Considering the 700 inches of snow which blanketed
Utah’s resorts and a fifth consecutive record-breaking year of skier visits,
it would appear that Utah’s 2007-08 winter season was unbeatable. However,
Utah’s ski resorts are up to the challenge and rolling out a number of
improvements for the 2008-09 season. Let it snow!
Alta Ski Area celebrates 70 years of skiing this upcoming season. On Oct.
19, 1938, the Forest Service issued the initial permit to construct a lift
at Alta to the Salt Lake Winter Sports Association. Alta officially opened
as a ski area that December and continues to remain one of the country’s
Recent upgrades to Beaver Mountain’s food service have caused more skiers to
gather in the Resort’s traditional A-frame lodge for lunch. As a result,
Beaver Mountain will make over $300,000 in improvements to the lodge adding
additional seating to better accommodate guests.
Brian Head Resort
Brian Head Resort, in southern Utah, has been busy putting final touches on
the major expansion which combined their two separate mountains in the
2007-08 winter season. Details include new rock work on the retaining walls,
additional slope grading and mountain landscaping.
Brighton Resort has built a new day lodge called the Milly Chalet. The lodge
will be situated at the base of the Milly high speed quad. The new $1.5
million facility is approximately 3,500 square feet and will provide guests
a comfortable place to rest when skiing in the Millicent area.
The Canyons Resort
Snowriders at The Canyons Resort will enjoy a new lift and gondola during
the 2008-09 season. The new Frostwood gondola will transport guests staying
in the Frostwood area, which includes the Miners Club, the currently under
construction Dakota Mountain Lodge, and all other development projects in
the area to the resort base.
In addition, a brand new fixed grip quad chair will run from the Tombstone
base to a location approximately one-half mile below the DreamCatcher lift
base. The lift is the first step in the Iron Mountain expansion plans, and
will initially be used to access the Tombstone lift at the end of the day.
Trees will be gladed in places such as Mystic Pines, off of the Peak 5 lift,
opening up more tree-skiing and riding for guests. The Canyons will also
upgrade snowmaking and grooming equipment guaranteeing a high quality ski
Deer Valley Resort
Deer Valley Resort has invested $8 million in on-mountain improvements for
the 2008-09 winter season. Improvements include the replacement of the
existing Cushing’s Cabin at the top of Flagstaff Mountain, adjacent to the
Northside Express, Quincy Express, Silver Strike Express and Ruby Express
chairlifts. The new cabin will seat 40 to 45 guests, feature updated
restrooms and house Flagstaff Mountain Ski Patrol.
In addition, Deer Valley has remodeled the Empire Canyon Lodge to allow more
seating upstairs and improve the flow through the beverage and service
areas. Deer Valley has also made improvements to snow making and maintenance
equipment to ensure its signature excellence.
Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort will unveil $10.5 million in improvements for the
2008-09 winter season including a new high-speed chair lift, terrain
enhancements and renovation of the Mid-Mountain Lodge.
Park City Mountain Resort’s new high-speed quad chair lift, Crescent lift,
will replace and realign the existing Ski Team lift. The lift will begin
near the base of the Resort and extend to Crescent Ridge (also known as Ski
Team Ridge). The new chair lift will significantly increase accessibility
out of the base area as well as to the front-side runs, some of the Resort’s
best advanced terrain.
To complement the new lift, the Resort is making terrain enhancements to
improve the skiing/riding experience on the mountain, including a new run
addition and expanded snowmaking. Park City Mountain Resort will also assume
operations for Mid-Mountain Lodge in the 2008-09 season. The Resort will
renovate the Mid-Mountain Lodge to further develop on-mountain dining.
Finally, as part of its environmental commitment, Park City Mountain Resort
is offsetting 100 percent of its power consumption from renewable energy
sources beginning in June 2008. This purchase of 13.9 million kWh of
renewable energy credits (RECs) will avoid nearly 19 million pounds of CO2
emissions annually, which is equal to removing 1,853 passenger vehicles from
the road or powering 1,100 average American homes for a year. For more
information, visit www.saveoursnow.net.
Powder Mountain has added a new Mountain Adventure Center located near the
Timberline Lodge which will house all of Powder Mountain’s adventure
programs including Snowcat Powder Safaris, Mountain Adventure Tours and the
Snow Sports School. Last season, Powder Mountain started all-day guided
snowcat tours called Snowcat Powder Safari. Due to the popularity of the
program, the terrain available via the snowcat has been increased 100
percent to 2,000-plus acres.
Restaurants in all three lodges have been renovated to improve guest flow
and to allow additional menu options. All changes are designed to minimize
the time guests spend off the slopes on a powder day.
Powder Mountain is also taking steps to ensure everyone can enjoy and afford
the sport of skiing. The price of a night lift pass will be rolled back to
2002-rates. An adult night pass will be $15 and a child (7 – 12) will be
$12. Night operations will start one hour earlier than previous years, at
3:00pm, so guests can enjoy a few hours of sunlight.
Snowbasin Resort has replaced the Little Cat lift which services beginner
terrain, with a new detachable quad chair lift starting above Earl’s Lodge
and ending at the upper parking lot. The new lift will span 1,578 feet in
length with a vertical rise of 173.5 feet. A 1,000 foot per minute line
speed will yield a carrying capacity of 2,600 people per hour.
The new lift will better accommodate the beginning skier by reducing the
intimidation from downhill skier traffic and easing loading and unloading
due to the detachable lift's design.
Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort
The Tram Club at Snowbird is undergoing an extensive remodeling project for
the first time in 15 years. Owner Bill Carter has updated the previous
"Disco" feel to a more modern, après-ski setting. The Tram Club will feature
12 flat screens, 3 projection screens and all major sports packages.
The Aerie Sushi Bar (on the top floor of the Cliff Lodge) has also been
renovated and is now open year-round. The Aerie Sushi Bar is no longer a
private club enabling the whole family to enjoy the extensive offerings,
including a café menu with kid-friendly items like burgers and fries.
Kids age 12 and under will continue to ski free with all lodging packages
booked through Snowbird Central Reservations or Snowbird.com. Snowbird’s
Mountain School has added new pre-season pricing to its private lesson
Solitude Mountain Resort has announced $7 million in lift upgrades for the
2008-09 winter season, including two new high-speed chairlifts commencing
from each base area – Solitude Village and Moonbeam Center.
Apex Express will replace the existing Apex double lift with a high-speed
quad and provide access to the heart of the mountain. Another high-speed
quad dubbed Moonbeam Express, will bring Solitude’s total high-speed lift
count to three. The new lift will create a faster ride, eliminating a large
amount of stops per ride due to passenger loading on a fixed grip lift.
Moonbeam Express will provide guests just learning the sport a much easier
loading and unloading experience, hopefully encouraging them to come again
and again. Solitude’s goal with terrain and lift improvements, now and into
the future, is to create pockets of terrain that are specific to ability
levels, which every ability level can appreciate.
Sundance is continuing to preserve its beautiful protected setting, against
a 12,000-foot backdrop of Mount Timpanogos. Sundance offers 41 runs spread
over 500 acres of snow-smothered terrain suitable for beginning to expert
levels. Experts enjoy the steep and the deep in wide open bowls and narrow
gladed chutes, while all can enjoy our immaculately groomed slopes. Sundance
prides itself on being a place where families can gather and hospitality is
a way of life. Special kids programs and a variety of activities keep the
family smiling all day.
Sundance’s cross country ski center has a full 26 kilometers of daily
groomed trails and are available for skating and classic skiing. Snowshoers
can explore Sundance’s terrain on 10 kilometers of dedicated trails through
Wolf Mountain is an integral part of Wolf Creek Utah's complete amenity
package, offering the best guest experience available. Major improvements
for the 2008-09 season include expanded beginner learning terrain, a more
convenient skier/guest drop off area and continued improvements to its
terrain park. The Wolf Mountain Learning Center offers the best value in ski
and snowboard education, with the “Get on Board” pass. For only $200, a new
skier or snowboarder can take three lessons with equipment rental and
receive a free season pass at the end of their lesson series.