MT. ASHLAND, Ore.– After 9 months of a worldwide pandemic, Mt. Ashland ski area says its anxious to get a new ski season started… in the safest way possible.
“Shred it don’t spread it,” said Hiram Towle, Mt. Ashland ski area general manager. He said major changes are being rolled out to avoid a covid-19 outbreak which would be devastating for the mountain.
“If we lose to many ski patrollers, we cant operate. If we lose lift operators, we cant operate.”
The biggest differences, according to Towle, will be the lack of public meeting areas like the lodge.
“As with a lot of different things in society right now, things have changed. Things aren’t the way they use to be and that’s absolutely true up here.”
Another change, is that all ticket purchases will be made online, to avoid transferring cash.
Towle says visitors can then get a printed ticket once arriving at the mountain.
“These are all drastic changes but we do them because we want to keep ourselves open.”
Regardless of a few inconvenient changes towle says business is already doing better than years past.
“Were actually somewhere around 4000 season passes right now which is trending a little higher than we normally would have.”
Right now, Towle says his crew is hard at work making sure the conditions are safe as well.
In the best case scenario, the mountain will be able to be up and running Friday.
Towle says his 80 hour work weeks will soon pay off when he gets to see smiles and shredding on his mountain again.
He says no matter how hard he and his team work, its still up to mother nature.
“As soon as we make the decision, you’re going to know. We will be screaming it from the mountain top.”
Towle says the best way to stay up to date is by subscribing to Mt. Ashland text alerts by texting “mtashland” to 24587, or by checking in on the mountains website.
NBC5 News reporter Brigham Harris graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in French. Brigham worked for NBC Sports in Europe and California. He also was a sports anchor and producer at BYUtv Sports.
Brigham and his wife are both natives of Ogden, Utah. He enjoys all things sports, outdoor activities and is a major dog enthusiast.