SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Ski areas in Summit County are moving forward with plans to further reduce capacity on the mountain, with new limits set to take effect Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. There are four major ski areas within Summit County and since its move to Level Red, officials have been debating how to keep the ski season safe and intact.

“Changes to capacity for indoor activities, changes to restaurants and those sorts of things, will further limit the opportunity to have a base area to separate people and so we’re talking with the ski areas right now about what that might look like,” Summit County Manager Scott Vargo told CBS4 last week.

(credit: CBS)

Following a Summit County Board of Health meeting Monday, the county confirmed it was finalizing new capacity limits with leadership at the ski resorts impacted.

Vargo told CBS4 the decision wasn’t easy but said that there are still concerns surrounding hospital capacity within the state and Summit County is trying to reduce the opportunity for further spread of the virus.

“We appreciate the cooperation of all of our local businesses and industries, including the ski resorts in complying with the new restrictions and the ski areas in working with us to make further reductions to their capacity limits as conditions have changed rapidly in Summit County and the state,” said Vargo via email. “The specific capacity limits are confidential so those details cannot be shared. We hope that our case levels will be reduced with these actions and that they can be relaxed when the current PHO expires on December 18th.”

The ski areas in Summit County include: Copper Mountain (opens Nov. 30), Keystone, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin.

Keystone Resort (credit: CBS)

CBS4 reached out to Arapahoe Basin for comment and at the time of publishing had not received a response.

Vail Resorts, which owns Breckenridge and Keystone, stated in an email:

“In line with the public health orders released by the State and Summit County last week, our resorts in Summit County have adjusted our mountain dining operations to grab-and-go and outdoor seating only, with limited access to indoor facilities. We are continuing to work with Summit County and will adhere to all local orders regarding our operations, including any adjustments the County makes to resort capacities while the County remains in Level Red.”

Jamie Leary