In 2020, amidst a global pandemic, the world sees a record low of open resorts in the last week of May since skiing became popular in the 1960’s. This is in contrast to the previous season, as 2019 saw record snowfalls in North America. In 2019 over eight resorts in North America extended their seasons through the end of May and some remained open into June.
Even in a typical year, the number of resorts open world-wide falls to an annual low of less than 50 during the last week of May. Many resorts in the northern hemisphere are closed for the season by mid-May. Additionally, resorts in the southern hemisphere don’t open for skiing until the end of June, and many resorts in the Alps close for a month or so before reopening for the summer months.
In 2019, over eight resorts in North America were able to extend their seasons due to record snowfall. Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen, and Squaw Valley remained open through June. Mammoth Mountain reported 715 inches of snowfall at the peak as of Memorial Day weekend in 2019 and was able to remain open until August 2019.
Due to closures caused by the coronavirus, 2020 will see a record low of open resorts during the last week of May. Arapahoe Basin is one of three open resorts in America and has implemented a lottery system for purchasing lift tickets due to high demand upon re-opening. Crystal Mountain has announced plans to reopen on June 1st, and Timberline has reopened for the remainder of its season, which ends on May 31st.
Zermatt and Hintertux, located in Switzerland and Austria, respectively, are the only two resorts open 365 days a year. They were both closed this week, though Hintertux reopens Friday, May 29. Zermatt will reopen on June 8th.
It is unlikely that any resorts in South America will open before July. Las Lenas in Argentina announced that it will be closed for its 2020 season. Portillo, in neighboring Chile, has yet to confirm that they will open on time.