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Aspen Skiing Co. outlines plan for ski operations during pandemic

The 53-page plan covers operation changes due to COVID-19.
Credit: (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Snow blows on the Little Nell run as snow is made on Aspen Mountain on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen Skiing Co.’s operations plan for the pandemic-plagued ski season was approved by Pitkin County on Wednesday and forwarded to the state of Colorado for review.

The 53-page plan covers everything from the Highland Bowl snowcat (it won’t operate) to procedures for ski patrollers (they will wear disposable gloves and other personal protective equipment when called on to treat an injured or ill skier or snowboarder).

Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock said the county checked for compliance with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s requirements for ski area operations this winter.

“We found that the company covered all the rubric,” he said.

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The state health department also will review and inform Skico and the county within the next few days if changes are required, Peacock said. The Colorado ski industry is slowly cranking up for the season, just as state and national COVID-19 cases start to soar. Keystone, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Wolf Creek are among ski areas that have started spinning lifts. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are opening two weeks from today, on Thanksgiving.

“Aspen Skiing Company’s primary goal for this season is to safely operate for the entirety of the season, while supporting and ensuring that our community stays safe and healthy,” said the opening of Skico’s operating plan. “ASC understands that this must be part of a broader community-wide effort.”

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