BIG SKY, Mont. – Construction on Big Sky Resort's "Swift Current 6" chairlift is well underway and looks to be one of the biggest regional att…
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SANDPOINT, Idaho - The President and CEO of Schweitzer, Tom Chasse, emailed a letter to season pass holders encouraging people to follow their mask mandate and "mask up" when at the resort. He also warned, If they don't, there could be consequences. In the letter he wrote, "We are making progress as we adapt to the Governor's roll back to stage 2 and the Panhandle Health District mask mandate, but we still have work to do." Schweitzer's current policy requires masks in all indoor spaces and are required for guests waiting in lift lines. There is signage posted throughout the resort and employees are working lift lines to remind everyone of the policy.However, Chasse warned, they don't have enough employees to be in all locations and if things don't improve, he's willing to close. "We don’t have enough staff to be in all places at all times. It’s unrealistic to staff every bathroom, every lift line and every indoor space to remind guests to mask up. If we cannot get this under control, I’m willing to shut down the entire operation until we’re able to open additional lifts and terrain." Chasse also offered to refund anyone for their season pass if they are unhappy with Schweitzer's COVID-19 response. "Although we passed our deadline to roll season passes forward on November 15, 2020, I am willing to offer anyone an opportunity to reconsider if they choose. Bottom line - if you’re uncomfortable with our current process, procedures, and expectations relative to Covid, I would be more than happy to roll your season pass to next year as long as you do so by Friday, December 11, 2020. The decision is yours." You can read the full letter here: Good afternoon Schweitzer Family,Here we are in December, with a couple of weeks of operation under our belts. We’re making progress as we adapt to the Governor’s roll back to stage 2 and the Panhandle Health District mask mandate, but we still have work to do. I’m sure you’re aware that the pandemic has become somewhat of a political issue locally. The Panhandle Health District mandated mask wearing throughout the 5 northern counties of Idaho “when social distancing of 6’ cannot be maintained.” I believe that the length of a ski provides fore/aft distance and the setup of “ghost lanes” in our lift staging areas provides lateral distancing. In an effort to step up our game, we stated that masks are required in our lift lines, we created a narrow point of entry with appropriate signage and we staffed these areas with our executive team till mid-day on the weekends. Additionally, we have our mountain host team working the lift lines in an effort to remind everyone of our expectations.After all of the work we have put in to be proactive in support of the PHD mandate, certain portions of our community have not shown the same support. The local Bonner County Commissioners entertained a proclamation to defund the Health District and repeal the district wide mask mandate. The Bonner County Sheriff also made a public statement that he and his department would not enforce the mask mandate. The conflicting messages in our community create challenges for us and we can only do so much to get everyone on the same page in order to keep our operation going all winter long.As we continue to voice our position, a reminder to mask up from everyone would be helpful. I was out on Sunday and felt as though 90% of our guests were masked up when I was in the lift line, a huge improvement from opening weekend. That being said, we don’t have enough staff to be in all places at all times. It’s unrealistic to staff every bathroom, every lift line and every indoor space to remind guests to mask up. If we cannot get this under control, I’m willing to shut down the entire operation until we’re able to open additional lifts and terrain.Personally I’ve fielded a variety of comments related to our current Covid operational processes – some are angry that we would even consider enforcing mask wearing while others believe that we’ve done very little enforcement. It’s obvious we can’t make everyone happy with our Covid response. Although we passed our deadline to roll season passes forward on November 15, 2020, I am willing to offer anyone an opportunity to reconsider if they choose. Bottom line - if you’re uncomfortable with our current process, procedures, and expectations relative to Covid, I would be more than happy to roll your season pass to next year as long as you do so by Friday, December 11, 2020. The decision is yours.We’ll continue to do what we can and hope that all of you will be proactive and encourage everyone to cover up. Just ask them, “do you want to be the reason we can’t ski/ride all season?” Like seatbelts, or taking your shoes off when you enter someone’s home, it’s a simple request.Skiing and snowboarding are not essential functions during this pandemic but we understand the importance of having some normalcy in these unprecedented times. We need everyone to do their part. Hopefully we can all slow the spread and continue to shred.Be kind. Be compassionate. Have patience.Tom ChassePresident/CEO
As ski areas throughout the Treasure State prepare to open for the busy winter season, Red Lodge Mountain is making a few changes to their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MISSOULA - After dozens of people had to be evacuated from a chairlift at Snowbowl the ski area says they will still be open as repairs are being made.
BIG SKY - The slopes of the "Biggest Skiing in America" might be closed for the next few months, but that doesn't mean it's any less busy at Big Sky Resort. The nearly 50-year-old resort has started working on a $13 million upgrade to its Mountain Village base camp.
Thankfully the winds died down in the late afternoon hours on Sunday but around 9 o'clock Monday morning, KULR-8 learned of an avalanche that temporarily slowed traffic about a half mile from the Red Lodge Ski Resort.
Fortunately, it was minor, and no one was hurt and no property was damaged.
A chairlift reopened at Whitefish Mountain Resort Monday, after more than 100 passengers were evacuated from the lift after mechanical issues Sunday.
More than 100 passengers were evacuated from a lift at Whitefish Mountain Resort Saturday after some mechanical issues.
WHITEFISH- Whitefish Mountain Resort opened for the 2017-2018 winter ski season Thursday. It's is a special year too, because its their 70th Anniversary Season. Thursday, six lifts including the newly relocated Chair 5 lift are running and downloading on Chair 1 will be required for all guests. 29 trails will open with specially-priced adult lift ticket for $62