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Utah ski resorts made plenty of ‘great upgrades’ in the offseason. Here’s what’s new

SHARE Utah ski resorts made plenty of ‘great upgrades’ in the offseason. Here’s what’s new
Skiers ride the lift at Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Skiers ride the lift at Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Nov. 14, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Utah's ski season is off to a blazing start, as more than half of the state's 15 resorts are already open — and the rest should be open in the coming weeks.

"We have plenty of snow," Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO at Ski Utah, said during the organization’s annual season-opening press conference Monday.

The new season brings "a lot of great upgrades," Rafferty added. Many resorts spent the offseason improving snowmaking operations or increasing terrain options for skiers and snowboarders.

There have also been improvements to mitigate avalanches. For instance, Solitude Mountain Resort added a new Wyssen Avalanche Tower, which allows for remote detonation to make the slopes safer.

"I think you're going to see our state and our industry moving away from traditional avalanche mitigation with big howitzer ... war-era artillery guns and moving toward this slick Swiss remote technology," Rafferty said.

But that's just the beginning. With the new season close to full swing, below are some changes Utah skiers and snowboarders can expect this year.

Alta Ski Area

Status: Open

What's new: Alta is replacing its Sunnyside triple-chair with a new, six-person detachable lift, though it’s not expected to open until mid- to late-December, amid global supply chain issues, according to the resort.

Beaver Mountain Ski Area

Status: Opening Date TBA

What's new: No updates provided.

Brian Head Resort

Status: Open

What's new: The resort introduced a new four-day Power Pass this year, which offers four days of skiing, not just at Brian Head but Snowbowl (Arizona), Purgatory (Colorado) and Spider Mountain (Texas) resorts. Ski Utah reports that the resort also cleared out some brush and trees in parts of the resort to improve ski run experiences.

Brighton Resort

Status: Open

What's new: The resort added more lights to make its Ziggy and Pine Martin runs available for night skiing. The resort now offers 24 different night runs, which are expected to be available in mid-December.

Cherry Peak Resort

Status: Opening Date TBA

What's new: No updates provided.

Deer Valley Resort

Status: Opens Nov. 29

What's new: The resort added a new lift to offer beginner skiers new terrain after graduating from its Wide West learning area, as a part of a $6 million investment toward expanding beginner options, resort officials said. The lift also improves access to Little Baldy Mountain. Ski Utah notes that the resort also updated its ski rental fleet and added a new steak and seafood restaurant at the Snow Park Lodge, called Cast and Cut.

Eagle Point Resort

Status: Opens Dec. 16

What's new: The resort is opening 10 new studio cabins to expand lodging services for the upcoming season, according to Ski Utah.

Nordic Valley Ski Resort

Status: Opens Dec. 9

What's new: The resort added five new black-diamond trails in the offseason, increasing its total to 19. Ski Utah reports that the resort also added a new bar inside its old Ski Patrol room called The Aid Room.

Park City Mountain

Status: Open

What's new: The resort announced some parking changes for this year, moving to a parking reservation system that contains "elements of paid parking, free parking and carpool and transit incentives." The fees are as high as $25 and $40, based on lot locations, dates and other conditions. It also launched a new “lift line forecast” app that allows customers to track busy times at the resort, delays and even conditions. The resort also added new dining options, as well as a new ski beach from the Red Pine Gondola to the Orange Bubble Express at Canyons Village.

Powder Mountain

Status: Opens Dec. 8, but may open sooner, depending on forecasts.

What's new: The resort is launching a new guided snowmobile tour that offers customers unique views of the Wasatch Mountains, the Ogden Valley and the Great Salt Lake along with a history lesson of the White Pine area in one- to two-hour sessions. The tour starts at $130 per snowmobile, and $30 per additional guest. The resort also has new dining experiences at Bower Lodge, including live music from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday.

Snowbasin Resort

Status: Open

What's new: The resort joined both the Ikon and Mountain Collective passes over the offseason, leaving the Epic Pass program after three years. Ski Utah reports that the resort also added 22 new snowmaking machines.

Snowbird Resort

Status: Open

What's new: The biggest change skiers and snowboarders will see this year is the aerial trams. Snowbird replaced both of its 50-year-old tram cabins in the offseason, albeit with some hiccups along the way.

Solitude Mountain Resort

Status: Open

What's new: The resort is opening two new terrain parks this season, which offer small and medium features like boxes, rails and jumps for various skill levels. Other changes include a new food truck and improvements at the resort's yurt.

Sundance Mountain Resort

Status: Opens Dec. 9

What's new: The resort added a new lift, allowing for 10 new runs and 40 acres of new skiable terrain.

Woodward Park City

Status: Open

What's new: The resort "reimagined" its layout to increase features by 20%, according to Ski Utah. This includes more small and medium features for extreme sports enthusiasts.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that Nordic Valley Ski Resort would have a new yurt this year. However, that project will not be opening this year.