Ski and snowboard season in a pandemic

ABC News' Devin Dwyer reports on how the winter sports industry is keeping slopes open and lifts running as COVID-19 threatens the survival of many ski towns.
5:00 | 01/23/21

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Transcript for Ski and snowboard season in a pandemic
Among the many businesses scrambling to adopt to a new normal during this pandemic hundreds of the nation's downhill ski areas and resorts. Last year Americans made more than 51 million visits before Covert abruptly cut the season short costing the industry an estimated two billion dollars in lost revenue. Devin Dwyer takes a closer look at how ski areas are trying to bounce back and keep their slope safe from the virus. From the Colorado Rockies to the California Sierras. I've got here there aren't any client base. They passed a historic pandemic ski season in full swing but with fewer skiers and lots of new rules he'll say fair. I I was in line tonight was gone down the run my mask must come down the ski patrol it. Asked me put it back up and I thought that was very nice of. Hopefully like doing the best we can following the rules and crossing our fingers that we don't have an outbreak at Cochran ski area in Vermont the slopes or playground who got local he would like it's out of going and playing dodge ball or basketball whatever they Communist he'd sign in has gone touch lists the snack bar moved outdoors. Its staff for taking down skier information for possible contact tree's seen obviously if things. Get really bad and the spirit. Yes we are taking huge last march's ski resort in Sun Valley, Idaho became would of the nation's first Covert hotspots. Dozens infected after a Teddy after ski parties like this one. After ten days we could count thirty people 35 people forty people days later nearly all of the nation's 470. Ski resorts moved to shut down early for this season. It's not this evil that's the problem rate. Everything that comes when and and it's a very combustible next taking people from all over the country and the world. And putting them an Elop. Or risky bar or any sort of thing where. As n.'s. Brent. This winter most major ski areas have closed their lodge is entirely or restricted who can go inside. No indoor dining time limits for warming up each one of our resorts Mara. Are different and are different now. Hinge point one regional. Plan based on basic framework and then they are doing things that are unique and there are circumstances. Many resorts now require reservations capping the number of skiers to ensure less crowding. Face coverings are required at all times chair lifts are only to be shared with members of your family. Ski area operators call them critical steps for safety and confidence that any huge added cost. You have to outweigh so much capital early in the season. And makes note you know push the snow and it's it's extremely expensive and you do all that before anybody shows up. A year committed to providing this product that's it's very expensive and and it yeah we had been. Canceled flights mid December it would then government from. Resorts for skiing and snowboarding are at the center of a twenty billion dollar a year winter sports tourism industry in the US. Millions of visitors to American ski cities from around the world fueling local economies. It's our responsibility. Or everything. Work together to make sure that. We're not putting people compromising situation. Our visitors and and our fragile small local communities that have limited health care delivery systems. In Southern California Mammoth Mountain is it going to resort to Los Angeles urban nights. We're economy thousand people were in sugar. Yet we're talent that is due recreation base for three or four million people but this season it's. Much quieter. The town not allowing indoor dining or short term rentals and people can get fine for not wearing a mask whenever. Her small hospital. Can't mammoth has come up with a reasonable plan. To cheat both the economy not dead. And not to deadly effect the locals. It's a delicate balance between safety and financial survival that not everyone is happy about there's not lot of people here we're. Currently locked arm America that is what road. With so much of American life up ended by the pandemic many are just thankful to be back on the slopes. Really this soul so lucky that these mountains have been able to adapt. And develop a program that safe that keeps everyone you know relatively distance. But still millions. That's sharing you know fairly conditions. Making memories in the mountains is the nation ski industry grapples with an unprecedented. Year. For ABC news live I'm Devin Dwyer in Breckenridge Colorado. Hopefully it is all downhill from here not just for the ski resorts but for all of us our thanks to DeVon for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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