Blacktail Mountain Ski Area Closes Amid Outbreak

Whitefish Mountain closed for season on Sunday

By Justin Franz
Blacktail Mountain Ski Area outside of Lakeside on Jan. 8, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Blacktail Mountain Ski Area in Lakeside announced Tuesday that it was temporarily suspending all operations amid concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Although there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Northwest Montana at this time, officials at the ski area decided to close to help the community practice social distancing. The decision came two days after Whitefish Mountain Resort also closed for the season. Northwest Montana’s other ski area, Turner Mountain in Libby, had already closed for the season in early March due to snow conditions.

Officials with Blacktail said it was unclear if the mountain would open again this season.

“While we as a community do not want to overreact or panic, we also need to take prudent precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” officials wrote Tuesday. “As we move through the current world health environment, there are many things we don’t know, like how long it will last and how many people will be affected; but there are behaviors and impacts we can anticipate and for which we can prepare. Social distancing and avoiding public gatherings are two steps that appear to be effective in limiting the spread.  Thus, we feel we need to do our part in mandating a temporary closure as we watch and wait to see what the next several days ahead us will tell.”

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