the unavoidable endless shelter in place. Simply adequate testing that's been pushed for many years for something like this would have helped avoid a total economic meltdown in a big way. This is not opinion, they're facts on the record. Keep up the great work at the Basin, we love everyone there and hope to see you soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm not losing sleep about the Basin re-opening this Spring. I'm concerned what next season may look like. Ski areas will be extremely challenged to provide a viable (and profitable) product if social distancing is still a requirement, as it may well be. Sigh. I'm hoping for a miracle, and that we'll be back to 100% normal by October....

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness!! Now we can skateboard directly from the street to the sidewalk. We've flattened the curb!!

Anonymous said...

Bringing Sweden to the conversation is not fortunate for the poster. Sweden didn't shutdown the country at all to keep the economy going because the universal health care system is up to the task. Imagine the death toll here without a shutdown,

So sorry, it its time to read more now we all have the time for it.

Anonymous said...

When you re-open, no season pass holders. just people that buy lift tix and support the mountain!!!

Anonymous said...

It’s official, the cure is worse than the virus.

Anonymous said...

"I can also imagine uphill capacity cut in half."
I don't know if you are but you come off sounding like a complete drip... I bet you can imagine capacity cut in half... better riding/skiing for you.

Unknown said...

Taiwan is open. TAIWAN. They never closed the businesses. Let that sink in.

Unknown said...

Sweden as well,building herd immunity. 3 days left on my ikon hopfully i can burn them out!

Anonymous said...

Mt. Baldy might be a blue print. Crowd control at the Basin would be tough but I'm behind coming up with a plan. I'll help and do some early social distance process practicing for you!

Anonymous said...

Season pass holders are the ones that support the mountain and spend $$$
Signed- missing 6th Alley and BML.

Anonymous said...

I hope you shared all of our money with your staff that has been laid off. They are out of their money and we are too.

Snowboarder said...

I think that ABasin should give a refund percentage of the money back to its 2019/2020 pass holders, rather than offer a small discount on next season's pass.