FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Ski resorts geared up to open over the Thanksgiving holiday, but not without some obstacles. China Peak opened up Sunday, a couple of days later than anticipated, and managing partner Tim Cohee says there’s a lot of work to do, but remains optimistic.
“The fire crews did a fantastic job of keeping the fire away from China Peak and if you’re up in the air and you look around, you see that because it’s burned all around us.”
Lost to the Creek Fire were four-employee housings, some trailers and trucks, and some of the utility systems and while the actual ski area is up and running, how to get people on them is the issue.
“We’re having a hard time figuring out actually selling a lift ticket, believe it or not, but you don’t have connectivity, you don’t have connectivity. You can’t just make things up.”
China Peak also lost power and phone service causing them to move the sales office temporarily to Prather.
“The Creek fire, people just need to…and they have been frankly, very patient with the fact that we can’t operate the ski area right now — we can’t function like a normal ski area because we can’t do simple things like credit cards and validate purchases.”
Right now, the ski resort is only able to operate five days a week with limited staff.
“Even operating on weekends and holidays will be no walk in the park, for sure, but we’ll figure it out, you know, we’re pretty resilient people. This is our eleventh year at the resort. So we’ll have two years of COVID, one major fire and six droughts. So, I think we’ve proven that we’re pretty capable. The hard way unfortunately.”
The resort is planning to be open daily starting Dec. 19.