Socially distanced and masked skiers on a lift. Photo Credit: amriphoto (iStock).

Socially distanced and masked skiers on a lift. Photo Credit: amriphoto (iStock).

Magellan Strategies recently hosted a survey of Coloradan slopegoers in attempt to determine how the ongoing pandemic may impact behavior throughout the upcoming season. Findings were quite interesting.

A key finding of the survey was that 31 percent of Colorado's skiers and snowboarders are considering skipping this season altogether amid coronavirus-related factors. Among those most likely to skip season were respondents on the Front Range (42 percent considering skipping), those 65 and older (39 percent), women 35 to 64 (35 percent), and those that typically ski less than 10 days a season (43 percent). One difference worth noting is that just 27 percent of responding men were considering skipping ski season, compared to 34 percent of women. An even bigger contrast is seen when comparing local populations to Front Rangers. Only 26 percent of ski town locals stated that they were considering skipping ski season compared to 42 percent of those on the Front Range.

Common reasons for wanting to skip the season included concerns that others will not follow safety guidelines, frustrations with reservation systems that are being implemented, and lack of disposable income due to lost hours or a lost job.

While 69 percent of survey participants felt that the new safety-related rules and procedures that have been put in place will protect themselves, family members, and employees, 11 percent of those responding felt that the changes won't help at all. It's also worth noting that while 62 percent of respondents felt that elected officials would make the right decisions when it comes to resort operation, 31 percent did not trust officials to do so.

Regardless of how this ski season shakes out, it's sure to be atypical.

Will you be skipping ski season this year? Let us know in the comments.

See the full survey here.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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(5) comments


Yeah, it's really dangerous out there. Everyone should just stay home - I mean, who wants to risk it? Hear that, Texas? We have a lot of the Rona, you probably shouldn't come here, even a third of Coloradoans are going to skip out. The snow probably won't even be that good anyway.


I usually buy a WP pass but haven't done for this year. My 8 ye old son has the free pass so he'll go a few times but the fun is not there for me and his Mum


I will only be skiing a small handful of times this season, if I go more than once. I'm still scheduled for a day in January, but I'll be hitting the slopes less because of the shutdowns. I'm monumentally less inclined to go for a few days at a time when taking my family is no longer a fun endeavor with nothing else to do. As a result, my family has already cancelled two pending long weekends to different ski areas and I'll be making day trips on my own for the remainder of the season. This has nothing to do with fears of contracting COVID as there's virtually no difference in the threat at home or in a ski town. Our change of plans is much more based on the restrictions and constraints caused by COVID than COVID itself.


Husband and Daughter have Copper only passes and plan to ski in Feb and March. The hope is that by Feb the kinks will be worked out for the reservation system and the active COVID cases will have declined. We were hoping Summit County would require people from out of state to quarantine before hitting the slopes. Copper has been great regarding reimbursements for cancellation due to COVID.


I didn't buy an Epic pass again this year. I lost trust in Vail Resorts after buying last years pass and their pass insurance. They told me my pass insurance wasn't valid for the 2020 closure and I could get a $160. I only skied 5 days last year and they kept all $1000 cash and only offered a credit. Bad business for a company that has lost a lot of face with local communities.

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