Local skiers, resorts optimistic for winter season

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    By Brian Rust

    For many BYU students, the upcoming snow season means cold, bitter weather and a lot of shoveling sidewalks.

    For others, it means something entirely different: time for skiing and snowboarding.

    Utah boasts the “greatest snow on earth” and is home to 12 world-class alpine ski resorts. Many people think the Utah drought affected outdoor winter recreation, but, according to Ski Utah, last year”s season was the best they have ever had.

    “Our drought delivered almost 600 inches of snow last year,” said Nathan Rafferty, Ski Utah director of communications. “I think anybody here would take the snow we had last year in our ”drought season.””

    Although the season depends entirely on circumstances out of our control, Ski Utah expects just as good a season, if not better, than last year. Employees hope the success of last year”s season will snowball into this year and many repeat customers will return. In fact, many of the local resorts have upgraded their slopes and added new programs to their list for the 2004-2005 seasons.

    Improvements at the various resorts include adding new chairlifts and terrain, as well as remodeling ski shops, creating new ski school programs, and opening bigger and better terrain parks.

    “I think this year, unless something really crazy happens, that we will see a lot of the vacation skiers still coming to Utah,” said Pleasy Philbrick, a Deer Valley ski instructor.

    Philbrick also said she believes it will be an early winter and that it will be a great ski season.

    Most all of the ski resorts offer season passes and other deals that allow for an inexpensive season.

    According to Rafferty, students can check online at skiutahlocals.com for special deals geared specifically for Utah locals. However, students need to get on the ball now because a lot of the great deals are only offered during the preseason.

    “It”s time to look for [deals] now, not when the snow falls,” Philbrick said.

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