Editor’s note: On March 14, 2020, the day after this story was posted, several Northwest ski areas announced closures. Find an article about the closures here.
Whether you’re a ski bum thinking of hitting the slopes to stave off cabin fever after working from home all week, or you just want to get away from the city amid all the coronavirus updates and precautions, you’re in luck. Several ski resorts near Seattle are remaining open for skiers and snowboarders, including Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass, and the Summit at Snoqualmie.
“Crystal Mountain is a place where people can go to get away from the urban hustle and bustle of daily life. We have wide-open spaces, mountain fresh air and thousands of acres of wilderness,” the resort announced in a news release last week. “We are committed to providing our guests a safe, healthy and carefree getaway. The health, safety, and well-being of our guests is our priority.”
That said, you won’t be able to get away from all of the effects of coronavirus precautions at these resorts. Speeding down a mountain on six-foot-long skis may seem like all the social distancing you need, but with lounge areas and restaurants drawing ski enthusiasts in between descents down the mountain, resorts are still taking precautions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Last Sunday, Crystal Mountain announced that someone who visited the resort on March 5 had tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The guest took a ski bus and spent time at the Day Lodge and on the Forest Queen Express, according to the news release.
While Crystal Mountain is keeping the slopes open, the resort will now limit the number of guests and remove seating in lounge and restaurant areas to encourage social distancing. It announced on Friday that it will also continue sanitation and hygiene measures and close the Kids Club program. The resort also asks that guests who have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 remain at home.
Other local resorts are taking similar precautions.
Stevens Pass announced via a news release Thursday that it will remain open but cancel all large events at the resort and will be disinfecting all common areas.
The Summit at Snoqualmie has taken measures to protect staff and patrons, including limiting seating and capacity in public areas like the lounges and the rental shop, limiting the capacity of certain activities like snow tubing, increasing sanitizing efforts, postponing multi-week lessons, and even reducing or removing self-serve condiments and grab & go items in their restaurant areas.
After Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement banning large gatherings, The Summit decided to cancel several events, including “A Day for Jake,” part of a global day of snowboarding to honor the legacy of Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of snowboard manufacturing company Burton who died from cancer-related complications in 2019.
“If you get a chance, be sure to take a few turns in his honor,” The Summit website urges.
Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass, and The Summit at Snoqualmie have echoed public health officials’ advice that those who are sick, exhibiting symptoms, or are at higher risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19 should stay home.