English (US)

Ontario Ski Resorts Forced to Close Amid Pandemic Surge

24th December 2020 | Cassandra Cassidy

News Regions: Ontario

Resorts in this article: Blue Mountain, Horseshoe Resort

Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, ON will close for 28 days due to the province-wide lockdown.

Horseshoe Resort in Barrie, ON will close for 28 days due to the province-wide lockdown.

Copyright: Horseshoe Resort Facebook

Ontario officials announced Monday that the province will start a 28-day lockdown starting Boxing Day (12/26) to try to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases.

The order restricts indoor gatherings with separate households, forces all non-essential businesses to close and requires essential businesses to operate at reduces capacity. Ski resorts fall under the non-essential category, requiring the resorts to close during the busiest time of the year. 

There have been no outbreaks related to ski resorts in Ontario and resorts in Ontario have spent millions on COVID-19 precautions, enforcing social distancing and masks requirements as well as reduced capacity in and outdoors. 

Blue Mountain is forced to close for 28 days just 6 days after opening for the season.  - © Blue Mountain Facebook

Blue Mountain is forced to close for 28 days just 6 days after opening for the season.

Copyright: Blue Mountain Facebook

The shutdown is "devastating to not only ourselves as operators, but to the communities," Jim Hemlin, chief operating officer for the Calabogie Peaks Resort told CBC News. 

Parks, skating rinks and snowshoe trails are permitted to stay open during the lockdown, leaving ski area leaders perplexed at the decision to close the ski hills. 

Ski resorts across the border in Quebec are permitted to operate with restrictions that include no dining, rentals or ski school classes. Borders to the United States remain closed to non-essential travel. Under the current guidelines Ontario ski areas are permitted to re-open January, 24, 2021.

Advertisement

Get More From OnTheSnow

Get snow reports, weather, forecasts, news and ski conditions for your favorite ski resorts.

testmarkk