Ski resorts are considering dessert after the feast


Those eager to hit the mountain can prepare for the scheduled openings of Lookout Pass, Silver Mountain, and Schweitzer ski resorts the day after Thanksgiving.

Matt Sawyer, marketing and sales manager for Lookout Pass ski resort, located off Interstate 90, said they plan to open on Nov. 26 – or earlier if weather permits.

“It all depends on if it’s snowing here,” Sawyer said. “The current weather forecast favors a good season for the Pacific Northwest.”

Sawyer said they only had between 1 and 2 inches of snow Tuesday morning, but expected between 2 and 5 inches in the evening, and more this weekend.

About 20 to 24 inches of snow is needed to build a base and open up the mountain front, Sawyer said, which the resort expects to have by the end of next week.

“It’s certainly realistic if we have time to come,” Sawyer said. “We’ve had big dumps in the past like this.”

Sawyer said if they have enough snow they’ll open up more of the mountain, but they want to make sure they don’t open up too little on the ground. It would give skiers a bad experience.

Often times, Sawyer said, the ski season opens as early as the second week of November. However, the late check-out doesn’t hurt the resort, as most start skiing around Christmas.

Sawyer said that while the past year has been very busy because people have more free schedules with the pandemic, they don’t plan to be so busy this season as families and children are back in the country. school and sport. However, they still expect a solid season.

Regarding masking and social distancing, Sawyer said they would follow the requirements of the state and Panhandle Health District in place. Currently, masks are not mandatory, only required for indoor installations.

The Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint will not revert to any goggles on the outside, although there may be other requirements inside during peak hours and holidays, Marketing Director Dig Chrismer said.

“We are going to fill the chairlifts to capacity. There are no phantom lanes to space people out, ”Chrismer said. “We think people outside are pretty safe.”

Weather permitting, Chrismer said they plan to open the start of the season for pass holders with very limited ground.

“Thanks to the cold temperatures we were able to get snow the last two nights,” Chrismer said on Wednesday. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

Lift ticket sales won’t start until mid-December at the latest, depending on the weather, as the snow allows more runs to open and people scatter across the mountain, Chrismer said.

“We have a pretty big group of pass holders, we just want to make sure they have trouble-free access,” Chrismer said.

The mountain has a trace of a few inches of snow in different areas depending on where they may have used the snowmobiles. Chrismer said the amount of snow needed varies in areas with flat areas and those with obstacles.

“It’s pretty subjective because generally we like to be able to cover obstacles and make sure it’s a safer experience for everyone,” Chrismer said. “So if the weather stays cold and we can produce enough snow to open safely, that’s what we want to try to do. “

Gus Colburn, marketing director for Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, said they expect plenty of snowfall over the next two weeks. That would make their November 26 opening date realistic.

Midday Tuesday Colburn said they were looking at about 2 inches of snow on the mountain and more.

Colburn said the amount of snow they receive will determine how much land will be opened and whether there is enough room to open the ski lift sale or just open access for pass holders.

“If we only have one run open then obviously we want to keep it just for our pass holders so it doesn’t get too crowded,” said Colburn. “We just want to make sure everyone has enough space to do their jobs.”

At this time, there are no mask requirements and the resort will continue to follow PHD guidelines for safety protocols, Colburn said.

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