The Mt. Ashland Board of Directors and its ski area managers have a detailed plan for operating under the current restrictions from the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s Office. The Board approved the plan at the annual board meeting on October 12. This supersedes the ski area’s operations update released in September. This plan is in adherence to local, state, and National Ski Area Association guidelines.
After much review, the Board and staff of the ski area made the difficult decision not to provide certain services. Given the regulations the organization faces at this time, managers felt the best course of action would be to focus on providing what they feel is the greatest impact on the community–providing and introducing new people to healthy winter recreation.
The following services will not be offered this winter:
- Restaurants and bar
- Retail shop
- Seasonal locker rentals
- Lodge access for restrooms, warming, storage, or suiting up for the day
- Night skiing
Mt. Ashland guests can expect the following changes for the upcoming season:
- Ski school will have limited capacity and smaller group sizes
- Lessons will not be available to anyone younger than the age of 7
- All lessons must be reserved and paid for at least two days in advance online
- All rentals must be reserved and paid for at least two days in advance online
- Face coverings will be required in places around the ski area where social distancing is not possible
- Portable toilets will be placed in the parking lot
- All tickets must be purchased online in advance, there will be no onsite ticket sales
- Lodge use will be limited to employees, rental customers, and ski school participants
General Manager Hiram Towle says, “We had to make some difficult decisions to safely utilize the limited space in the lodge. Because we are committed to turning as many Rogue Valley residents as possible into skiers and snowboarders for life, we are prioritizing them.”
The decision was made based on safety and space limitations. Ski area managers and the Board also had to consider the financial implications of running non-skiing departments at their full cost of operation without the usual revenue generated with a lodge full of guests. Protecting the financial stability of the nonprofit community ski area in these incredibly uncertain times remains a top priority.
Towle continues, “We are getting back to the basics, and back to the good old days when a trip to the mountain didn’t require burgers and french fries. When I first started skiing, my family often got dressed in the car, and mom sent us out on the hill with a sandwich in our pocket. On many days, we never saw the inside of the lodge. This year it will be all about the sport we love and being out on the mountain with friends and family.”
Mt. Ashland is excited to offer skiing and snowboarding through this exciting winter to come, and with the possibility of a La Nina winter ahead, they are hopeful for a big snow year.