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ALL FIVE SCOTTISH SKI AREAS NOW SHUT

Cairngorm announced it was closing and then Nevis Range, The Lecht, Glenshee & Glencoe followed suit. Some have closed already, but two are open on Sunday amid growing criticism as the coronavirus spreads. PlanetSKI reports.

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Here at PlanetSKI we are posting government advice at the top of every story we write about coronavirus.

Government advice

Government advice

Skiing and snowboarding continued on Sunday Glenshee and Cairngorm but now they are closed.

Many were out enjoying their last day on snow, while others questioned why the two resorts were even open.

The final resort to make the decision to shut was Glencoe with this statement on Saturday afternoon:

“That’s it folks, the 2019/2020 ski season at Glencoe is now over…………unless the snow lasts until June.

“We would like to thank you all for the amazing support you have given over the last few months (especially after the fire). It’s massively appreciated.

“The next few months are likely to challenge us all like never before so if there is anything we as a business can do to help now that we are closed please contact 01855 851226 or 07977 553901 or admin@glencoemountain.co.uk and we will do what we can.

“I know as a community (ski and local) we can work together and support each other to come out the other side of this virus stronger, better, kinder and more compassionate than before.

“Take care and see you soon.”

Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe, Scotland

 

Earlier Glenshee said it was closing, but will still offer skiing on Sunday, along with Cairngorm.

“Although the government has not yet closed down outdoor activities, we have taken the decision to close tomorrow (Sunday) at the end of the day in line with other Scottish Ski Areas,” said the resort authorities on Saturday.

“A big thank you to all our customers for supporting us throughout the season. We hope to see you back at Glenshee next season.”

It is not strictly in line with other ski areas as The Lecht, Glencoe and Nevis Range shut on Saturday.

The move to remain open has drawn criticism from some quarters when the authorities are urging people not to travel or meet up in groups.

Glenshee, Scotland

Glenshee, Scotland

This earlier from The Lecht:

“With the on going updates from the Government. We will be closed until futher notice. Thank you to all our loyal customers for their continued support and understanding,” the resort said in a brief statement.

See lower down this article for its earlier position:

The Lecht

The Lecht

This from the Nevis Range today.

“We have, with pain in our hearts, decided to temporarily close Nevis Range starting today (21st of March) until further notice,” it said in a statement.

“We all feel devastated, but as safety is our main priority we feel this is the only decision we can make. See our full statement on our mountain report.”

 

Nevis Range

Nevis Range

THE RESORT ISSUED THIS STATEMENT:

Trying to navigate our way through the Covid-19 crisis has been, and continues to be, the biggest challenge that Nevis Range has ever faced.

We have been trying to keep trading for as long as possible enabling us to look after our personnel and keep them employed.

We are delighted to hear that Government intervention will lead to us being able to retain the team on 80% of their salary throughout the crisis.

Whilst yesterday’s announcement did not specifically mandate the closure of Ski facilities we feel that the time is right for us, with pain in our hearts, to temporarily close Nevis Range starting today (21st of March 2020) until further notice.

We all feel absolutely devastated that we won’t be able to share our great mountain resort with our customers for a while, but as safety is our main priority (for our customers and staff) we feel this is the only decision we can make.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our regular customers and the local community for their loyalty and positive attitude during this winter season.

During this period, a small group of staff will continue to work at Nevis Range (from home) and continue to consult our board, the local Council and the Government.

Any changes or updates will be shared on our social media and website as soon as we have them.

Please try to stay active and healthy during this difficult period and we hope that everyone makes an effort to help the people in need.

Are you living in the Lochaber area and in need of any help?

Please get in contact with the Lochaber Coronavirus community group, where some of our Nevis Range staff will be trying to help the community.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team on +44 (0)1397 705 825.

Take care, thank you all for your support and we hope to see you all at Nevis Range soon!

More to follow…

Nevis Range

Nevis Range

On Saturday  first thing the resorts remained open.

“We are open with 18 lifts running. Only the main cafe is open as a take away so please don’t loiter. Ski hire is closed,” said a statement from Glenshee.

Glenshee, Scotland

Glenshee, Scotland

Glenshee, Scotland

Glenshee, Scotland

THE LECHT:

WE ARE OPEN.

“The position as we understand it re the restrictions because of the Corona Virus: The café area will be closed till further notice.

“We will be offering a take out service.

“Ski Lifts will be operating as normal dependant on snow conditions.

“Ski hire will still be available.

“This will allow people to have snowsports and exercise but we ask all customers to maintain their own social distance at all times.

“We do not expect to have large numbers.”

The Lecht

The Lecht

There has been mixed reaction to the decision to stay open on the Facebook page of The Lecht.

Graeme Steel Great effort guys. Keep going til the army shuts you down. ???

Rebecca Dawes It’s outside, big spaces which means limited contact. The government advocates exercising in big open spaces!

Christine Currie How are you maintaining 2m distance in fitting hire boots?? We returned from Austria where the lifts were allowed to remain open too long. We are both unwell. There are reports of people being fined for ski touring in Austria now.

Harri Saltiel Surely you class as a leisure centre?

Julie Aitchison Unbelievable. You need to shut. You can’t police this at all

David Walker Stop encouraging people to go out and possibly get close just close and be responsible

Ann Henderson Totally irresponsible behaviour

Simon John Czaja Fair play to you, will try make it down. No t bars so plenty of space between pomas

Here at PlanetSKI we reported earlier on Friday that all five Scottish ski areas were continuing with snowsports, and questioned how long that would remain so.

No sooner had we published the article than Cairngorm announced it was closing at the end of the weekend.

Here is the article with the update.

Cairngorm, Scotland

Cairngorm, Scotland

Some people regret the early closure, others have recognised the necessity of Cairngorm closing this Sunday and a third group believe it should close with immediate effect and other Scottish resorts should follow suit.

Nevis Range, the Lecht, Glenshee, Glencoe Mountain and Cairngorm Mountain have all taken protective measures in line with official guidelines.

However late Friday afternoon the government introduced a raft of new measures to close pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Leisure centres and gyms are also included and places where people congregate in groups.

On Friday night Glenshee said it would be open on Saturday.

“We are open for skiing tomorrow but the cafes and ski hire will be closed. Do not try to come skiing/boarding if you do not have all your own equipment,” it said in a statement.

“We will be operating a limited food take away service but we strongly advise you to bring pack lunches to eat in your cars,”

“Please take sensible precautions such as hand washing and standing apart in any queues.”

Nevis Range was offering this advice:

“We are taking everyone’s health very seriously and acknowledge the advice by the Government to stop all non-essential contact and all unnecessary travel.”

One PlanetSKI reader has pointed out that this therefore means the resort believes skiing is essential contact and involves necessary travel.

Here was the resort’s advice:

Working with Government

We will continue to follow official guidance from both the Scottish and UK government and health authorities. The well-being of our customers, employees and partners is our number one priority and we will continue to ensure that our actions reflect the most up to date advice that is available to us.

Hygiene

We are committed to the excellent standards of hygiene and cleanliness and have further strengthened our policies in this area to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Cleaning tables, high chairs, credit card machines and self-service facilities even more frequently throughout the day
  • Cleaning contact points such as door handles and taps even more regularly
  • Reminding all employees of the importance of thorough and frequent hand-washing.
  • Limiting the use of cash in the business and using cards wherever possible

Moving Forward

We look forward to welcoming you to Nevis Range and will continue to work with Government as well as local and Health Authorities to keep you enjoying Activities at Nevis Range as safely as possible.

And this from The Lecht:

WE ARE OPEN

“The position as we understand it (20.3.2020) re the restrictions because of the Corona Virus: The café area will be closed till further notice.

“Ski Lifts will be operating as normal dependent on snow conditions.

“Ski hire will still be available.

“This will allow people to have snowsports and exercise but we ask all customers to maintain their own social distance at all times.

“We do not expect to have large numbers tomorrow.”

We were unable to find any updated advice from Glencoe.

Here at PlanetSKI we are simply reporting the facts, but have a growing sense of deja-vu as we covered first hand and on the ground in the Alps the resorts closing in Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France.

In France in particular they said it was business as usual and then it all crashed around their ears.

“Cairngorm seems to have taken the sensible course of action given the magnitude of the coronavirus crisis and acted on its own view rather than waiting for instruction from government,” said the PlanetSKI editor James Cove, who was in the Alps a week ago as it all came tumbling down.

“Early action based on judgement and experience is the best way forward.”

Here is the full statement from Cairngorm as it announced its closure:

“We would like to inform visitors that the last day of the snowsports season at Cairngorm Mountain will be Sunday 22nd March.

“We feel this is the right decision in light of guidance from the NHS and Scottish Government around the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of our staff and visitors.

“We are grateful that weather conditions have allowed us to keep the mountain open for snowsports until now.

“We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the local community and the snowsports sector for their loyal and positive support this winter season. ”

“For the final few days of the season, the ski area and lifts will be open, weather permitting, and tickets can be purchased at the Base Station.

“The maximum day tickets will be 450.

“Visitors must adopt single use on T-bars, the exception being parents with a child.

“Public spaces within the Day Lodge, including the Cas Bar, café and shop will remain closed, along with ski hire.

“Customer toilets will be accessible from the Base Station and within the Ptarmigan building when it’s possible to open the top station.

“All areas open to the public will be deep cleaned and disinfected on an hourly basis. Once again, we thank you for your continued support during these uncertain times.

“Please do not hesitate to speak to a member of staff if you have any queries or concerns.”

Susan Smith
INTERIM CHIEF EXECUTIVE
20 March 2020

UPDATE:

A report on Bloomberg claims an outbreak of COVID-19 in Mexico has been traced back to 400 travellers who recently chartered planes to ski in Vail.

The obvious point is that skiing/travel can lead to a spread of the virus.

You can read the full article here Vail Emerges as Virus Hotbed for Mexican Skiers Returning Home

Updates to follow….

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