Utah ski resorts are remaining open longer this year due to record snowfalls and extended skier interest.
Park City Mountain Ski Resort has received more than 480 inches of snow this season, while Brighton Ski Resort has received more than 700 inches of snow. These record-breaking snowfalls have encouraged thousands of skiers to hit the slopes, and the snow continues to fall. Both of these resorts have taken advantage of the weather and extended their ski seasons.
Park City announced on March 6 that they will be keeping their ski slopes open two weeks longer than normal, closing on April 23. Brighton will be remaining open until April 30, extending its season for an additional week.
Emily McDonald, communications manager with Park City, said they are “having a great season.” The Park City Mountain has been tracking snowfall since 1974 and out of the past 49 years, this season marks the snowiest year on record, meaning it will have its longest ski season since 1993.
Greg Horne, a skier from Oklahoma with over 40 years of experience, is thinking about taking advantage of the longer season. Horne flew to Utah with his family to ski over spring break, but with the extended season, said he would be willing to come back again. “There are great flights from here to Oklahoma, it’s easier to come here than to Colorado.” He said that the mountain was “great” even compared to some of the slopes he skied in Europe.
Debbie Sebek, a retired ski instructor, has also been skiing for many years and skis at a number of different mountains in Utah, including Deer Valley, Sundance and Park City. Sebek said the slopes were still full of skiers for this time of year, and believes that keeping the slopes open longer is a great idea. “I’m super excited,” she said. “I’m probably going to ski until the end of the season.”
Jared Winkler, director of marketing at Brighton Ski Resort, said interest in skiing at Brighton is still high. Brighton normally closes its slopes during the third week of April, but with the snowfall, they intend to keep the slopes open for another week. “If the snow’s here, let’s use it,” Winkler said.
Winkler said near the end of the ski season, people want to play golf and go mountain biking and they just stop visiting the ski resorts. However, with the record snowfall still coming down, Sebek said, “there’s a lot to melt this year.” It will take some time for the mountain biking trails to open up.
“Hey you paid for it, let’s get you skiing,” Winkler said of those who have purchased ski passes, “and if we can add an extra week to that value, then let’s do it.”