“We live in Utah, so of course, it’s all over the map because it’s left up to individual companies to decide what to do.”– Harris Sondaks, Alta’s outgoing Mayor
Covid-19 is pretty rampant right now, as the new Omnicron variant has affected various mountain towns during this holiday season. This includes various counties in Colorado, Killington, and many more. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Covid-19 has also negatively impacted the towns of Alta and Park City this season.
The small town of Alta has been hard hit by the recent surge, partially due to the crowds that have hit the resort due to the many storms they’ve recently gotten and are currently getting. With employees out with Covid, they had to shut the Wildcat lift down for a day and close one of their restaurants for a couple of days. Their New Years’ Eve Torchlight Parade, which is an annual event, was canceled due to staffing shortages due to fears of a mass spreader event. In response, Alta sent their positive employees down the canyon to isolate.
Part of the issue has been varying procedures between the different hotels at Alta, in spite of the town pushing for vaccinations and masks to be required at these overnight facilities. While Rustler requires vaccination of all its guests and employees, the Snowpine Lodge doesn’t require either. Guests have also thrown temper tantrums when employees ask them to wear a mask. Every hotel in the town, including the Alta Lodge, Goldminers Daughters Lodge, and Alta Peruvian Lodge have seen positive tests. The hotels have responded by limiting services and sending positive cases off the property.
Over in Summit County, home of Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley, outbreaks have also been rampant. Over 558 cases have been reported over the past two weeks. In response, Vail Resort has announced that masks are now required while riding on their gondolas. For perspective: Park City Mountain Resort has three gondolas: Quicksilver, Cabriolet(open-air), and Red Pine. Based on photos submitted to Epic Lift Lines, there’s a good chance there has been community spread on the slopes.