Big Bear Mountain, Mammoth Mountain ski resorts close amid COVID-19 concerns

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Jamie Anderson of the United States goes over a jump during the Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Finals at the 2020 U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain on February 01, 2020 in Mammoth, California. Anderson won the event. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Jamie Anderson of the United States goes over a jump during the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Finals at the 2020 U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain on February 01, 2020 in Mammoth, California. Anderson won the event. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Popular ski resorts Mammoth Mountain and Big Bear Mountain will be shutting down for an undetermined period of time amid concerns over the spreading the coronavirus, the resorts’ parent company announced Saturday.

The announcement came in the form of a letter authored by Rusty Gregory, the CEO of the Denver, Colorado-based Alterra Mountain Co., which will also be shutting down its 13 other properties, including two others in California: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and June Mountain.

Mammoth had said Friday morning it expected to stay open, but that changed by Saturday afternoon.

“After careful thought and deliberation of our duty in the face of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, and in what I believe is in the best interest of our guests, employees and local communities, Alterra Mountain Company will suspend operations at our 15 North American ski resorts, starting the morning of Sunday, March 15, until further notice,” Gregory wrote.

All lifts, food and beverage services, retail services and rentals will be stopped.

“Each resort will work directly with guests in canceling their visit and will provide refunds to those who have hotel and other bookings during this closure period,” he said.

He urged customers to be patient, as the company was expecting a large volume of calls over the next few days.

“I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this short notice will undoubtedly create,” Gregory said. “We look forward to welcoming you back to the mountains as circumstances improve.”

Mammoth and June mountains were already closed down Saturday due to high winds as a storm dumped much-needed snow in the Eastern Sierra. Many comments on Mammoth’s social media pages indicated disappointment – but also understanding – from those looking forward to finally skiing and riding some new, deep snow on the mountain.

There are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Mono County, where both June and Mammoth are located. Nor have any cases been confirmed in San Bernardino, where Bear Mountain and Snow Summit collectively form Big Bear Mountain Resort.

Two smaller, independently owned resorts in Southern California said they would be open Sunday: Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs; and Mount Baldy Ski Resort, north of Claremont.

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