LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah – Three more ski resorts opened in Utah on Friday: Snowbird, Alta and Brian Head.
Skiers were up enjoying the mountain, and resort officials say conditions are shaping up to be a lot better than last year.
Snowbird reports a 25-inch base right now. Brian Head reports 24. Brian Brown with Snowbird says, thanks to the early storms in November, they were able to open their tram, which he says they usually aren’t able to do this time of year.
“So, last year, we did not have the tram on opening day, and I think we have to go all the way back to November 2010 where we had enough snowfall in November to make the tram open, which we had today,” Brown said. “So today we have 3,000 vertical feet, almost two-and-a-half miles of open runs from the top of Hidden Peak all the way down to where we are right now.”
FOX 13 got to take a ride on the tram, where hundreds of skiers were lining up to get to the top of the mountain.
“Conditions up top are good,” said snowboarder Ryan Hudson at Snowbird Resort. “It’s a little bit windy up top, but it’s beautiful. The sun is out, the snow is soft. It’s really nice. It’s a pretty pristine day.”
Connie Marshall with Alta Ski Resort says conditions are also looking good there, where hundreds of skiers turned out for opening day.
“We’re really pleased with that storm that came in last week,” Marshall said. “I think [it] was [a] blessing for all of our Utah resorts. It gave us enough to be confident about opening for today, augmented with our great snowmaking and the cold temperatures that Mother Nature gave us.”
She says Alta has three lifts running and about 30 percent of their trails open, which she says is a huge contrast compared to last year.
“Opening day last year was a tough one for us,” Marshall said. “It was probably the leanest. In the ski industry, we call it ‘boney conditions’… And we made it work, but we are a little bit prouder of today. There is good coverage. It’s good, soft snow.”
Adults can currently ski at Alta for $49.99 if they purchase tickets three days in advance. For more information on lift prices or other deals at resorts, visit their websites.