Salt Lake City, Utah – Summer is on its way out the door, and that can only mean one thing: Another incredible Wasatch winter season is on its way. Utah’s 14 ski resorts worked tirelessly this summer to add new terrain and on-mountain enhancements, build lifts, remodel accommodations, and prepare alluring anniversary celebrations and packages. While many may know about Utah’s enviable accessibility (ten resorts are located just under an hour’s drive from the airport) and about the state’s 500 annual inches of The Greatest Snow on Earth®, this year the ski resorts of Utah want to show how much more they have to offer.
The 2015-16 season is a BIG year in Utah: Over 100 million dollars in on-mountain capital improvements are set to be debuted across the state.
Vail Resorts is in the midst of a $50 million dollar transformational capital program that will connect Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, creating Park City – the largest resort in the United States. Boasting 7,300 skiable acres, Park City will be completed before the start of the 2015-16 season. Press kit materials, including photos, can be located here.
$35 million dollars in capital improvements will crown Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort with a new mountain top facility named Summit Lodge, to be completed by late Fall. Guests can look forward to a new building with spectacular, 360-degree eagle eye views from 11,000 feet. The two-story glass-enclosed structure will replace the Ski Patrol and warming hut that has greeted Snowbird Aerial Tram riders for more than 40 years.
As of May 1, 2015, Deer Valley Resort officially took ownership of Solitude Mountain Resort and commenced running operations on site. Deer Valley Resort announced a list of capital improvements, including the new high-speed quad Summit Express chairlift.
The centerpiece for Park City’s $50 million dollar capital program is the Quicksilver Gondola, an eight-passenger gondola that will leave from the bottom of Silverlode on the Park City side of the mountain and end at Flat Iron. In addition, on the Park City Mountain side, the King Con lift will be upgraded from a four-person to a six-person high-speed detachable chair lift to help increase capacity. The Motherload lift will also be ungraded from a fixed-grip triple to a four-person high-speed detachable.
Deer Valley Resort’s biggest capital improvement at Solitude Mountain Resort for the 2015-16 season will be removing the current Summit fixed-grip double chairlift and installing a new four-person detachable high-speed quad. This will help guest easily access Honeycomb Canyon, which offers some of the best in-bound backcountry terrain in the state.
On the Park City mountainside, new eatery Miners Camp will replace the current Snow Hut next to the base of the Silverlode lift and the new Quicksilver Gondola. It will include 500 indoor seats and a top-of-the-line kitchen and culinary experience. Meanwhile, upgrades to Summit House will improve the flow of diners in the space and increase seating. On the former Canyons Resort side, Red Pine Restaurant will be renovated to the tune of 250 additional indoor seats.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort’s Summit Lodge on top of Hidden Peak will be transformed into a 23,000 square foot building that will provide cafeteria seating for 192 people on the first floor, offer private dining room seating for 180 guests, restrooms, a coffee/pastry shop and Ski Patrol, and boast a 10,000 square foot deck.
Deer Valley Resort will be remodeling and improving services at Solitude Mountain Resort’s Moonbeam Lodge Restaurant, as well as a complete revamp of menus at all resort restaurants.
North Fork Table & Tavern provides unrivaled panoramic views of the valley and reservoir. Located in Eden, Utah, just 20 minutes Northeast of Ogden, the lodge is flooded with warm natural light that spills into the cozy and comfortable après ski lounge. The restaurant‘s full service bar, and plenty of communal seating throughout, make it the perfect meeting place to relax after a long day of shredding at Powder Mountain Resort.
Park City’s $50 million plan rounds out with additional snowmaking on two trails in the Iron Mountain area on the former Canyon Resort’s side, to handle increased skier traffic for Quicksilver Gondola access.
Deer Valley Resort built a new ski run at Solitude Mountain Resort from the top of the existing Apex Express chairlift to the bottom terminal of the new, realigned Summit Express chairlift, significantly lessening the current travel time to Honeycomb Canyon.
GREAT PACKAGES AND VALUES
GREATEST SNOW ON EARTH (FOR BEGINNERS)
Utah is committed to giving everyone the best experience possible on the slopes. Whether you are a powder hound, a cruiser on the groomers, or a beginner, Utah has something for everyone. There are plenty of packages to help subsidize the cost for families and immerse new skiers/riders into the sport beloved by so many.
Ski Utah’s 5th and 6th Grade Passports Program is offered to kids nationwide. Fifth graders receive three free lift tickets at each of Utah’s 14 resorts and sixth graders receive one free lift ticket to each resort, with a $35 processing fee.
This year Brighton Resort has increased the age to “ski free” to 10 years and younger. Ranked No. 1 for family affordability and terrain, it’s the ultimate family ski destination.
If you can only make a few turns in the afternoon, Alta Ski Area offers a $10 ticket ($5 recharge) to ski after 3 p.m. on Sunnyside, Albion and Cecret.
Brian Head University Program is a risk-free program for first time skiers or snowboarders of all ages. They guarantee their Terrain Based Learning program will have you skiing and riding in just three lessons, or receive a full refund.
Park City launched Epic SchoolKids in Utah, offering five free days of skiing and riding at Park City for all of Utah’s Kids, Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. It includes a free lesson during the month of January as well.
Don’t forget January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month nationwide. Many of Utah’s resorts participate and offer packages containing a lift ticket, rentals and lesson for $45. On January 8, 2016, LSSM will be going for the Guinness Book of World Records Largest Ski and Snowboard Lesson, so make sure you head to your local hill to participate.
Utah’s newest resort, Cherry Peak Resort, is opening this season in Northern Utah. Located just 15 miles from Logan, the resort features three triple chairlifts, a comprehensive snowmaking infrastructure and a 1.25 mile-long-run. The resort has an impressive three-story day lodge that will host events year-round. Cherry Peak is the first new resort to be built in Utah for decades.
Brighton Resort, one of the four Salt Lake City resorts, celebrates its 80th year in the business this season. Just 35 minutes from the airport, Brighton is a staple to both locals and visitors alike. Brighton is Utah’s only resort that serves 100 percent of its terrain via high-speed lifts, offering multiple terrain parks and annual snowfalls of over 500 inches – what else could you ask for? Cheers to 80 more.
Snowbasin Resort is celebrating a big anniversary this season as it moves into its 75th year of operations. Steeped in history, Snowbasin Resort opened in 1940 and is one of the oldest operating ski areas in the U.S. It proudly hosted the 2002 Olympic Games’ Downhill, Combined and Super G races. To mark the diamond anniversary, the resort will host three events to celebrate the occasion: the Proclamation Day on November 27, which will mark the official day of the 75th Anniversary; the 75th Anniversary Release Party on December 16 will unveil the signature 75th Anniversary beer and whiskey; and on January 8 the 75th Birthday celebration will feature children’s activities, live music and birthday cake!
ONE WASATCH // Mountain Accord
In March of last year, Ski Utah and our resort members launched ONE Wasatch, the cohesive concept that would connect Utah’s seven (now six) Central Wasatch ski areas via chairlift and ski run. The proposed concept would be privately funded, with minimal social and environmental impacts. The first of three needed connections has been approved and will be completed in time for the 2015-16 season (Park City/Canyons).
While we still believe chairlifts and ski runs to be the most cost-effective and least invasive way to connect our resorts, more robust connectivity via light rail or aerial solutions would still accomplish the overall goal of connectivity - a top priority for the Mountain Accord economic system group.
Ski Utah is proud to be among the dozens of stakeholders who have worked toward the overall goal of pioneering a broad blueprint for conserving Utah’s Central Wasatch Mountains. We participated in the recent Mountain Accord signing and look forward to helping the plan become a reality.
Key to the Accord will be trading numerous resort-owned parcels in what is currently highly trafficked backcountry terrain for public land at the base of the resorts. This trade would open the door for improvement of resort base facilities and, importantly, service future transportation upgrades.
PROTECT OUR WINTERS (POW)
Ski Utah is proud to officially announce our partnership with Protect Our Winters. POW is the environmental axis of the global winter sports community, powered by its goal of reducing the effect climate change is imposing upon on our local sports and economies. Ski Utah is excited to support this organization and we are looking forward to announcing extensive projects throughout the 2015-16 season.
For more information, contact Ski Utah Director of Communications via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 801-433-2016.
Ski Utah is a membership association representing Utah’s $1.3 billion dollar wintersports industry, including 14 alpine ski resorts and a membership of over 250 industry partners. The organization has been creating brand awareness of and demand for the Utah wintersports product since its inception in 1978. Ski Utah’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations. Information about Ski Utah and its members can be found at skiutah.com, on Twitter @SkiUtah and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/skiutahyeti