Aussies test positive in Aspen, events cancelled

snow action team 13.03.2020

Donald Trump shut down flights from Europe but maybe he should have shut down Aussies going skiing instead – the fist confirmed cases in Aspen have been all linked to a group of Aussies there according to the resort. As a result, and precaution they have cancelled a series of popular spring events and instituted options for guests who may wish/need to cancel their trips for rest of the season. Aspen Snowmass is Aussies favourite destination in America, so it was probably on the cards to happen sooner rather than later.

Safest social distancing lift across Aspen Snowmass’ massive 4 areas has to be the Cirque Poma at the top of Snowmass © Owain Price

Here’s the release from Aspen:

Aspen COVID-19 Update03/12/20, 1:00 PM

Dear Loyal Aspen Snowmass Guest,

As you are likely aware, there have been a number of presumptive positive tests of COVID-19 in Aspen in the past 36 hours. While these cases are all tied to a single visiting group from Australia, it is likely we will see additional cases in the coming days. You should know that the state is advising anyone over 60 years old and those with compromised immune systems or respiratory issues not travel to the Colorado high country.

We take this development very seriously, and we will be diligent in our actions to protect the health and well-being of our guests, employees and community. But skiing is our passion, as it is with most of you, so at this time we plan to keep the lifts operating through the spring. The majority of our operations and services are currently available, we will be making some adjustments to limit potential exposure and risks.

Under the guidance of Pitkin County and the CDC and in cooperation with our partners we are cancelling events that would bring large numbers of people together. This includes our Hi Fi concerts, the Kick Aspen Big Air, NASTAR National Championships and the US Tech Championships. We still have plenty of activities to complement our skiing and riding and will monitor the situation and update our offerings accordingly. You can access the most up to date information on our website.

We are working to remove some seating in restaurants to increase social spacing and are abiding by stringent best practices in all of our food handling. We are currently disinfecting gondola cabins daily and not loading unrelated parties or putting singles into partially occupied cabins. We have also activated secondary lifts to provide alternative access. We are following Center for Disease Control COVID-19 protocols in cleaning, food service, handwashing, and by requiring that employees stay home in the event of illness.

We have relaxed our cancellation policies at our properties including The Little Nell, Residences at The Little Nell, Limelight Aspen and Limelight Snowmass by extending credits to guests for up to one year from the date of cancellation. In addition, we are creating flexible booking opportunities for the summer season and next winter that will allow guests to book now and cancel without penalty this summer if the situation worsens.  As has been the case for many years, lift tickets and lessons remain refundable if not used, but you don’t need to call us to cancel these purchases until April 30. We are currently experiencing high call volumes and there is no urgency requiring you to wait in the queue this week. 

We understand that these are trying times, and we are working diligently to minimize risks and address concerns of guests, employees, partners and the community. Please keep an eye on our website for more real-time and detailed updates as this situation is rapidly evolving.

For the most current and comprehensive local Public Health Information, please visit Pitkin County’s website. 

Highlands Bowl is a good place to keep your social distance if you’re there, no hugs next time in celebration for us! © Snow Action