Snow may not be piling up in Colorado ski resorts this season, but anxiety is certainly

Vail Ski Patrol watches as skiers and snowboarders descend from Mountain Top Express on opening day in Vail. The weather was a mixture of sun and clouds.
Chris Dillmann / Vail Daily

DENVER – It wasn’t that long ago that ski resort operators were losing sleep over snowfall. Then they had to worry about unique protocols to limit the spread of contagion in their ski areas.

Now the concerns run even deeper, with affordable housing, dwindling numbers of workers, and ever-longer lift lines joining the perennial worry over snow and the looming threat of increased COVID cases.

This year, ski area bosses are praying for the snow, hoping for a drop in coronavirus cases and cobbling together various strategies to attract more workers, house them and deal with the impending tsunami of ski vacationers.

“The main objective this season, I think, will be to make the ski lifts work. Everything else can fade away, but you have to keep the lifts running, ”said Chris Diamond, the former boss of Steamboat whose two“ Ski Inc. ”books document the recent rapid growth and consolidation of the company. American resort industry. “You can only be sure of one thing this season: everything will change and it won’t be like any previous season. It could get better, it could get worse.


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