Blue Mountain Resort in Palmerton is under new management.
KSL Resorts, which manages Camelback Resort in Tatamy, is taking over operations. KSL is based out of Irvine California and manages a number of resort properties, including many in Hawaii.
“Blue Mountain Resort has an exceptional ski reputation and authentic brand with great people,” said Shawn Hauver, vice president of asset performance for KSL Resorts. “Barb Green (president and CEO of Blue Mountain) and her team have done a tremendous job of maintaining the mountain’s natural splendor. We have the resort expertise to fully develop the mountain to its potential and enhance the guest experience with additional amenities.”
Green, who will remain involved in operations at the resort, said the decision to have KSL take over management will be good for employees, guests and the community and will provide many opportunities.
“We are excited to be joining the KSL Resorts family and confident KSL will successfully carry on the traditions of Blue Mountain Resort,” she said. “I look forward to partnering with KSL to further enhance Blue Mountain Resort and welcome their resort expertise and five-star approach to guest experiences.”
Blue Mountain was founded as the Little Gap Ski Area in 1977. It changed its name to Blue Mountain in 1989.
With 40 ski trails and 16 lifts, Blue Mountain is best known for skiing, boarding and tubing, but has year-round activities including disc golf, ropes courses and Segway tours.
There is also dining and an events center for weddings, special events and corporate meetings.
Camelback Mountain Resort in Tannersville is among the first of the region’s resorts that announced a closure today because of the coronavirus.
The company said it would temporarily close the entire resort, starting 4 p.m. Tuesday and reopen April 2.
“Your safety and health is our primary focus and we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the CDC and U.S. public health recommendations as they evolve,” said Shawn Hauver, president and managing director of Camelback Resort, in a letter. This temporary closure will encompass all operations including the Ski Mountain and Snowtubing Park, Hauver said.
Hauver said there have been no cases of COVID-19 at Camelback Resort, however with recent focus from federal and state government officials on restricting large gatherings the company believes it is in the best interest of its guests and team members to temporarily
close the resort.
“Our thoughts are with those families who have been affected during this trying time, and we will continue to send positive thoughts to you all.”
The resort is taking extensive steps to care for its team members during the temporary closure with working hours where possible, company-sponsored time off for many team members and other measures, Hauver said.
“Their commitment to our company and guests during this uncertain time has been unwavering.”
During this temporary closure, the resort will continue efforts to provide a clean and safe environment for its team members who are working, Hauver said.
“We had some warm temperatures so fortunately, our season was winding down,” said A.J. Stack, director of marketing for Camelback. “For every business, it’s going to make a huge impact. We decided as a company to close everything for two weeks because it was the right thing to do. We all need to do our part and stop the spread of the virus.”
The resort will refund any room reservations and guests can re-book at a later date.
“It’s going to have a huge impact on every business across the world so we are all feeling the effects,” Stack said.
Gary Kline, director of marketing at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Longswamp Township, said the company does not have official word yet that it would close because of the coronavirus.
The resort closed for skiing for the rest of the season, he said.
Meanwhile, Blue Mountain Resort in Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County, has closed for the ski season.
“Typically, we only make it to the third week in March,” said Ashley Seier, director of marketing at Blue Mountain. “We close because of the weather.”
The resort’s restaurant, the Slopeside Pub & Grill, will stay open Friday through Sunday and will expand its to-go ordering service, she said.
“We’ve taken extra precautions on seating the restaurant at 50% capacity,” she said. In addition, the staff cleans and sanitizes menus.
During this part of the season, the only venue open at Blue Mountain is the restaurant, so for now, it’s business as usual, she said.
In May, the resort opens for its “green” season, which includes outdoor activities that run from May through October.
Over the winter season, Blue Mountain employs about 1,300 employees and during its green season, about 250, Seier said.
The resort has some weddings and events scheduled later in the season, but those are still on for now.
“We have had some people call, as of right now, we are complying with CDC recommendations,” she said.
However, the resort had to cancel its Pondskim event, an annual “end of ski” season celebration that was scheduled for Sunday because of the virus.
This story will be updated.
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