Besides each autumn's first snowfall, there's another facet of winter anticipation that skiers and snowboarders are often excited about. No, we're not talking about premiere season. It's resort improvements! Check out all the updates you can expect to see around Utah's ski areas for winter 2021–22. A few resorts are releasing massive upgrades and there's something new or exciting at nearly every mountain...
ALTA SKI AREA IMPROVEMENTS
Snowmaking will be expanded around the Wildcat Base Area to improve the guest experience in the early season. Look over to East Castle when riding the Sugarloaf Lift, and see if you can spy the four new Wyssen towers and the installation of a snow fence to assist Alta Ski Patrol with avalanche mitigation. Don't miss our comprehensive guide on avalanche mitigation measures and how Alta fostered the birth of avalanche snow science in North America! These new avalanche mitigation devices will allow Alta Ski Patrol to open terrain off the Supreme lift in a quicker fashion.
Book a new guided ski tour with the Alf Engen Ski School featuring professional instruction and a unique guided tour focusing on geology, history, mining and recent sustainability efforts such as tree planting. The Ski School is also offering a Learn To Ski program for adults after a successful pilot program last season. A package of lessons takes true beginners to a new level of confidence and proficiency.
Remodels to the Albion Ski Shop improve traffic flow for those obtaining equipment rentals to complete the process and hit the lifts sooner.
Photo: Rocko Menzyk & Alta Ski Area
BEAVER MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS
A large new yurt will greet guests at the base area of Beaver Mountain this winter. The yurt will expedite and facilitate the experience of beginner skiers and riders. Here, folks can begin and complete their equipment rental process, as well as book a lesson with a snowsports instructor. The yurt will feature prominently in Beaver's unique Learn to Turn program and will help make beginners feel comfortable and welcome.
BRIAN HEAD RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
A sparkling new snowcat joins the fleet of snow machines at Brian Head Ski Resort this winter. In addition to the whirr of fresh cat tracks in the wee hours, Brian Head has expanded and improved its snowmaking systems. Ski Patrol and Mountain Operations teams have also been equipped with new evacuation equipment to make guest safety around the mountain more efficient.
BRIGHTON RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
The Snake Creek zone at Brighton will be graced with snowmaking equipment to help achieve thick coverage and open this area earlier in the season. Most exciting, more lighting has been added to the Snake Creek lift and runs, so Brighton can extend its night skiing acreage. A heavy-hitter arrives on Brighton's nightlife scene in the form of a new PistenBully 600 E+ Hybrid Diesel Electric Snowcat. Adam Morrisett, Brighton’s Supervisor of Snowcat Operations was quite excited about this new snow machine and you can ride along with us on his nightly shifts at Brighton to keep the resort in top shape for skiers and riders—click here.
DEER VALLEY RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
Looking to the future at Deer Valley Resort, the Snow Park base area will be radically reimagined to enhance guest comfort, dining and access. The parking lot and Snow Park Lodge will be reconfigured to better serve guests and increase the efficiency of the parking lots. Deer Valley is working through the permitting process now and expects to break ground in 2022.
EAGLE POINT RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
Eagle Point has crafted a new snowmaking pond and expanded its snowmaking systems to provide more coverage around the Skyline Lift area. This will add base depth to some of the more popular runs for beginners and ski lessons and will help the resort open more terrain earlier in the season. The Skyline Lodge saw an exterior update and renovations to the outdoor patio as well. Reconfiguring the patio will allow guests an easier return to the Skyline Lift after taking a break or grabbing a snack.
Eagle Point lodging is often sold out on peak holiday weekends, so the resort is delighted to introduce the Canyonside Collection near the Canyonside Lodge area. These modern mountain lodgings spare no luxury and feature expansive views, plush decor, private hot tubs and spacious floor plans. The Canyonside Collection represents the first new lodging options in 20 years at Eagle Point. If you hope to stay this season, you best book now!
NORDIC VALLEY IMPROVEMENTS
Last year Nordic Valley debuted the largest capital investment in 20 years, the Nordic Express 6-person high-speed quad to the south of the resort's existing footprint. To enhance the new lift, Nordic Valley spent the summer cutting four additional trails to service all the new terrain and installing snowmaking systems to assist with early-season coverage throughout the expansion area. Guests can also expect new bathrooms in a well-appointed trailer that will double the resort's restroom capacity. The Old Barn also saw a refresh with new paint and a few improvements to ensure guest comfort and delight when ordering food or enjoying a snack.
PARK CITY MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTSWith an eye to the future and sustainability, Park City Mountain will proudly break ground on their partnership in the Elektron Solar Project in October 2021. The project’s 80 MW of solar power will provide 100% of the resort's electricity usage by the year 2023. This bold initiative is part of Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Zero initiative, and in line with Vail Resorts' recent commitment to the Climate Collaborative Charter, a unified group of resorts and entities committing to sustainability in the ski industry. With an emphasis on efficiency, Park City Mountain also continues to update and invest in its snowmaking systems, including improvements in recent years to the High Meadow Park, Iron Mountain and Red Pine Road areas.
POWDER MOUNTAIN IMPROVEMENTS
Powder Mountain is thrilled to announce a partnership with the Indy Pass. This collective of boutique and independently-owned resorts gives skiers and shredders access to 80 unique, special and eclectic mountains. Discover the 'spirit of skiing' at Powder Mountain and many like-minded mountains. Beaver Mountain and Eagle Point in Utah all participate on the Indy Pass.
SNOWBASIN RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
Snowbasin Resort debuts big changes for the 2021-22 season with the decommissioning of the old Middle Bowl chairlift and installation of the new high-speed six person Middle Bowl Express. The ride will shrink from 12 minutes to less than six. Construction is expected to be complete by Christmas of 2021with a higher top terminal to provide guests with access to the Needles Lodge.
Snowbasin will also offer 435 additional parking stalls in the Maples and Canyon Rim parking zones to alleviate pressure on peak holiday weekends. Snowbasin unveiled its master plan for a base village with overnight lodging and capital investment plans for the coming years. Snowbasin will update the Littlecat Express lift in 2024 with additional plans to add lifts to guests utilizing the Ridgeline Beginner Area. Terrain for beginners and snowmaking capacity will both expand.
With sustainability in mind, Snowbird Power Systems officially came online in July of 2021. This system comprises a network of facilities around that mountain that produce heat and electricity to power the resort in a more efficient and reliable manner. A cogeneration plant situated near one of the parking lots uses natural gas to produce electricity while recycling naturally occurring heat waste to warm buildings and facilities. Between 90-100% of Snowbird's power needs will be generated by its own system while removing enough carbon emissions to equal 789 vehicles from Highway 210.
Wyssen towers have been installed in Mineral Basin to assist Snowbird Ski Patrol with avalanche mitigation work. To learn more about the different types of avalanche mitigation used by Ski Patrollers in Utah—click here.
SOLITUDE MOUNTAIN RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
In one of the most exciting changes for Utah resorts in 2022, Solitude will begin to implement longer hours on weekends and peak holidays. Beginning in mid-December 2021, Solitude will fire up Moonbeam Express, Apex Express and Link at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The remainder of the mountain will open at 9 a.m. on these days, subject to terrain availability. With daylight savings in mid-March, Solitude will "spring forward" and run till 5 pm to take advantage of the added daylight and fantastic spring skiing. Anyone with a valid lift ticket or ski pass may take advantage of this change.
Courtesy of Solitude Mountain Resort
Solitude Mountain Resort has shifted to a minimum wage of $15 per hour for all hourly employees not receiving tips. Solitude implemented wage increases for eligible roles above the starting wage.
For a dash of flavor, Solitude welcomes Gerry Nooney to its ranks as the new Director of Food & Beverage. Gerry has formerly served as an instructor at the New England Culinary Institute and as the VP of Culinary Operations at Sugarbush Resort in Vermont. Nooney clinched the honor of 2009's Chef of the Year from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce with his focus and use of local products and regional agriculture. It'll be a tasty winter at Solitude!
On the mountain the Rossignol rental fleet has been refreshed and a new PistenBully snowcat will leave perfect corduroy in its wake.
SUNDANCE MOUNTAIN RESORT IMPROVEMENTS
It's a huge year for Sundance Mountain Resort with the biggest upgrades to lift infrastructure and more projects than the resort has seen in decades. Gone is Ray's, the trusty old four-seater that trundled guests up to the Mandan Summit and back down again to the Long Hollow area. Sundance spent the summer working hard to install a new high-speed detachable quad—with a mid-mountain station for beginners—from the base area to Mandan Summit. This will allow skiers to better access the terrain around the summit opening 35 new acres of terrain after a speedy seven minute ride. This new high-speed lift will also open more terrain for night skiing. One additional new lift will whisk people back up the backside and serve summer patrons.
WOODWARD PARK CITY IMPROVEMENTS
Woodward Park City's 60,000-square foot Action Sports Hub will pack yet more adventure between its hallowed walls. Athletes can expect to enjoy a Concrete Park Corner, a new stage for Parkour moves and a Micro Clubhouse to complement Woodward's already action-packed indoor activity menu.