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Governor keeps Colorado ski areas closed through at least May 23

May 1, 2020, 6:57 am

Gov. Jared Polis issued a slew of executive orders late Thursday, including one keeping Colorado ski areas shuttered through at least May 23, all but ending any hope of more lift-served turns on the Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass at Breckenridge.

Gov. Jared Polis
Gov. Jared Polis

Breckenridge was scheduled to close on Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 25, but in fact has been closed down since March 15 when the governor issued an executive order compelling the closure of all of the state’s ski areas to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

There originally was some hope Breckenridge might reopen for a late-season last hurrah, but it now appears that won’t happen. However, a Breckenridge officials on Friday told the Summit Daily News that resort hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of a late-season reopening.

Arapahoe Basin, which is on Alterra’s Ikon Pass, typically stays open through the end of June but has also been shut down since mid-March.

Arapahoe Basin COO Alan Henceroth on April 25 posted this statement about possible reopening:

“I want to have a candid discussion on the possibility of us re-opening. I am concerned a few of you may be getting the wrong message. A re-opening will not be happening soon. As a community we have more work to do battling COVID-19. Hospitalization and fatality rates need to continue to fall. We still need to follow all the social distancing recommendations. Culturally, to open we have to be comfortable travelling and driving again.

“That said, you know when conditions are right, we will try and re-open. That time is at least a few weeks away. We are working on plans of HOW to open. There is still no plan for WHEN to open. There are no plans to open uphill access at this time.

“Don’t be discouraged. This is a marathon and A-Basin is a marathon runner. What other area stays open from mid-October to July 4th? We all need to do the right things now if we want to get open again.”

And here’s the governor’s press release issued late Thursday:

Governor Polis Takes Action in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

DENVER – Gov. Polis today signed Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 050, restricting spending for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.The Executive Order directs the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) to submit the sequestration plan outlined in the Executive Order to the Joint Budget Committee and General Assembly. The sequestration plan set out in the Executive Order D2020 050 is a targeted and practical approach to reduce spending quickly by $228.7 million to attempt to maintain the statutory reserve requirements directed by statute. It builds on OSPB’s Guidance for Fiscal Conservation issued March 30, 2020 and does not rely on broad across-the-board cuts but rather specific line item reductions that can be made with the least possible impact to State programs and services. Importantly, the Executive Order does not mandate any furloughs or layoffs for State employees this fiscal year, and we want to ensure we have a strong, stable State workforce as we manage the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full Executive Order and OSPB plan here. 

Gov Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 054, directing the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities in response to COVID-19, as well as Executive Order D 2020 053, which extends the date that unaffiliated candidates may begin collecting signatures. 

The Governor also extended Executive Orders temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations, temporarily suspending requirements preventing issuance of marriage licenses, extending the closure of downhill ski areas until May 23, expanding the use of telehealth services, temporarily suspending certain statutes to provide State agencies with flexibility to fulfill their duties and respond to COVID-19, and limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections to provide relief to Coloradans.

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