The Mayor of Pucón, Chile yesterday extinguished any last remaining hope that Ski Pucón in Chile might open for the winter 2020 season by announcing that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and operational implementation issues brought on by a pending administration, the resort will not open this winter. Ski Pucón is the first Chilean resort to officially announce they will not be opening this season.
“…given the circumstances, we have to get the idea that there will be no winter season, as has never happened before, it is unprecedented. The only thing we can do is prepare for when a gradual opening of the tourist centers is instructed and target our national public.”
– Jessica Fernández, president of the Guild Association of Tourist Servants of Pucón (Asetur AG)
In what is really a confirmation of the inevitable, many officials have been campaigning for weeks for tourist areas not to open, to protect themselves and their communities from the global pandemic. At the end of May, the Association of Cordillera Municipalities (AMCA) in the Ninth region, that brings together the municipalities of Lautaro, Cunco, Lonquimay, Curacautín, Vilcún, Curarrehue, and Melipeuco signed a document stating their total and absolute rejection of the opening of the Parks, Wilderness Areas and Winter Centers that are located in said communes and whose administration is the responsibility of the State through CONAF.
“Our commitment is first with the people of our territories, their health and well-being in this complex scenario of sanitary emergency by COVID 19; there will be time to welcome visitors and tourists like the people of our localities have always done so by sharing knowledge, flavors and unique experience in contact with nature, the peasant, colonial and Mapuche culture.”
The Ninth region has several parks and protected areas, among which those with winter centers such as La Reserva Malalcahuello, where the Corralco ski center is located; Conguillío / Los Paraguas National Park, where the Araucarias winter resort is located; and Villarrica National Park, where the Pucón ski center is located.
Meetings have already been held with different unions to work on protocols that allow a safe return to tourist activity in the area, according to the director of Development and Tourism. The future of Ski Pucón is already in doubt, and it is well-known that the Enjoy company will not take over the administration of the ski-center.
There are more than a thousand businesses that revolve around tourism in Pucón, making this decision a catastrophe for the local economy.
Las Leñas and La Hoya in Argentina have both already announced they will definitely not be opening this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located on the slopes of one of the most well-studied volcanoes in South America, Pucón Ski Center offers its visitors not only a place for skiing but also the opportunity to discover and enjoy one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The ski-center is situated within the borders of Villarrica National Park. Access is through an unpaved, but fairly clear road, though using snow chains is highly recommended.
Pucón Ski Center has nine chair and surface lifts, which transport skiers to all level tracks. The center also offers various services to make your stay more pleasant: a cafeteria, equipment rental, parking lot, a small medical clinic, and skiing lessons.