Whitewater Ski Resort has closed for the season. File photo

UPDATED: Whitewater Ski Resort closes due to COVID-19 concerns

The resort made the announcement Sunday evening

Whitewater Ski Resort has shut down three weeks prior to the final day of the season due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The resort said Friday it planned to stay open by introducing preventative measures including reduced capacity in the lodge, increased disinfection and the cancellation of a public shuttle bus between Nelson and Whitewater.

But on Sunday, Whitewater announced it was shutting down ahead of its planned April 5 closing day.

Bex Dawkes, Whitewater’s marketing supervisor, said the decision to close came after staff read the proverbial room.

“From our perspective it was just not creating the right environment where social distancing was really possible, and we didn’t want to be a part of encouraging this virus to spread any more than it necessarily would anyway,” she said.

“We just felt it was more for people’s health. We didn’t really want to see this community have a huge outbreak and for us to be a part of having done that.”

Related:

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Every COVID-19 cancellation in the Nelson region

Whitewater was closed Saturday by winds and re-opened Sunday. That turned out to be the final day of fun for skiers and snowboarders.

Dawkes said staff thought the measures were working, and that guests mostly understood the reasons for doing so.

But after one day of operating, Dawkes said, it was clear those measures weren’t enough.

“It’s still a lot of people in a small area, and even just seeing people milling around between the lifts and between the lodge, you know the recommended distance between people is two metres,” she said.

“That can’t really happen in such an enclosed space such as that. So even though we’re outside and it’s unlikely [to spread] in a low-risk zone, we just felt like we needed to be safer than we were really able to be in the way the operations were running. It’s a shame.”

Several ski resorts have since followed Whitewater’s lead in closing down.

Whistler Blackcomb Resort, Rossland’s Red Mountain, Salmo Ski Hill, Vernon’s Silver Star and Revelstoke Mountain Resort are all ending operations.

Related:

COVID-19 testing available in Nelson

Shambhala, Kaslo Jazz festivals to go on despite COVID-19 outbreak

KIJHL cancels playoffs, Leafs’ season is over



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Rossland’s Sourdough Alley a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Most Read