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Showdown ski resort closing for the season amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 10:44 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 12:52:30-04

GREAT FALLS — Showdown Montana ski resort near Neihart announced on Friday that it is closing for the season amidst growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Showdown's closure follows that of several other Montana resorts, including Big Sky and Whitefish Mountain Resort.

In a Facebook post, Showdown said:

  • "We are incredibly proud of our team and what we have accomplished the last few days. We've been through (sic) and vigilant in our efforts to protect our employees and guests. Our numbers have been small and manageable to this point, and we have a high degree of confidence in what we have been able to do as a community. However as the weekend approaches, the phone continues to ring nonstop, and the unknowns escalate that confidence has waned. The large number of skiers possible creates a level of risk we are not comfortable accepting. Today will be our last day. The support from all of you has been incredible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please take care of yourselves & your neighbors. God bless. George, Katie, Avery, Chris & everyone at Showdown"

Great Divide ski area outside of Helena has suspended operations until March 23rd, but has not said if it will permanently close for the season at this time.

Showdown's decision comes just hours after Governor Steve Bullock imposed state-wide restrictions on many dining and recreational activities in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bullock announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risks, effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. The order expires at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020, the same day that school closures are set to expire, though the date will likely be extended.

The order states that the following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:

  • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption.
  • Alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
  • Cigar bars.
  • Health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, pools and hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, climbing gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreational facilities.
  • Movie and performance theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls.
  • Casinos.

The places subject to the order are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing. Customers may order and pay by telephone or online from a retailer or manufacturer licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the State of Montana. A retailer or manufacturer licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the state of Montana may deliver for sale the alcoholic beverages for which it is licensed. Delivery must be conducted by the licensee’s employees over the age of 21 and age of the purchaser and recipient must be verified at the time of delivery. The purchased alcohol must be hand-delivered to the purchaser. In offering food or beverage, a place subject to this section may permit up to five members of the public at one time inside for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders, so long as those individuals are at least six feet apart from one another while on premises.