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Climbing coronavirus cases in Colorado’s high country aren’t tracking back to ski resorts

Health officials in eight counties have not traced positive tests back to lift lines, chairlifts or ski slopes.

A Vail employee in an empty lane between lines of skiers reminds skiers to keep their masks over their nose. (Jason Blevins, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado appeals court agrees that ski pass waivers protect resorts from liability in chairlift injuries

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruling on lift ticket and season pass waivers -- which release ski areas from “any and all liability” -- could erase resort safety responsibilities outlined in laws like the Ski Safety Act and the Colorado Passenger Tramway Act

Coronavirus drives blistering sales of Colorado mountain homes, sets 2020 as historic high mark

Driven by high-end sales, real estate markets in Colorado’s resort communities have set records since July. Most resort towns saw sales through October surpass all sales in the record-setting 2019.

Up to 55 injured skiers and snowboarders arrive at Colorado emergency rooms each day, analysis shows

More than 4,100 skiers and snowboarders were transported to emergency rooms in ambulances or helicopters across 2018, 2019 and the first part of 2020, which is about 10 patients every day of the season.

Coronavirus-wary Colorado skiers are willing to sit out this season, poll shows

A Magellan Strategies survey of Colorado skiers reveals apprehension over pandemic protocols, reservations and visitors. “I can go a year without skiing downhill,” one woman said.

Colorado is trying to figure out what to do when ski country visitors catch coronavirus

One of the stickier points in managing the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado’s resort towns involves what to do when a guest falls ill during their stay and can’t leave.

Judge’s forceful rejection of Trump’s ban on visa workers may come too late for Colorado ski resorts

A district court ruling suspends a ban on J-1 and H-2B visa workers, opening doors for ski areas that rely on the seasonal immigrant workers. But resorts that typically have visa employees on deck by fall are seeing surging applications from locals.

How Colorado’s independent Wolf Creek ski area plans to navigate a coronavirus reopening

Unlike Vail Resorts, which last week announced a reservation system that requires pass holders to book high-season ski days well in advance, Wolf Creek is adjusting its pricing

Purgatory and Silverton Mountain float interest in Silverton’s community ski hill

Two southwest Colorado ski area operators are interested in working with the Town of Silverton to grow the remote community’s Kendall Mountain ski area into a year-round amenity

He wasn’t the best skier, but he was Colorado’s preeminent ski bum. Farewell, Charlie Toups.

“Everyone seemed to know him. … He lived life in such a unique way,” a friend recalls of Charlie Toups, a quintessential Colorado ski bum who spent decades living in cars in ski area parking lots.

Vail is betting that disinfection technology will make school, buildings safer during coronavirus

Vail Mountain School is one of the first in Colorado to install the Synexis Dry Hydrogen Peroxide system, enabling it to keep a five-day-a-week schedule for students.

Audio: Second-home owners try to rally political power in Gunnison County after ban

Jason Blevins talks with KUNC's Colorado Edition about his latest story

Gunnison County second-home owners, sour from being temporarily banned during coronavirus, gear up for political fight

Outside money in local elections worries Commissioner Jonathan Houck. “This is a litmus test for all resort communities,” he said.

Smaller ski areas retain their workers with help of federal coronavirus stimulus money

Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Purgatory, Ski Echo, Ski Sunlight, Silverton Mountain and Wolf Creek qualified for a cumulative $5 million to $13 million in PPP loans, enabling them to keep employees paid during the pandemic

Safety and stoke: A-Basin’s coronavirus reopening provides glimpse of what next ski season may look like

The snow was soft, the sun was shining and the lift lines were short. Besides mask-wearing and social distancing, it felt like a normal day of late spring skiing.

Airlines flying empty planes to small Colorado airports plead for OK to cut service

Colorado's mountain tourist destinations are siding with airlines on temporary cutbacks, but they're fearful long-term loss of service. The airlines are making the ask despite pocketing federal coronavirus relief funds.

This is how much Colorado’s mountain communities stand to lose without skiing, restaurants, bars and lodging 

As mountain communities grind to close, coronavirus and economic worries turn to summer. “It’s time to show the world how tough we really are,” Telluride tourism chief says. 

Colorado ski resorts remain open, but change chairlift rules and dining options to avoid coronavirus spread

Large gatherings have been banned in Colorado ski counties to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but lift lines aren’t included so resorts are still open while mountains across Europe and Asia close for the season

Skiers ride the Paradise lift at Crested Butte Mountain Resort on Feb. 14, 2019. The Paradise lift accesses intermediate terrain in Paradise Bowl and the more difficult terrain of the North Face to the west and the High Lift to the east. The Paradise lift has taken much of the skier load up the mountain since the closing of the Teocalli chairlift at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. At times the Paradise lift has had its share of problems. Many skiers were forced to walk out of Paradise Bowl to the base after the lift stopped due to repair issues in weeks past. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Skiers flock to Bluebird Backcountry’s balance between resort and remote terrain

Owners of Colorado’s first uphill backcountry ski area blend fun with education and safety as they test a business model they hope to replicate elsewhere

Skiers begin their day at Bluebird Backcountry in mid-March. The state's first-ever human-powered, backcountry ski area drew hundreds of skiers to slopes spilling from the prominent Whiteley Peak outside Kremmling. (Shondia Houtzer, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Three Colorado ski resort pioneers talk about the industry’s roots, ski pass wars and how to deal with crowds

Andy Daly, Bill Kane and John Norton, three Colorado ski resort veterans, talk about the future of the industry

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