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Schweitzer pauses twilight skiing amid 'overwhelming' lack of compliance with COVID-19 rules

Tom Chasse, president and CEO of the ski resort in North Idaho, said he "will not continue to tolerate the verbal abuse" directed at staff members.

SANDPOINT, Idaho — Schweitzer Mountain Resort in North Idaho is temporarily pausing its twilight skiing operations due to an "overwhelming" lack of compliance with its COVID-19 protocols, including mask policies and social distancing. 

Masks are required in the ski resort's lift lines and indoor spaces where it is not possible to maintain six feet of distance from others.

The ski resort will not offer twilight skiing from Friday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 17, which marks the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, President and CEO Tom Chasse wrote in a Facebook post.

"I will not continue to tolerate the verbal abuse that has been directed towards our staff as they have attempted to enforce our safety requirements," he added. "We hope this will only be a 'pause' but we will need to reassess our approach to twilight skiing before we commit to any future dates."

The planned fireworks show on Saturday and snow tubing will go on as scheduled, Chasse wrote. 

"It's just taken a large toll on our staff and it's really...it's been hard for us," Schweitzer spokesperson Dig Chrismer said during an interview with KREM. "We don't like to not ski but we need people to take this seriously."

In early December, Chasse said he was "willing to shut down the entire operation" at Schweitzer until additional lifts and terrain were opened if guests did not wear masks. 

RELATED: Schweitzer CEO 'willing to shut down' ski resort if guests don't mask up

Chasse said in his most recent Facebook post that the resort hopes the pause in its twilight skiing operation will provide staff with a "much-needed break from the constant struggle of trying to operate safely during the pandemic as well as a reminder to our guests of our commitment to our safety protocols."

He ended the post by writing, "We need everyone to do their part so we can slow the spread and continue to shred. Be kind. Be compassionate. Have patience."