Image supplied by Mount Washington Snow Resort. (Taken by Jenn Dykstra)
Mount Washington has managed to stay COVID-free as the alpine resort slides into its final weekend of its winter season.
This is in stark contrast to Whistler Blackcomb which has been forced to shut down all of its operations.
The early closure was done to address and prevent community spread related to non-essential travel.
Over on Mount Washington, the last day of full daily winter operations is this Monday, April 5th, and the lifts officially stop turning at 3:30pm.
Marketing manager Kayla Stockton says the season has gone pretty well, all things considered: “We weren’t really sure what to expect at the start of the season and definitely went into it with some unknowns but, six days now from the end of the season, we’re pretty happy with how things have gone, so far.”
Stockton said Mount Washington is a different situation than Whistler Blackcomb and its village atmosphere.
“It’s more to do with what people are doing after they’re recreating and things like that,” she said.
She added that the new provincial health orders haven’t impacted Mount Washington all that much.
“It hasn’t really affected us too much outside of our dining experiences up here for the last week of operations. We have brought some more picnic tables outside and we’re only offering take-out food, as people know they’re not able to dine indoors anymore but in terms of skiing and activities outside, not much as really changed.”
Throughout the season, COVID-19 health and safety protocols have been in place.
This includes wearing a face covering from the time you leave your vehicle.
The resort says you’re allowed to “take a breather” if you’re on the trails but otherwise, you must keep your face covered.
Chairlifts are loaded with household groups only and single riders comfortable to load together are welcome to do so distanced.
Day lift tickets can only be bought online in advance only.
Stockton said all-in-all, they’re considering this season to be a win because they were able to run uninterrupted and provide employment for their staff, as well.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) continues to closely monitor COVID-19 cases in Whistler. In the last two weeks, VCH has recorded a jump in people testing positive for COVID-19 in this community.
From March 22nd to 28th, VCH identified 218 new cases of COVID-19 in Whistler.