Snow allows ski resorts to open early

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Skiers and snowboarders alike were surely rejoicing with last week’s snowstorm. Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude and Park City Mountain Ski Resorts will all open this week, due to the snow deposited in the mountains over the weekend.

The resorts will open their main lifts, and many are offering discounted tickets, as the season is still considered to be in its early stage. Brighton opened Nov. 13, Solitude opened on Nov. 14, Snowbird opens on Nov. 15, Alta opens on Nov. 16 and Park City opens on Nov. 17.

BYU skiers and snowboarders are excited about resorts that are opening early. Freeride Academy, a ski and snowboarding club at BYU, will be holding activities to get “hyped” about the start of the season. Michael Didier, president of BYU Freeride Academy, has skied since he was six, and seeing the snow fall on Friday got him excited to hit the slopes.

“My first thought was, ‘How soon can I get up on the mountain?'” Didier said.

Didier will likely have season passes to both Snowbird and the Canyons. Didier and some of his club members are heading to ski the back country on Thursday and are spending the night in Park City on Friday so they can ski all day Saturday.

“We are all super stoked about it,” Didier said.

Brighton opened on Tuesday, as it received four feet of snow from the storm over the weekend. Brighton said there were a lot of people out for opening day as the skiing conditions were “beautiful.” Jared Winkler, marketing officer for Brighton, said that the resort was able to open because of the snow and cold weather.

“It has been the best opening day that we have had in years,” Winkler said. “Everyone here is really happy.”

Winkler said the day was full of sunny skies and fresh snow. The resort will have most of its lifts opened by the end of the week, and Winkler said the employees are relieved that they were able to open before Thanksgiving.

At Snowbird, the storm deposited 50 inches of snow, which will allow for the resort to open this Thursday on Nov. 15. The resort has installed new snow-making equipment and updated its “Little Cloud” chairlift. Snowbird usually averages around 500 inches of snow per year and claims itself to have the longest skiing season out of any resort in Utah.

“This is the storm we needed to get the season started off right,” said Bob Bonar, president of Snowbird. “Lake effect made a good storm into a great storm, leaving more than four feet of snow throughout the mountain.”

Emily Moench, Communications Manager at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, says that the employees at the resort are excited to open early, as last year was not a very long skiing season.

“Our guests love it when we open early,” Moench said. “People are really anxious to get back. After the fifty-inch storm the snow is really good.”

The resorts are hopeful that the early snowfall will allow season pass holders to use their passes from now until mid-April.

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