Recent snowfall a welcome sight at Utah ski resorts experiencing unusually warm winter

Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-21 23:45:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY – After a good day of snow, northern Utah ski resorts are fighting the psychology of the warm winter. They have fewer visitors this year compared to last, even though they say the snow is great for skiing.

“Luckily, the temperature’s been cool enough up here in the hills to where our base has stayed consistently around, you know, that 55-to-60-inch mark, so it hasn't been too bad,” said Jared Winkler from Brighton Resort. “We’ll look forward to getting those numbers up even more as the season goes along. But once we get that base there, we're good and all the extra snow is just a bonus.”

Brighton reported a Friday night snowfall of eight inches, Alta and Snowbird got nine.

Out-of-towners said they were pleasantly surprised to experience good conditions after they heard about Utah's unseasonably warm winter.

“Couldn’t be better,” said Royal Pratt from Phoenix. “I didn’t anticipate as much snow as there is, but plenty of snow, and it’s good snow, it’s not too sticky. It exceeded my expectations."

Winkler said the resort has had fewer visitors this season compared to last year. He said this could be weather related. But he reminds skiers and snowboarders that, while the valley may be warm, the mountains still have plenty of snow.

“We actually haven’t made very much snow,” Winkler said. “Our normal snow pack is probably 95 percent natural snow. We do make snow early on just with the high traffic terrain and then, from there, we just rely on Mother Nature.”

Winkler said they expect to stay open until their usual closing time around the third week of April.