Arapahoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth took to the resort's official blog over the weekend to warn locals that their behavior may end up impacting the "ability to ski, work, and enjoy life" in Summit County, encouraging more participation in tactics meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Henceroth's post details that COVID-19 cases are rising in Summit County, which reportedly became the Colorado county with the 6th highest cumulative rate of COVID-19 cases in the past week. Henceroth fears that, should cases not go down, "more severe restrictions" could be put in place. If this happens, there's a good chance that restrictions could have major impacts on resort skiing.
He notes that while many assume tourists traveling to Summit County are responsible for the spread of the coronavirus, contact tracing reveals the spread is instead being driven by local residents. He cites "an evening party, drinks after work, [and] hanging too close with too many people" as key factors.
"The time to act is now," states Henceroth, as he asks those in Summit County to do their part to turn these numbers around by wearing face coverings and maintaining social distance.
Last week, the state announced that new restrictions were put in place in 59 Colorado counties, including Summit County, that limited group size to no more than 10 and from no more than two separate households. It is unclear if these changes will impact ski season plans at resorts, which each had to submit a plan for approval by the state. Most plans submitted included strategies to limit inter-household mingling and group size.
When COVID-19 first spiked in Colorado in March, all resort skiing was shut down. Eventually, Arapahoe Basin was able to reopen just before the typical season's closing date, albeit with many changes in place.
The reported number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has spiked in recent weeks in Colorado, climbing to an all-time daily high on October 15 when 1,267 new cases were reported. While hospitalizations have also increased during the same period, deaths have yet to see the same rapid spike. Whether or not this rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations will contribute to an uptick of deaths is something that continues to be closely monitored.
See the official data from the state here.