Believe it or not, not every ski area these days is connected to Vail or Alterra. While their company-owned ski areas didn’t qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program due to their size, several other ski areas in Colorado were able to take advantage.
10 independent/smaller ski areas in Colorado received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the government. These 10 ski areas combined received between $5 – $13 Million total from the program and were able to save hundreds of jobs.
“We thought it was really important to keep our employees on the payroll. It costs so much to retrain some of these folks that it’s best just to keep them onboard.”
– Tom Hays, Ski Sunlight General Manager
Not only were the funds used for keeping employees on the payroll, but the money was also for projects, renovations, maintenance, and retrofitting ski areas for the projected Coronavirus season ahead. Social distancing and health awareness measures include additional hand sanitizer locations, re-imagining area facilities to space guests and employees out, Plexiglas shields, and more.
With the winter season ahead clouded in uncertainty due to Coronavirus, the PPP loans are a great help to these smaller, independent ski areas. The abrupt ski area closures in March from the initial wave of the virus wiped out crucial months of revenue. These ski areas are highly seasonal and it’s important to keep year-round staff on hand, as foreign seasonal workers may be hard to come by this upcoming winter due to travel and visa restrictions.
“Our employees are the linchpin to our being able to reopen and recover and the PPP gave these smaller ski areas a real lifeline that kept folks on the payroll.”
– Melanie Mills, President & CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA
List of the 10 Colorado ski areas that received PPP loans
PPP Loan Amount Ski Resort Jobs Retained Location
- $1 – $2 Million Wolf Creek 342 Pagosa Springs, CO
- $.350K – $1 Million Powderhorn 57 Mesa, CO
- $.350K – $1 Million Monarch 182 Salida, CO
- $.350K – $1 Million Loveland 51 Georgetown, CO
- $.350K – $1 Million Purgatory 36 Durango, CO
- $.350K – $1 Million Granby Ranch 75 Granby, CO
- $.150K – $.350K Ski Sunlight 44 Glenwood Springs, CO
- $.150K – $.350K Echo Mountain 19 Idaho Springs, CO
- $0 – $.150K Silverton n/a Silverton, CO
- $0 – $.150K Hesperus n/a Hesperus, CO
*”Jobs Retained” figures from U.S Small Business Association via The Colorado Sun*