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Two Argentinian Ski Resorts Will Not Open Due To COVID-19


While there has been some good news surrounding the ski season for 2020 coming out of Australia and New Zeland, other parts of the Southern Hemisphere will not be so fortunate. Two Argentinian resorts have confirmed that they will not be opening this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

On May 20th, Las Leñas confirmed that the mountain resort located high in the Andes would not be able to open for the coming season. With the current state of lockdown for Argentina, though set to end on May 24th, but has now been extended to June 7th, resort management has had no other choice but to remain closed. A statement on the matter was released by the management of the mountain.

“For reasons outside of our control, and mandated from the state of local, provincial, and national health emergency as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, further aggravated by the special characteristics of our workplace, which in this context make it high-risk area, Valle De Las Leñas S.A. notifies and informs that we cannot open for the 2020 winter season, we are obliged to attend this situation with the greatest responsibility and in safeguard of its workers and the general public.” — Las Leñas Management, 5/20/20

Similarly, the resort of La Hoya, located further south in the Patagonia region, has announced that it will not be able to open, as well. The announcement comes in part as a pop-up when visiting the mountain's website.

The Announcement To Remain Closed - Credit: La Hoya Ski Resort

"The general public is informed that for reasons beyond the control of the company, derived from the health emergency caused by COVID-19 that maintain mandatory preventive social isolation since 3/20/2020, the prohibition to travel and the cessation of tourist activities, arranged by the State Authority; we are obliged to inform you that La Hoya ski resort will not open for the winter season of 2020." - Translation of the above, via Google Translate

Currently, commercial air travel, both international and domestic, have been canceled in Argentina until the first of September. This alone will limit tourist visits to the country through the majority of the ski season. 

There is still some question as to whether ski areas and resorts in neighboring Chile will be able to open for the 2020 season. The current statement from Valle Nevado is:

"Valle Community,

More than a month has passed since the first case of # Covid19 in Chile and our life habits have been greatly altered. During the last weeks we have worked with a lot of effort to minimize the impact of this contingency and to be able to realize our purpose: to live the mountain all year round.

The snowfall of April 12, along with the commitment of all the people who make up Valle Nevado, has been a very powerful signal to put our maximum effort to have the 2020 winter season.

We do not know if the authority will allow the winter centers to operate. If it is possible, we will open and we will tell you. In addition, it will be adopting demanding protection measures for the health of our collaborators and visitors.

We will be in permanent contact and delivering content and updated information on the progress of our operation on Valle Nevado social networks and at vallenevado.com and valleplus.cl, where you can also find out about offers and promotions."

Though the message is hopeful, Chile is also experiencing a large amount of COVID-19 cases, with 70,000 confirmed cases being reported and 700 deaths, as well as unrest in the country's capital of Santiago centers around their own lockdown.

Photo: Las Leñas, Argentina - Credit: Andre Charland from Canada / CC BY

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