Third of Colorado skiers, snowboarders consider skipping this season due to coronavirus, survey says

On opening day, Nov. 6, a skier goes down the Schoolmarm run at Keystone Resort (Andy Cross, Denver Post file)

Nearly one in three skiers and snowboarders in Colorado are considering going out for the winter due to concerns about the coronavirus, a survey conducted last month suggests.

The survey of 788 skiers and riders by Magellan Strategies of Boulder found that 31% considered not to ski or snowboard, while 68% said they did not consider skipping the season. Of those who were, 14% said they strongly considered not to ski or snowboard; 17% considered “somewhat” not to go.

The 41 page report recorded comments from unidentified respondents, including this one from a woman identified as a resident of Arapahoe County: “The risk of potentially contracting COVID is (the) biggest reason, but neither will the experience of the mountain in my opinion be the same, ”said the respondent, who was in the age group 35-44. “Reservations to park, restrictions on (the) number of people in lodge / restaurants. It just doesn’t seem worth the cost for a less than experience. “

Related: Summit County is reducing the ski area’s capacity to prevent the spread of COVID-19

When asked how confident they are in the ability of ski resorts to protect visitors and employees from the coronavirus, nearly one in five said they were either not confident at all (11%) or not too sure (8%), while 41% said they were somewhat confident and 28% said they were very confident.

The vast majority of respondents think there is a good chance that ski resorts will be closed at some point in the season due to the pandemic. Almost one in five (18%) think there is a 100% chance that the season will be interrupted, while 29% think there is a 75% chance and 36% give it a 50/50 chance.

“I am nervous about skiing this season. I understand resorts are doing their best to make it safe, but I’m concerned that the number of people allowed to ski on any given day will not allow for a safe environment, ”said a woman identified as a resident of Clear Creek County in the age of 25-34

Related: Backcountry skiing interest reaches “record” levels, nearly tripling the number of registrations for avalanche safety classes

But a man aged 45-54 from Cheyenne County disagreed. “The resorts must remain open. It is vital to our economy and our healthy life. Stupid politicians should stay out of it. Americans are free to make their own choices. “

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More than three out of five respondents (62%) said they had skied or driven in the hinterland. Of the 300 respondents who said they hadn’t, 17% said they had “plans or a strong interest” to try it this winter. When 50 of those respondents were asked if they planned to buy avalanche equipment or take an avalanche awareness course, 42% said they were both planning; 26% said they intended to take a course.

“I love to ski,” said a woman from Routt County, age group 45-54. “I love to be outside. Promoting tourism during COVID is stupid. I would be more inclined to join if it was just locals. I live in a small seaside town. This winter is going to be a mess. I am snowshoeing and cross country skiing instead. Maybe skiing in the backcountry if I can get into an avalanche class. “

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Third of Colorado skiers, snowboarders consider skipping this season due to coronavirus, survey says