Arapahoe Basin is letting go of 430 seasonal full-time and part-time employees come April 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief operating officer Alan Henceroth made the announcement on Friday, March 20, 2020 in a video that was shared on Arapahoe Basin’s website and Instagram. He said,
“We did not see the massive disruption to all of our personal lives. We did not see the massive disruption to our economy. We did not see the massive disruption to Arapahoe Basin due to the several week closure.”
A Basin employees displaced by the virus will receive two weeks of pay based on what hours they were scheduled for after March 14 with an additional 50 cent bonus for each hour worked this season and all of their accrued PTO, Fox News Denver reports. Arapahoe Basin said that full-time seasonal employees with health insurance set up through the ski resort will have their health insurance premiums paid for by the ski area for May and June.
Beginning April 1, A Basin’s 70 full-time year-round employees will go down to 3/4 time and will have the ability to augment their compensation through PTO, Fox News Denver reports.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic has been an unprecedented event, a kind never seen in our lifetimes,” COO of Arapahoe Basin Alan Henceroth said in his blog. “The outbreak has brought the local, national and world economies to their knees. More and more of us have a friend or relative or know of someone who has fallen ill. This event is tragic and its impact on the world is enormous.”
Earlier this month, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order shutting down all Colorado ski areas. Last Wednesday, March 18, he extended those ski area closures to April 6 along with public schools to April 17. Pitkin County Public Health officials are prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people as the number of COVID-19 cases soar in Colorado and nationwide.
Gov. Polis’ order is effective immediately, and people who fail to comply with the local public health order face up to a $5,000 fine and as much as 18 months in jail, The Aspen Times reports. The governor’s order is troublesome for all, especially Colorado’s ski community. Ski areas like Arapahoe Basin are heartbroken.
“I am saddened by the chain of events surrounding COVID-19, Henceroth said. “We value and cherish all the efforts of every employee at Arapahoe Basin. We wish healthiness to all through these troubling times.”
Vail Resorts has closed all of their North American ski resorts for the time being as COVID-19 cases sky rocket. Some of Vail’s mountains will consider reopening later this season.
In this time of uncertainty, it is critical now, more than ever, to keep our heads up and remain strong. We have to do our best because times are tough right now and they are only getting tougher. But if there’s one thing that something like skiing teaches us skiers, it’s to come together. It’s to come together when we need each other the most — which is right now.
Hard times make strong people, and we will come out of this on top. However, drastic circumstances require drastic measures. Ski areas have to close. We have to listen to the experts telling us to distance ourselves from each other to prevent the spread of this invisible enemy. And sometimes that requires sacrifice.