UK ski industry operators and agencies have felt a huge impact by Covid-19 but are optimistic than resorts will open next winter.
A study of UK snowsports industry professionals conducted by Ski Press and Skipedia have revealed the damage that Covid-19 has had on their business and what they believe the future might hold for next year.
Some of the key findings concluded that:
82% of companies suffered reduced sales due to the premature end to the 2019-20 season, with two-thirds experiencing lower than usual sales for winter 2020-21 so far.
Almost 1 in 5 have made staff redundant and a quarter are concerned they could go out of business.
Although almost all expect ski resorts to open next winter, over 70% expect this to be with social distancing restrictions in place.
With the 2019-20 season cut short, the pressures on UK ski professionals started during March when all Alpine countries started closing ski resorts following the lockdown in Italy. By the middle of March, Austria, France and Switzerland had closed all of its ski resorts and holidays for the rest of the season were cancelled.
60% of winter sports businesses including tour operators and equipment retailers have now furloughed staff members. 17% of respondents have had to make redundancies too.
Whilst 64% are saying they are experiencing reduced sales for next winter, two-thirds expect that it should be ‘business as usual’ this winter, anticipating that they will be able to offer their normal services.
Mt Baldy, first American Ski Resort to open after COVID19, a social experiment?
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I do hope that it works! Mt Baldy has just reopened operations, only for experienced skiers and boarders that have their own equipment. This is not the time to learn how to ski or board, not use the tubing park!
Maximum of four people will be able to check in every 10 minutes and they have to pre-arrange their time to arrival. Only season passes and one day lift tickets will be able to come. Cars need to be parked with three parking slots between them in the parking lot, if not they will be towed. There will not be so many customer relations personnel on ground, but some will be directing the parking. If people arrive prior to their time slot, they’ll need to stay put in their car until their time is due.
The cafeteria will not be open on the top of the mountain, but some refreshments will be available at the bottom of Lift 3, Thunder Mountain.
The lifts in Mt Baldy are doubles, so they are asking people to ride the chairlifts on their own, and only ride with someone else if is living with you. Toilets will only be available at the base area and on the top of the mountain and being cleaned more than regularly. The resort is asking people to try to do their necessities prior to coming to the mountain. For me not having a toilet would be a problem, but if there are forests around, that would suffice! (at least for number 1!)