Governor Kate Brown’s March 23 executive order has closed many businesses but golf courses are an exception, and Baker City’s Quail Ridge Golf Course remains open.
But the 18-hole course, which the city owns, is not exempt from the sanitation and social distancing guidelines that define life in the era of coronavirus.
This is the first season that the Baker County Development Corporation, the nonprofit that also operates Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, has managed Quail Ridge.
“We strongly feel that providing our local community with as many safe outdoor recreational opportunities as we can will only improve the mental and physical health of our community,” said Peter Johnson, general manager.
Quail Ridge opened for the season March 6, just a week or so before restrictions related to the coronavirus started.
The course is open for golfing every day.
The clubhouse is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and occupancy, per the governor’s executive order, is limited to 10 people. Patrons can order food and beverages for carry out only.
“It is extremely important,” Johnson said. “For the safety of our employees and the public.”
On the course, the Quail Ridge staff has been disinfecting all carts, including pull cards, and sanitizing flags on each green daily.
“We will be doing everything we possibly can to ensure a safe and healthy environment at Quail Ridge while staying in constant communication with the priorities set forth by the City of Baker City and following all local, state, and federal guidelines,” Johnson said.
Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort was closed for the season in mid March, which reduced the season by three weekends.
“While it was obviously very important for us to remain open, we did not feel that it was in the best interest in the health of our community,” Johnson said.
Although the chairlift is closed, Anthony Lakes has continued to plow and sand the road leading to the resort, and has groomed some of the Nordic trails, which are open for free.
“We just ask that all visitors to the Anthony Lakes area strictly abide by the social distancing order in place,” Johnson said.
He hopes people will continue to get out of their homes.
“We encourage everyone to get outside and stay active and we hope everyone stays both mentally and physically healthy throughout these times,” Johnson said.