NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

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NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:40 pm

Just two days after the Mammoth Zoom meeting, NASJA hosted a 1.5 hour Zoom meeting with representatives from:
• Canadian Ski Council
• Cross Country Ski Areas Association
• Ragged Mt.
• Ski NH
• Ski Utah
• Ski VT
• Keystone
• Quebec Ski Areas Assoc.

Remember that list of U.S. states with highest per million population COVID-19 case counts? Here's the other end of that list:
50 New Hampshire 6,932
51 Maine 4,363
52 Vermont 3,069

New Hampshire and Vermont want to keep it that way. New Hampshire allows visitation from the other New England states but requires 14-day quarantine from everywhere else. Vermont wants 14-day quarantining based upon any county of origin on this map that is not green:
Northeast_Travel_map.jpg

Someone asked about enforcement, and the Vermont rep suggested that it would be via lodging registrations. So I'll advise those planning to ski Vermont in 2020-21 to be ready for some long daytrips.

Quebec has a color coded county map status of COVID somewhat like California does. Here's how that will apply to skiing:
BasicMeasures_Tableau_ANG_VF.jpg

Currently Montreal metro and the Quebec City region are mostly red. The Laurentians and the counties near Ottawa are orange. But visitors are requested to observe protocols based upon the status of their home county. The red flag for Patrick here is that if your county is red, race events will not be permitted though racers can have training sessions.

Le Massif sold out of season tickets. They planned deliberately to allow space to sell day tickets.

Quebec does not currently plan to limit chairlift capacity. They want want people to be double masked, a medical mask under a ski mask. I guess in typical Quebec winter weather that has some logic.

From Ski Utah: Snowbird's tram will run at 25% capacity, gondolas at Park City and Snowbasin "reduced" and probably limited to the same traveling party. Alta and Snowbird will have parking limits.

From Keystone/Vail Resorts: Epic Pass sales are up 18% as of September. VR had a shakeout trial of online reserving at Perisher during the southern winter. They are confident they can handle the November 6 opening of reservations for North America.

Other observations, many from the rep from Ragged Mt., who seemed quite knowledgeable of ski area trends:
Golf and mountain bike demand in summer was up; he expects the same for drive-up skiing. While there may be more skiers, revenue from dining, rentals and lessons will take a hit. He expects limitation on ski area visitation will not be based upon lift capacity, but upon state regulations and the limit on indoor facilities.

New Hampshire and Vermont have seen an increase in city residents moving full time to their vacation homes. School enrollment this fall is up 20%. I heard the same about Aspen from a source I can't recall, and over Labor Day we visited Liz' Chicago friend who is now living full time at her lake house in Wisconsin.

The Cross Country rep is seeing a 200-300% surge in demand for season passes and even some rental reservations far in advance. The typical X-C visitor is on-site for 2-3 hours, so the areas expect to have no problem with increased business in 2020-21. Two New England X-C areas stayed open past mid-March 2020 as "essential businesses."

Most areas will not allow leaving gear in day lodges; you'll need to boot up at your car. This may be problematic where you have sprawling parking lots with shuttle buses that could also be restricted. Some areas may erect temporary facilities like outdoor heated tents.

Lessons will be smaller groups, family units, known parties. There will be no large group lessons. Some areas may institute station teaching. That means instructors will be at fixed locations, while students pass through each station, working on the specific skill taught there.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby EMSC » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:07 pm

Just noticed this from 2 weeks ago. That map VT set up is almost entirely red now. As I like to say, "Good luck with that" on enforcement.

My county supposedly moved to a higher level of restriction out here in Colo (not sure why, cases are down compared to the big CU surge back in late Sept) and there are more people than ever back on the roads and doing whatever they need to do in life. The only real changes left are mask wearing inside, hand sanitizer stations and some volume/distance restrictions type stuff for some indoors activities. Mostly people are just going about their business anymore.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby flyover » Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:52 pm

EMSC wrote:That map VT set up is almost entirely red now. . . .


Vt reported 23 new cases today.

https://vtdigger.org/liveblog/health-de ... on-monday/"
https://www.benningtonbanner.com/corona ... a7250.html"

Colorado reported 3,301 new cases today.

https://www.fox21news.com/health/corona ... ng-update/"

https://www.9news.com/article/news/heal ... a1609ef49b"

EMSC wrote: [H]ere in Colo . . . there are more people than ever back on the roads and doing whatever they need to do in life.


You are not the only one to notice the traffic: https://www.cpr.org/2020/11/09/traffic- ... seriously/"
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby tseeb » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:01 pm

flyover wrote:Colorado reported 3,301 new cases today.
Why are you picking on CO as according to https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/tracker/overview they reported 4,296 daily new cases when MN reported 7,437? MI, IL and LA were all over 10K and CA is not much under at 9,595. The 41 counties in CA that are now in the purple/worst tier, include mine that dropped from orange past red to purple, contain 94% of the population.

My wife and I are both in the Kaiser/Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine study, but since it's double-blind we don't know whether we received placebo or vaccine in late Aug and mid-Sept. If story at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... story.html is how it will work here, we could get unblinded and have early access to vaccine.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:37 pm

New case counts are only meaningful on a per capita basis. Here are the stats per million for first half of November:
1 North Dakota 24,874 67.3%
2 South Dakota 20,562 56.3%
3 Iowa 17,977 44.8%
4 Wyoming 14,830 11.4%
5 Wisconsin 13,902 33.2%
6 Nebraska 13,067 38.9%
7 Montana 12,243 18.5%
8 Minnesota 11,978 13.1%
9 Illinois 11,555 11.7%
10 Utah 11,381 14.8%
11 Kansas 10,499 53.0%
12 Indiana 9,733 11.5%
13 Idaho 9,350 25.3%
14 Missouri 9,309 18.2%
15 Alaska 9,213 2.6%
16 Colorado 9,010 24.3%
17 Rhode Island 8,170 4.5%
18 New Mexico 7,955 8.9%
19 Michigan 7,848 9.7%
20 Oklahoma 6,936 14.9%
21 Arkansas 6,619 10.9%
22 Tennessee 6,509 11.8%
23 Kentucky 6,473 8.8%
24 Ohio 6,376 10.3%
25 Nevada 5,922 11.4%
26 Georgia 5,850 19.6%
27 Alabama 5,209 20.1%
28 Connecticut 4,891 4.2%
29 Mississippi 4,754 13.3%
30 West Virginia 4,650 6.2%
31 Texas 4,506 10.2%
32 New Jersey 4,252 6.8%
33 Louisiana 4,240 6.7%
34 Pennsylvania 4,029 15.0%
35 Massachusetts 3,999 0.7%
36 Arizona 3,724 13.5%
37 Delaware 3,537 13.0%
38 Maryland 3,415 4.7%
39 South Carolina 3,380 5.5%
40 Florida 3,378 7.6%
41 North Carolina 3,288 6.5%

The percentage is positivity rate, the recommended upper limit of 5% is the boundary between California's orange and red tiers. The most restrictive purple tier applies to positivity over 8% and new cases more than about 1,100 per half month in that table above.

I sort and save the list of states over 3,000. California had 2,329 new cases per million and 4.4% positivity for first half of November.

How bad are the numbers in that table above? Number of states over 3,000 and worst state on earlier dates:
10/31: 31 states, North Dakota 17,583
10/03: 17 states, North Dakota 8,413
9/01: 9 states, North Dakota 4,425
7/31: 17 states, Florida 8,323; FYI this was California's high point at 3,935
6/30: 5 states, Arizona 5,840

Going back earlier is not that valid because we know that testing was seriously deficient during the spring outbreak concentrated in the Northeast.

Current new case load in 16 states is higher than in any state between June and September. Minnesota is #8 and Colorado #16 on that dubious list.

When we arrived in Florida I ordered a takeout dinner, and when I went to pick it up I noticed the restaurant had both indoor and outdoor dining with no table spacing. This morning I read that Gov. deSantis lifted all business restrictions on Sept. 25 and forbade counties from their own restrictions or from enforcing masks/social distancing mandates.

In the summer Florida counties were free to set their own rules and we observed then that Monroe County (Florida Keys) had the most restrictive mask rules we had seen anywhere. Private businesses including restaurants here in Pinellas County continue to post signs requiring masks indoors.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby flyover » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:19 pm

tseeb wrote:Why are you picking on CO. . . ?


tseeb, I wasn't trying to pick on CO. I was just responding to the 2nd paragraph of EMSC's post above mine.

I'm keenly aware of the glass house in which I am living in right now. We're not North Dakota, but it's still a $hitshow here now. Our hospitals have so far been keeping up, but census numbers indicate they're close to the edge. Our governor is expected to announce this evening the total closure of bars, restaurants (takeout still allowed), and gyms/fitness facilities for at least 4 weeks starting Friday.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby tseeb » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:41 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:New case counts are only meaningful on a per capita basis. Here are the stats per million for first half of November:
8 Minnesota 11,978 13.1%
16 Colorado 9,010 24.3%
The percentage is positivity rate, the recommended upper limit of 5% is the boundary between California's orange and red tiers.

Minnesota and Colorado are close in population, swapping no. 21 and 22 in US between 2010 and 2019 as CO is growing faster. That CO positivity rate is scary.

It will be interesting to see 2nd half of Nov. While CA numbers are increasing, a lot of the rest of the country looks much worse.

My county went from orange to purple yesterday even though I don't think our positivity rate is at 8%. (It's hard to find it by county and I have to post this and do dishes.) My county's new cases per 10K IN THE PAST 14 DAYS more than doubled in three weeks from 8.5 on 10/28 to 17.6 today (or from 8,500 to 17,600 per million).

Edited to add positivity rates that I found by going to https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/ which did not work well from iPad.
California statewide 14-day average 4.8% (1.5% increase from 14 days ago) and 5.2% on 11/16
Santa Clara County 14 day average 3.5% (also 1.5% increase from 14 days ago)
Los Angeles County 14 day average 3.4% (0.6% increase from 14 days ago)
San Francisco 14 day average 2.2% (1.0% increase from 14 days ago)
Mono (home to Mammoth and with population ~15K) 27.4%/12.4 %increase
Nevada (includes Truckee, but most N Tahoe ski areas are in neighboring Placer) 9.4%/6.8% increase
Last edited by tseeb on Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:25 am

To be in a lower tier in CA, both metrics (cases and positivity) have to be met. So Santa Clara goes purple by new case load even if the testing is keeping the positivity rate down.

The county case reports are per 100K, so Santa Clara is at 11.9 daily per link above. Per million for half a month to compare to my table by state is 1,785. Over 1,100 puts it in the purple tier despite the 2.5% positivity rate. L.A. County is at 3,090 new case load and 5.3% positivity.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby EMSC » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:58 am

Interesting question if you are Heavenly. Could it be that your California side is 100% closed but Nevada side is entirely open at the same time? What about workers who live in Cali but then drive over and work in Nev? Would Cali freak out?

Seems ripe for a super fun train wreck to have Nevada side ski areas open but all Cali side ones closed. I'd love to see how that works out. I can see all the cars driving the couple miles from Calf side residences and hotels over to the Nevada side ski areas now... But don't worry; if a lobbyist is having a fancy birthday it's all OK, lol.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby tseeb » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:24 pm

Heavenly's CA side was planned to be open first this year quite a while ago. They announced on Facebook today "Open trails will be Ridge Run, Maggie’s and Patsy’s. We will open sightseeing on Friday from the Heavenly Gondola, as well. There will be no indoor dining options, but grab and go food and outdoor seating will be available."

When I looked early this AM, early season reservations were not available at Northstar both days this weekend, and the day before Thanksgiving and Sat. 12/12. They were still available for opening day tomorrow, but it's only Lumber Jack, Skid Trail and Upper and Lower Main Street. All days were still available at opening tomorrow Heavenly, and at Kirkwood who will not open until 12/4.

My other source for COVID numbers was my local paper, San Jose Mercury New. Following is a screen print of part of today's daily data that says "New cases per 10,000 people (and total deaths) in the past 14 days." Note that Mono County's rate is ten times San Clara County's and that Alpine County which has Bear Valley and most of Kirkwood ski terrain, but only about half of the homes, is also high but it only has a population of not much over 1,000.
IMG_0308CR.png
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby flyover » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:54 am

It's super interesting to compare VT and SD. Both states have populations well under 1 million (VT 623,989; SD 884,659). Both states have Republican governors. VT has had very strict state-wide COVID restrictions. SD has had pretty much none.

Here are the COVID stats for both as of today:

South Dakota
Total cases: 66,704
Cases today: 1,205
Current hospitalizations: 574
Positivity rate: 15.8%
Total deaths: 741

https://doh.sd.gov/news/coronavirus.aspx

Vermont
Total cases: 3,459
Cases today: 146
Current hospitalizations: 18
Positivity rate: 2%
Total deaths: 62

https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid-19/ ... -dashboard

In economic news, just today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics moved SD down from having the second-best jobless rate in the country to third place (tied with Iowa). Vermont moved up from third place to second.

https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby tseeb » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:18 pm

flyover wrote:COVID stats as of today:

South Dakota
Positivity rate: 15.8%

How does SD report 15.8% positive today (and 18.9% over last 7 days) while Tony Crocker's % positive for SD on this page is over 50%. Did they have a big drop today or are they reporting something way different?

John Hopkins has SD over 50% positive on 7-day moving average for at least the last 10 days. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/ind ... uth-dakota
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:34 pm

I download the worldometers table twice a month and calculate new cases by subtracting total cases per capita of the prior date from total cases per capita of the current date. I do the same for total tests per capita than use a ratio with the case calculation for positivity.

For daily tracking of new cases and positivity by state the Johns Hopkins site is the best source.

Worldometers has data by country and for selected states has data by county. I've downloaded the by country stats plus CA and FL by county.

flyover wrote:SD has had pretty much none.

South Dakota was also home to the ultimate superspreader event, the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby ShiftyRider » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:29 pm

flyover wrote:Here are the COVID stats for both as of today:

South Dakota
Total cases: 66,704
Cases today: 1,205
Current hospitalizations: 574
Positivity rate: 15.8%
Total deaths: 741

Vermont
Total cases: 3,459
Cases today: 146
Current hospitalizations: 18
Positivity rate: 2%
Total deaths: 62
That ain't a matter of luck.
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Re: NASJA Zoom meeting re: winter ops during pandemic

Postby flyover » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:02 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:South Dakota was also home to the ultimate superspreader event, the Sturgis motorcycle rally.


ShiftyRider wrote:That ain't a matter of luck.


If it would raise her standing within the Republican Party, and it were within her power, Kristi Noem would make stopping at stop signs, or stopping in the presence of a school bus with its lights flashing, optional.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2ZVW4yvchA
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