Gov. Polis Issues Executive Order Suspending Down Hill Ski Area Operations for One Week

Saturday, March 14, 2020

DENVER - Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order this evening in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). 

“Never would I have believed that a global pandemic would force the temporary closure of our world-class ski resorts. I have been skiing since I was four years old. Our family has had a place in Vail for three decades. And, like so many Colorado families, we were planning a ski trip with our kids over their spring break next weekend. Beyond being a major part of our way of life, skiing supports our workers and businesses,” said Governor Polis. “For those of us who treasure living our lives outdoors, sacrificing our fun is the easier part; but for those who depend on employment in our Colorado high country, the uncertainty of how long they will be out of a job is terrifying. It is with a profound sense of pain and grim responsibility that I take the agonizing action that this moment demands. I take solace in knowing that while we will be temporarily closed for business, we will be saving the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Coloradans in the days and weeks ahead.”

COVID-19 is a highly contagious viral disease that has spread throughout many of Colorado’s communities including our mountain communities where premier ski resorts are located.  Public health officials have concluded that disease control measures aimed at specific individuals or groups are no longer sufficient to contain the further spread of the virus.  

“The challenges posed by COVID-19 are unique and place significant burdens on hospitals and medical personnel.  We are aware of the great cost that mountain communities face if our downhill ski resorts close, even temporarily.  These costs will be borne by local residents and businesses, and by the individuals and families who come to Colorado to enjoy our beautiful mountains and world-renowned skiing.  But in the face of this pandemic emergency we cannot hesitate to protect public health and safety,” the executive order reads. 

The executive order directs downhill ski resorts to suspend operations for one week to slow the spread of COVID-19  and conserve medical resources in the state’s mountain communities. 

The Governor will continue to monitor the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state and may amend this Executive Order accordingly.

Read the full executive order here.