It’s been quite a week. Hard to believe that five days ago we were still open with the plan to be open into April. As is probably true for everyone out there, a lot has changed in just a few days.
We made the decision to close for the rest of the season immediately after we were notified by the Governor’s office at 9 pm last Saturday. In hindsight (if 5 days can count for that) it was the right call as there have been no changes in the current situation that would enable us to re-open and almost every other ski area has also decided to close for the season.
With the immediate shift from being open seven days per week to…Let’s get the ski area broken down for the season, has been a non-stop process. A huge thank you goes out to all of our staff for stepping up to help this all happen in a matter of days.
On the mountain ops side…Lift Operations packed up all our mazes, signage, tools, poles, ropes. Patrol tore down the mountain with boundary projects, tower pads, toboggans, small ropes and signs coming down. Base Services tidied up all the ski racks, cones, signage, tools, mats. The Tubing Park removed all the fencing, posts, deceleration mats and put all those tubes to bed. Cat skiing pulled the 250 bamboo markers from our backcountry roads and regroup spots, cleaned up our cat yurt and both tour cats.
On the Guest Service side, the F&B dept managed to clean up all of our food service outlets and deal with all of the extra food we had (a significant portion of our inventory was given to our employees and/or to the local food bank), the rental and retail shops are packing things up and still have more to do, S&RS cleaned up all their spaces and helped over 100 employees with the rapid transition to “summer”.
On the reservations, sales and marketing side it has been a wild ride fielding all the calls, FB posts and navigating how to deal with having the rug pulled out on the season. Accounting is having to pivot Big Time. March is 1/3 of our annual business.
Our maintenance crews (Slope, Vehicle, Lift & Property) will carry on. Property Maintenance had a particularly challenging job handling all the additional cleaning measures that were implemented and have been working diligently on this front even after we closed. We are so grateful to all of you.
Monarch Mountain has the best employees in Ski Country. The toughest part of this whole situation is saying an early goodbye to them this season. We had all hoped that we had another month to work together. That was not to be. We did give all employees an extra week of pay beyond the hours earned with their break down duties this week. It’s still going to be tough on our staff and community. I can’t say enough good things about all of these fine people. THANK YOU!