This is an open request to Rusty Gregory, Rob Katz, and every other resort CEO who did the right thing by stopping operations this past weekend.

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic caught the industry off guard. We all knew we would have to do something, but everyone was caught by surprise when Colorado Governor Jared Polis released an executive order on Saturday, March 14, stating that all Colorado ski resorts would have to close by the following day. This decision led to the closure of almost all ski areas across the country, with only a few still in operation.

These closures have resulted in thousands of resort workers wondering not only where their next paycheck will be coming from, but also their next meal. A few resorts have offered to cover basic hours for two weeks, but even with some optimistic talk of the lifts turning again this spring, it is not unrealistic to think that ski season is over.

These closed resorts all have restaurants, cafeterias, day lodges, and hotels fully stocked with food that was expected be sold over the next weeks. Some of this food can be frozen, but much of it is perishable: salads, sandwiches, vegetables, dairy, some meats and breads, the list goes on. The clock is ticking because it will go to waste.

Rusty, Rob, and others, what is your plan for this food? Is there a way to get it to your local food banks? I am sure that your employees who worked in these departments would come in to make meals that can be distributed to out-of-work employees.

From the Vail Resorts Newsletter: While it is incredibly disappointing for us to mark the end of the season at this time, we know it is the most responsible path forward for the health and well-being of our guests, our employees, and the amazing communities where we operate.

By feeding your employees and amazing communities, you would be continuing down that most responsible path that you started on. Nourishment is a large part of health and well-being. Employees should be able to show up with their IDs and get meals; the same goes for community locals.

We are not criticizing the tough decisions you have had to make over the past few days. We know that it was very hard for you to close your resorts in the middle of a weekend. We are sure you begged to keep the resorts open at least on Sunday. Tahoe was in the middle of an epic … err … mammoth ... uh … the biggest storm of the season. But you all did the right thing. Let's continue to do the right thing and not let this food go to waste. Closing the resorts on a Sunday cost you millions; this will only cost you the time you save in disposing of rotten food. Let's feed the employees and the communities. I am sure the line of people to help cook, package, and distribute these meals will be as long as the line of people who need to be fed.

Your partners in the industry,
The team at Pugski.com