Dodge Ridge Ski Area opened this week after more than four feet of snow fell on the parched ground to the approval of skiers and to the dismay of some others.
A Dodge Ridge spokesman said the covid-19 pandemic is a concern for the resort and workers are complying with federal guidelines.
Jeff Hauff, director of marketing and sales for Dodge Ridge, said, “We’ve put into place significant modifications to limit the gathering of people.”
Gatherings of people are limited and they have closed food and beverage services, lesson programs and rental operations.
“We set up prevention education and communication posters throughout the resort and we were vigilant in asking all guests to remain at least 6 feet away from one another,” he said.
Late last week and over the weekend, coronavirus concerns prompted closings of multiple California ski areas, including Bear Valley on Highway 4, most Tahoe-area ski resorts, and dozens of major resorts in Utah, Colorado, and New England.
Jerry Marrow, a resident of Mi-Wuk Village who has lived in the county 32 years, said Thursday he was concerned about the ski are being open.
“I know they're not serving food but I know that Black Oak Casino is closed, and bars and restaurants are closed, and a lot of different things are closed in town, so everybody wants to protect everybody.”
Marrow is concerned that people from the valley and Bay Area, where cases have been found, could spread infection to residents here.
Rich Montori, a resident of Monterey who has a cabin in Strawberry, said, “Ski resorts across the nation, from Deer Valley in Utah to Big Sky Resort in Montana to Copper Mountain in Colorado, North America's ski resorts in swift succession announced closures amid growing coronavirus concerns. Every resort in the Tahoe area is closed,” Montori said. “This may seem extreme, but one only needs to look at Italy and the rapid escalation of infections in that country to understand the severity of this situation.”
Unlike other major ski resort areas with many other ski areas in close proximity, Dodge Ridge is geographically located as a singular ski resort on Highway 108, which limits community crowding, Hauff said.
Dodge Ridge is among more than two dozen U.S. ski resorts to resume or continue operations this week. As of Thursday, the website onthesnow.com listed 25 ski resorts in the U.S., including Dodge Ridge, that remained open. Dodge Ridge was one of three California ski resorts listed as open. The other two are China Peak in Fresno County and Mount Baldy in east Los Angeles County.
“Many resorts cite the fresh air and outdoor atmosphere as a reason to stay open amidst a pandemic,” Donny O'Neill, editor-in-chief of Freeskier Magazine, wrote online Monday, “while many resorts in Canada reference the threat level to western Canada as low.”
People who work at Bear Valley Resort on Highway 4 in Alpine County announced temporary suspension of all ski operations on Sunday, and on Wednesday they announced they are now closed for the rest of the spring 2020 season.
“After careful consideration and recommendations provided by the United States government and public health officials in regard to the spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all operations until further notice, effective immediately,” Jonathan Reid, the Bear Valley Resort vice president, said in an announcement. “Our winter operations are now closed for the remainder of the 2020 season.”
Contact Guy McCarthy at email@example.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.