SANTA FE – Multiple ski resorts in New Mexico have delayed their scheduled openings this month in response to state-mandated COVID-19 lockdown orders that went into effect Monday.
The regulations ordered by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham are expected to continue through Nov. 30.
Ski Santa Fe and Taos Ski Valley were originally scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day but were postponed.
Ski Santa Fe General Manager Ben Abruzzo said the resort now plans to open “as soon as we can” while its workers make critical preparations for the 2020-2021 season.
The latest opening for the resort was on Dec. 9, but for the last four years Abruzzo said the resort for the most part managed to guarantee a Thanksgiving Day opening.
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort was also ready to open and would have become the first resort in the state to welcome skiers on Friday.
Sipapu and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area Marketing Manager Christiana Hudson said the opening is now delayed as staff prepare to increase safety measures, including lift ticket sales that will be online only.
“We have not completely decided when our opening date would be,” Hudson said. “There is wisdom to working with our colleagues (at other ski resort to coordinate opening dates). We’re all in this together.”
Ski Santa Fe also has implemented additional safety measures, spending more than $250,000 in changes which included online ticketing, outdoor seating areas and social distancing on lifts, Abruzzo said.
Taos Ski Valley said it “anticipated irregularities ... and developed plans to be nimble in the face of uncertainty this year.” A resort statement did not elaborate.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some – especially older adults and people with existing health problems – it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.