“With great disappointment,” organizers of Utah Gay Ski Week, Elevation Utah 2021, announced that all events are canceled.
“We were simultaneously planning Elevation Utah while holding out hope that we would turn the corner on COVID-19 at the end of 2020,” event founder Tom Whitman said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have not turned that corner.”
“Throughout this challenging time, we had always planned to produce reduced capacity and socially distanced events for 2021 in Park City. But as COVID has surged, capacities have been further reduced, ICUs are close to full, and some regions have gone back into stay-at-home orders,” he continued. “There is not a feasible way to produce the quality of the events you deserve while guaranteeing the health and safety of my staff, my talent, and the attendees of Elevation Utah.”
“We need to get through this pandemic and come out the other side. And I don’t want to be a part of organizing an event that has the potential to spread COVID to the ski family I love, and beyond to our friends, families, and neighbors, both at home and in Park City,” Whitman said.
Whitman said he would be heartbroken if Elevation Utah became a superspreader event. He said he plans to move forward with future events as soon as they are feasible.
“I’m still a big proponent of skiing (and gay skiing) in 2021,” he said. “Get on the slopes. Have a great time. We just shouldn’t gather in big groups inside of a bar or a nightclub until we turn that corner.”
Utah ski resorts are still open for skiing, and Park City venues that have historically supported Elevation are open to limited capacity.
“If you are heading to Park City, please support those venues by stopping by to have a drink or a meal. Those venues are Downstairs, OP Rockwell, and The Cabin. They have each supported our big gay events for years, and we need to be there for them in return,” Whitman said.
Whitman is still hopeful that he can produce the Elevation Mammoth events in March.
“The events will be smaller and will look different, but with the ability to have more outdoor space, and some additional weeks to turn our numbers around on COVID, Mammoth is looking good,” he said. The Mammoth event was canceled in 2020 as the mountain closed, and the first lockdowns started in California.
“I want to be on a dance floor as soon as possible, with flashing lights and hundreds of you,” Whitman said. “We’ll get there sooner if we support each other and stay safe.”