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Snowbird caps longest season with holiday skiing

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON — A few thousand mostly red-and-blue-clad skiers celebrated the Fourth of July on the white slopes at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

"This is unbelievable," said Salt Lake City resident Melissa Witman, who wore a red, white and blue bikini top Monday on the resort's final day of the ski season. "It's summer skiing!"

Temperatures in the 50s and 60s made swimsuits and shorts popular choices for skiers who decided to take advantage of the longest ski season in Snowbird's 39-year history.

"It's beautiful up here on the Fourth of July," said Clayton Butler of Salt Lake City, who wore only skis, boots, a helmet and a Speedo. "It's a little chilly if you hang out up top too long. But once you start going, it warms right up."

By being open for skiing Monday, Snowbird set a record for the number of days it was able to stay open in a single season with 202, said Emily Moench, the resort's communications manager. The previous record of 201 was set in 2005.

Snowbird also had a record for snowfall this season, with 783 inches — topping the previous high by nearly 100 inches, Moench said.

"It's a spectacular way to wrap of the season," she said of the holiday skiing.

Skiing and snowboarding were limited to the upper mountain, where snow reportedly was about 12 feet deep. The lower portions of the resort were open for summertime activities such as the alpine slide, a zip line, bungee trampolines and a climbing wall.

"There's just so much to do," said Moench, who added that the resort's parking lots were full just after 9 a.m.

Snowbird has only been open on the Fourth of July three times in its history — 1995, 2005 and this season. Snowbasin closed for skiing three weeks ago.

"Where else can you ski on the Fourth of July?" Butler said.


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