With the outbreak of Covid19 throughout Colorado and the entire United States, we have been fielding many questions related to when and/or if we will be opening for the summer season in 2020. As many of you already know, the Colorado Travel industry has been one of the hardest hit industries due to the Colorado Covi19 outbreak and with the help of our medical partners, we are creating this timeline of events to help you know when we expect to be open and yes, we do expect to be fully operational come summer. Check back often for updates and follow us on facebook for news and updates to help you plan your much needed summer escape.
Where it started:
Vail Health is world renowned for sports medicine and as such, they receive patients from all over the globe. Along with the hospital, Vail Resorts also receives visitors, in large volumes from all over the world. It was no secret that when Covid19 became a global issue, Vail Colorado would be one of the first regions hit. And hit it was. Eagle County Colorado which is home to Vail was in fact, the first county in the state to be designated as “full community transmission” and due to that announcement back in mid-march, all businesses, including Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals were forced to close.
What happens next?
Being one of the first regions hit, we hope this means that we will also be one of the first to re-open. We are currently planning on being fully operational by mid- to late May and have already started to accept reservations. With Social Distancing predicted to be the norm well into the summer, we firmly believe that escaping into the woods on an RZR or dirt bike, or hitting the open road on a Motorcycle or in a Slingshot is still the best way to practice social distancing while finally being able to enjoy your life again.
Colorado Travel, Timeline of events:
What we’re hearing and what you can expect.
The Colorado Rafting Industry is becoming increasingly nervous that they will miss out on their 2020 season. They are being told that it will be recommended to dry life vest for up to 72 hours between use which will require added resources on their behalf to support their guests. This will create a high demand for off-road rentals and other forms of Colorado Adventure Travel.
Colorado Association of Destination Marketing is projecting a phased up approach when it comes to re-opening the state. Much like how the closures begin with groups of 50, then 20, then 10, the association believes that Governor Polis will take a similar approach to re-opening Colorado Travel once cases of Covid19 begin to wane in Colorado.
Colorado announces that Eagle County will be the first county in the state to re-open. It will be slow to begin and businesses will still be required to follow social distancing rules. We expect that this will give us (RMAR) the green light to resume operations. We expect to be the first hotel opened in the area. Hotels in Breckenridge and Vail are hopeful that they will be fully operational by Memorial Day weekend but they are hinting at the idea that they may not be able to open until June 1.
Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals is expecting that Vail Pass Trail Heads and Buena Vista trail heads will be open by June 1st for RZRs and Dirt Bikes. We Expect to have street machine rentals available by May 1st.
So was the world’s response to Covid19 the right move?
Having medical personnel on staff at Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals, we wanted to know what was really happening. Declaring the actions of those in leadership response to the COVID-19 as right or wrong is truly dependent on perspective. Having followed this disease from the beginning, it was very clear that the estimated projections by many of the scientific leaders never had any merit based on early outcome reports. This has been a very uncomfortable stance to take in the medical field but one that could not be denied by the overwhelming evidence observed in data reported in February. The clearest example of what to expect as a worst-case scenario was seen on the quarantined ship “The Diamond Princess”. This was the ship where passengers were quarantined in Yokohama, Japan after an outbreak of COVID-19 had been confirmed. In a situation where you have the most vulnerable (elderly with comorbid conditions) in a very compact environment we were able to obtain accurate numbers as we would have a very accurate denominator (true number of individuals that are positive for the virus) which remains elusive on current world data reporting. Of the 3,711 passengers on the ship, 712 tested positive for COVID-19. Shocking the investigators as early as March 3, was the fact that 331 (46.5%) were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Further, 37 required intensive care admissions and as of today 11 passengers have died.
Certainly, the Diamond Princess data is not concrete as some outcomes are still not reported and it over-represents those who have consistently been shown to be more susceptible. However, this data was being first reported approximately 6 weeks after many countries ( including the US) first reported their first COVID-19 diagnosis. Based on the initially R0 (reproduction number of the virus) value of 2.3 we should have been seeing hospitals in Seattle and California overrun with patients in the ICU–this never materialized in the time frame that the models predicted. Nor did we see death rates in some of these undeveloped countries with a paucity of critical care capabilities come close to what the WHO predicted. New data out of Italy suggested a case fatality rate that may be equal to or less than an average influenza rate of 0.1%. This is certainly corroborated by the daily projections from U.S. leaders as they continue to decrease the estimated death projections from over 2 million to now close to 60,000. This number approximates the normal influenza deaths per year in the US.
Many experts communicate that the US is following two weeks behind Italy and that the rest of the US will follow NYC. This is categorically incorrect as the US had its first documented case 10 days prior to Italy and almost 6 weeks prior to the first documented case in NY. Certainly the virus could have mutated and there may be certain geographical and ethnic susceptibility as a second wave exposure but the original model would have to be adjusted.
Lastly, Eagle county corroborates an error in the prediction models. Nearly four weeks out from the first confirmed case, the local and regional referral hospitals, especially in those at altitude, should be overrun with patients requiring care—to date this has not been seen. This disproves every model that was presented early on when these decisions were being made. Current data and reporting continues to contradict these models as well. Learn More about what hasn’t been said about Covid19