Mount Baldy open to skiers despite being deemed non-essential business

Mount Baldy Resort is open for skiers and snowboarders despite state and local orders prohibiting non-essential businesses from operating amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mount Baldy Resort is open for skiers and snowboarders despite state and local orders prohibiting non-essential businesses from operating amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With mountain temperatures in the 70s and still plenty of snow after a powerful mid-April storm last week, those who were on the slopes Thursday were treated to decent conditions.

"It's warm today, so you get what you get," said Russell Dunn of Hancock Park, who said a morning on the slopes provided a great escape from the stay-at-home order.

MORE: What's open, what's closed in Southern California
EMBED More News Videos

With a heat wave hitting SoCal this weekend, here's a look at what outdoor activities are open or closed in different cities during the coronavirus pandemic.


"It's the mental thing skiing can give you. It gets your mind away from thought, and I think people need that more than ever. Just to take a breath has a huge value," he said.

Physical distancing measures are in effect at the ski resort. No one is allowed into the parking lot without a pre-paid ticket. Masks are required, and only people from the same household are permitted to ride the ski lift together.

"It was really strict," said Dunn "Masks are on at all times. Everyone was very respectful. It's fine."

But according to a spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the resort is not technically allowed to be open. San Bernardino County officials are working to put together plans for certain public spaces to reopen this weekend, with certain limitations. That includes parks, rivers, trails and even golf courses.

MORE: Southlanders surfing, skiiing while physical distancing
EMBED More News Videos

With temperatures hitting the 90s in Southern California on Thursday, hundreds of people were seen at Orange County beaches.


The general manager of the resort said they closed voluntarily last month and have yet to be contacted by San Bernardino County regarding any closure.

"To my understanding, we weren't asked to close," said general manager Robby Ellingson, who said he is employing the same strategies and models that local golf courses are using when determining how to operate.

He added that during the stay-at-home order, he has watched how other businesses have changed the way they work to continue operating during the pandemic.

"For example, I bought a toaster at Best Buy. I sat in the parking lot, bought it on my phone, and they ran it out to my car. Well, we can do that same thing at the mountain," he said.

Ellingson said most tickets have sold out for this weekend. But there's still availability for next week and the following weekend.

MORE: Help, information and resources during COVID-19 pandemic
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.