With the transformation of green leaves to those of burnished gold, vermillion, and yellow comes a mountain of anticipation for the upcoming 2023-24 ski season.
It's been an especially busy summer at resorts all across the state of Utah. Resorts had a far shorter summer window in which to execute guest experience projects after our historical 903-inch season in 2022-23. Tireless work, long days, and a lot of dedication by resort employees has resulted in an impressive number of new developments to report. Skiers and snowboarders will find many new resort upgrades, improvements, and updates to investigate this winter. Here is your definitive guide to all the changes that transpired at Utah's ski areas for launch in the 2023-24 winter season.
Alta Ski Area
In a project that has been unfolding for multiple years now, Alta will install their final five Wyssen Towers. These Remote Avalanche Devices (RACs) were installed—with the help of helicopters—atop Mount Baldy this summer once the snow finally melted. This development is the cap on a multi-year project to retire military artillery, a tactic used by Alta Ski Area and the United States Forest Service for 75 years. This monumental moment caps a legacy of innovation and research in avalanche science and mitigation. Alta served as the birthplace for avalanche safety back in the 1940s; to learn more about this incredible journey, check out The History of Avalanche Forecasting and Mitigation in Utah.
In addition to the avalanche safety upgrades, the snowmaking pipes around the Wildcat Base Area are being replaced and upgraded. In another big change for Alta, the decommissioned Albion chairlift has been completely removed from the Albion Basin after 60 years of service. Guests will enjoy a swift and comfortable ride on the new Sunnyside Lift which was completed last season.
Change happens slowly at Beaver Mountain, as any diehard local could attest. In one of the biggest improvements in years, The Beav embarked on a 2-year project to construct Marge's Cabin. This new 25,000-square-foot facility will encompass a new and improved (larger) rental shop, the Snowsports School, Skier Services, retail space, and a new café. Beaver Mountain struck ground this summer on the new lodge and expects to finish the work in about 2 year's time. It will be worth the wait to enjoy the legendary Triple Bypass Burger in the resort's new home base.
The parking area at Beaver was also expanded this summer to better accomodate peak holiday visits. For those who just gotta go, a new vault toilet was added at the base of Marge's Triple lift, meaning skiers and snowboarders will not have to return all the way to the base area to use the facilities.
Brian Head Resort
Brian Head Ski Resort, located near Cedar City, Utah debuted a new downhill mountain bike trail this summer: Grit'n Gravy.
As the seasons shift, Brian Head is ensuring that the newest skiers and snowboarders on their slopes have the ultimate introduction. Check out their "Free On-Snow Experience", a step-by-step, self-guided clinic to better prepare first-timers on their big day. Learning stations staffed by instructors will provide tips and information along the way and will speed up the acquisition of basic skills and fundamentals. This program is open to all ages and introduces basic mountain safety and relevant tips for a successful first time skiing or snowboarding.
New gladed terrain will debut at Brian Head in the 2023-24 season for guests of all experience levels. The trees underneath the Wildflower Lift and the area around the Shotgun Trail will all boast enjoyable tree skiing while cutting down on fire danger in collaboration with the United States Forest Service.
Additional snowmaking units have been expanded to the Lower Aught trail which will allow mountain operations to open more terrain early in the season. Cutting edge snowmaking equipment costing $500,000 will keep energy costs low and conserve water. For fresh corduroy fanatics, the resort also added a beastly PistenBully 400 Groomer to its fleet of machines to enhance and maintain perfectly groomed runs.
Beloved Brighton will look a bit different for die-hard fans this winter! In a much anticipated upgrade, the new Crest6 Chairlift will swiftly whisk passengers up to the saddle beneath Pioneer Ridge from the base area near Molly Green's pup. This high-speed, 6-passenger marvel will keep lines shorter and will be sure to allow night skiing aficionados a higher volume of laps under the lights. The new Crest6 will be Doppelmayr's first ever 6-person D-line lift in Utah!
Brighton has long offered delicious food slopeside but patrons could only ever score snacks and a hot meal from the resort's base area. The new Snake Creek Lodge and its Sidewinder Grill will fuel skiers and snowboarders alike up on the mountain at this new mid-mountain masterpiece.
Brighton has also made a few investments in their snowmaking systems and dropped a dime or two on a new PistenBully diesel electric, hybrid snowcat. To learn more about what it takes to run courdery and keep Brighton in tip top shape all winter long, don't miss our Night in the Life of a Snowcat Driver highlight.
The Brighton Diggers, the dedicated park crew, has also kept busy this summer. The team craftily discovered a way to link four of their 25-foot down rails all together to form one massive 100-foot rail. Park rats will rejoice at this new spectacular challenge slated for the Brighton Parks. Terrain park lovers can also expect a handful of new features to explore that will cater to beginners up to pros.
Cherry Peak Resort
Cherry Peak near Logan, Utah is an awesome and affordable place for families and those looking to learn the art of skiing or snowboarding. This family-owned resort has a fun vibe, approachable terrain, and great snowmaking. For 2023-24 Cherry Peak will be debuting snowmaking enhancements and downhill tubing fun.
Deer Valley Resort
For the biggest news in Utah resort development, we turn to Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. The "Expanded Excellence" project will add over 2,900 acres of skiable terrain in the coming years with 9 new chairlifts and 110 new ski runs expected by winter 2025-26. Upon completion of the project, Deer Valley will boast over 5,726 acres serviced by 37 chairlifts and 238 ski runs. The first phase of this enormous project will involve the development of the new ski terrain as it is integrated into the resort's existing footprint. Eventually all the terrain will link to new skier services at a village located along U.S. Route 40. To learn more about the future of Deer Valley, click here.
In the upcoming year, Deer Valley plans to invest over $6M in maintenance and infrastructure upgrades to snowmaking, grooming, rental equipment, employee housing, food and beverage, lift infrastructure and building maintenance. Within these plans a major update and improvements to the Snow Park base area and lodge are plotted. In the immediate future, the food and beverage experience will be upgraded for the 2023-24 winter with a renovation of Royal Street Café and the conversion of its 2nd floor into a cozy 21+ bar and après spot. A new Kid's Ski School Lunch Center will be available at Snow Park Lodge. The ever popular Cushing's Cabin offers an expanded drink menu for warming up on-slope with a new espresso machine. Updates to the sprawling Silver Lake Lodge include new fixtures and furnishings in all meeting and convention spaces to allow for added dining and event opportunities.
As per usual, Deer Valley will continue building and improving their expansive and action packed summer mountain bike park. Their partnership with the esteemed Gravity Logic group will produce additional jump/flow trails on Bald Eagle Mountain for summer 2024.
Eagle Point Resort
Eagle Point is making highly anticipated infrastructure updates topping over $200,000 to the Skyline and Monarch Chairlifts. As we look forward to the summer of 2024, Eagle Point plans to welcome guests to explore four new mountain bike trails! Road and surface improvements to the winding Highway UT-153 and Upper Meadows Drive will both contribute to a more seamless journey into the Tushar Mountains to enjoy Eagle Point and their eponymous "Powder Fridays'.
The dedicated mountain crews at Nordic Valley have had an exceptionally busy summer! For the first time in a long time, Nordic Valley threw open the gates this summer to mountain bikers in a great revival meant to cater to summer fun. While there were no on-mountain facilities available and bike haul on the chairlifts was not provided, the trails did open to pedal travel and the resort hosted a number of Mid-Week MTB races with Bike Utah throughout the summer. It was just a first step in a ongoing effort to build up the biking community and trail options in Ogden Valley.
Last but definitely not least, when the weather turns frigid, go explore TWO brand new trails off the new Nordic Express 6-pack chair. Bust out laps off this high-speed chair and enjoy beautiful views of Ogden Valley while exploring new terrain and enjoying the trees and groomers.
Park City Mountain
Park City Mountain got its start from a handful of strong-willed miners with big dreams. This season, the resort will celebrate its 60th season. Look for tons of celebratory events, fireworks, winter concerts, and signature events. To learn more about the rough and tumble history of this distinguished resort, don't miss our history guide here.
The Red Pine Gondola at Park City Mountain got a fresh lease on life this summer with gorgeous new cabins that offer stunning 360-degree views of Summit County and a smoother, quieter ride.
Park City Mountain and all Epic Resorts will launch the new My Epic App for guests to easily access their mobile ski pass or lift tickets and utilize Bluetooth to hop on the lifts. Guests will have the ability to activate their ski pass or lift ticket online and then store it on their phone within the My Epic app. Gone is the need for visiting the ticket window or waiting to receive tickets or passes in the snail mail. This new technology supports the company's Commitment to Zero sustainability program to halt plastic waste from ski passes and eliminate the need for RFID chips.
There's exciting news up at Powder Mountain for folks who might not be looking to ski or snowboard! A new network of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoing will debut near the Village Lift. Guests can also look to the Launch Pad Yurt which will open in December near the top of the Village Chair for more activities and fun. Here folks can jump start adventures in crosscountry skiing, snowshoeing, moonbike tours, snowmobile tours, and more. Families and those prone to chilly toes will be delighted to learn about a new on-slope warming hut with delicious hot chocolate and snacks.
The biggest news this season at Powder is a pending terrain expansion of over 500 acres of steep terrain. Stay tuned to Powder Mountain's social channels for updates and announcements. The new backcountry terrain will only be available via a guided experience and is sure to deliver incredible memories in the future.
Looking to the Snow Sports School, the beginner terrain and the services at the old Sundown Lodge are slated for major upgrades. The old Tiger Tow will be updated with a more reliable Sunkid magic carpet that will continue to operate into the dark during night skiing hours. The area around Sundown Lodge will be the first zone at Powder Mountain to be equipped with snowmaking infrastructure. A temporary yet more comfortable structure will house the Snow Sports School, rentals, and retail this winter while construction on a new lodge gets underway.
It's fresh strawberry season over at Snowbasin Resort! First chair on the highly anticipated DeMoisy Express Chairlift is slated for December 2023. This new high-speed 6-seater will drastically reduce congestion on this side of the mountain and provide speedy access back to Snowbasin's base area. Before you load up on DeMoisy, sprawl out on the new 5,000-square-foot heated cobblestone patio to the northwest of Strawberry Lodge. Over 180 seats will accomodate guests as they enjoy new dining options and bask in the sunshine over on the Strawberry segment of the resort.
Parking improvements were completed with the addition of 124 stalls to the Canyon Rim lot this summer. This expansion is the second project Snowbasin has completed in the past 3 years to maximize parking spots and better accomodate guests in their 5 lots. Free shuttle services will transport guests from their lot directly to the slopes.
Snowbird wil launch their new Kids Freeloader Pass meant to reduce the barrier of entry to new and young skiers and snowboarders. Anyone under the age of 18 will qualify for a FREE Snowbird season pass when linked to an Adult, Military, or Senior Snowbird Summit Pass. This 1:1 free pass program means any Snowbird Summit Passholder can give their Kids Freeloader Pass to a dependent, a family member, or a friend at no cost with zero restrictions. Snowbird aims to provide progressive access to those who many not otherwise have the opportunity or option to spend a day on the mountain. Families and support systems come in all forms so the Kids Freeloader Pass is meant to be inclusive while fostering the future generations of skiers and shredders.
Visit the new Mountain Center on the Snowbird plaza for your one-stop zone to make dinner reservations, book snowcat or helicopter skiing with Snowbird Mountain Guides, schedule lessons with the Snowbird Mountain School, buy lift tickets or grab information about the mountain. Snowbird Sports has been relocated to Level 2 of the Snowbird Center with a much larger floorplan to provide a more expansive range of rental, demo, and retail gear for guests. Don't miss Tram Sundries, a new eatery right on the plaza for quick and easy to-go snacks, beverages, and necessities like lip balm or sunscreen.
In late spring of 2024, Snowbird plans to upgrade the original Wilbere Lift, which was installed for Snowbird's inaugural 1971 season. Wilbere was named for founder Ted Johnson's spunky and hardworking wife, Wilma. This fixed grip oldie will transform into a 4-CLF AlpenStar quad chairlift manufactured and installed by Doppelmayr and Garaventa. The loading station will feature a conveyor belt for the ease of guests and will be relocated from its current location beneath Creek Road down to the Creekside Base Area and adjacent to the Bryce Astle Training Center. The new Wilbere will be far more accessible from the parking lots and will better serve Snowbird's young alpine racers as they train gates and compete in GS and slalom races. The top station of Wilbere will remain in the same area.
Snowbird also installed eight new Wyssen towers this summer. These Remote Avalanche Control devices (RACs) will help Snowbird Ski Patrol more efficiently prepare the avalanche terrain around Mount Baldy, Wilbere Bowl, and Road to Provo for the powder frothing public. This huge project brought Snowbird's total Wyssen tower count to 17. Snowbird has been installing RACs since summer 2021 and it currently represents the largest RAC installation project in the United States. Snowbird's use of Wyssen towers has improved worker safety and reduced the amount of time it takes for Snowbird Ski Patrol to complete avalanche mitigation.
Building on last spring's momentum with the Snowbird x Woodward Mountain Park terrain park in Mineral Basin, Snowbird will continue the collaboration for Spring 2024. Stay tuned for more updates, events, and info in the coming months.
SolitudeSolitude Mountain retired the well loved Eagle Express chairlift this summer. A fun fact: Eagle was Utah's first high-speed detachable chairlift when installed back in 1989. The crew rapidly removed the lift to make way for the installation of a new high-speed 6-person lift which will decrease wait times on busy days and help to minimize congestion across the resort. Solitude plans to debut the new Eagle Express in mid-December, 2023.
Sundance Mountain Resort
Sundance Mountain Resort will offer expanded season pass benefits for the 2023-24 season with their Friends & Family Program. Passholders can also take advantage of a 20% discount on daily ski or snowboard rentals and three days of skiing at a variety of partner resorts (blackout dates apply).
The area around Jake's Lift has been updated to improve traffic flow and includes a road realignment and added parking spaces. Newbies can also enjoy a brand new beginner run from Jake's Lift to the upper parking lots.
Don't miss the chance to book lodging at Sundance as the resort will now offer relaxation pools for guests to soothe sore legs after a long powder day.
Woodward Park City
Woodward Park City is like no other resort in Utah with its 66,000-square foot Adventure Hub and its outdoor wonderland of jumps, rails, halfpipes and progressive features. This summer Woodward Park City acquired a new PistenBully Park Pro Snow Cat to keep their terrain park in tip top shape. The Big Air feature will return and guests can expect additional upgrades to the High-Performance Terrain Zone. Tubing guests will enjoy an improved lighting system under the night sky and all can take advantage of a resurfaced parking lot.
Visit Woodward's website to learn about various Winter Camp training opportunities that include training with US Ski & Snowboard team athletes as guest coaches.
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