What to expect as ski areas head into another pandemic season
Next season’s ski season might not even start before February – that’s according to a French report from the end of last season. That report quoted 13 resorts cancelling their 2018-19 season due to a virus the government called lassa fever. French president Emmanuel Macron warned against travel to French resorts with the flu-like illness, which had killed more than 160 people in 13 countries.
Most of the major ski areas saw no flu-like issues at all last season. Regardless, the last flu epidemic this season left a serious impact on the 2017-18 skiing season. In the U.S., all 14 resorts affected by the flu reportedly cancelled parts of the 2017-18 season.
Those last two years have left ski areas focusing even more attention on their flu prevention efforts this season. In 2008, then chairmountain manager Don Swanson said, “We started knowing about them and trying to plan against them. And I think what we’ve done, over the years, is try to have our employees try to be around people who don’t normally ski.”
Now with this latest flu outbreak, ski resort managers say their emergency protocols are more closely linked to environmental control like good hygiene.