Epic Pass holders enjoy opening day at Park City and Canyons

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Skiers and snowboarders sit on a lift at Park City Mountain Resort, in Park City, Utah. Vail Resorts Inc. is planning to begin building lifts this summer to connect Canyons Resort and its newest acquisition, Park City Mountain Resort. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Vail Chief Executive Rob Katz said in the company's financial report for the fiscal year that they will be looking to upgrade or add new lifts, restaurants and snowmakers. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Skiers and snowboarders sit on a lift at Park City Mountain Resort, in Park City, Utah. Vail Resorts, Inc., is planning to begin building lifts this summer to connect Canyons Resort and its newest acquisition, Park City Mountain Resort. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Two ski resorts included in one season pass — a Utah-residing college student’s dream.

Tanner Weekes, a recent graduate of BYU and an avid skier, was nothing short of delighted in his new season pass benefits. “I am most stoked about the Epic Pass and having the opportunity to shred multiple mountains on one season pass,” he said.

The promotion was created as a result of Vail Resorts’ purchase of Park City Mountain Resort earlier this year. Now two resorts within a few miles of each other, Park City and Canyons, are owned by Vail.

Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort both opened their slopes to the public during the week of Thanksgiving. Many students and graduates took advantage of their time off to ride the powder.

“I loved opening day. There’s nothing like putting your skis on for the first time and getting ready to take your first few turns,” Weekes said. “The mountains were looking barren, but the man-made snow helped cover the dry patches. I get amped when I see little shredders pumped for the year ahead. First day is always a must.”

Park City, which opened several days before Canyons, had 17 inches of snow, with three lifts operating and six ski runs open to the public, along with two terrain parks. Canyons had 22 inches of snow, with six lifts and seven runs.

This year’s opening day availability was better than last year’s, when the snow was so scarce only half the runs and terrain jumps were available.

Both resorts will be opening more of their terrain for public skiing and snowboarding in the coming weeks. Park City Mountain Resort has a total of 3,300 acres with 116 ski runs. Canyons Resort spreads across 4,000 acres and has 182 ski runs.

Michael Thomas, a BYU student and skiing enthusiast, rode both mountains during opening week. “I have an Epic Pass, and it’s cool because now we have an entire mountain to ski all for the price of one pass,” he said. “I went to Canyons on Saturday, and it was super good when comparing it to Park City because it was much less crowded there. There were only a few runs open, but it got me stoked for the rest of the season.”

Vail Resorts’ purchase of Park City Mountain Resort was a result of a legal dispute between Vail and Powdr (previous owners) because Powdr failed to renew its lease for the land the resort sits on. After several years of tiresome litigation, Vail was able to purchase the resort for $182 million.

Madison Wright, a recent graduate of BYU, thinks the future is bright for snowboarders and skiers in the area. “It seems like there has already been some great changes, the Epic Pass being one of them,” she said. “My friends and I have had a good experience here so far and can’t wait to see what the season brings. Vail seems to know what they are doing.”

Vail Resorts own other resorts around the country: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood.

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