Skiing to resume at resort after coronavirus complications forced it to close on Tuesday

HUNTER — Skiing is expected to resume Friday at Hunter Mountain, days after a coronavirus outbreak among the staff forced the resort to close.

Hunter’s parent company, the Colorado-based Vail Resorts, announced the reopening Thursday, which was the third straight day the place was closed to skiers and snowboarders.

The company has said little about the outbreak beyond announcing the several employees were out of work Tuesday because of the virus, making it difficult to run the resort.

“There is nothing simple about operating during a pandemic, but we are committed first and foremost to the safety of our employees and guests,” according to a post Thursday on the mountain’s website.

The closure occurred amid what insiders said was an unprecedented spate of retirements and resignations by Hunter’s large, longtime corps of volunteer ski patrollers who have grown disillusioned by the resort’s new owner, which has cut back on the benefits given to patrollers such as free passes for their families.

Ski patrollers are essential to a resort’s ability to operate. They assist people who are injured or may simply be frightened or overwhelmed by a steep slope. And in the rare event in which a lift stalls or breaks down, patrollers “evacuate” or bring people down safely from the chairlifts.

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