Solitude lives up to its name as power outage keeps skiers off slopes

Posted at 10:17 AM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 21:13:49-05

SOLITUDE, Utah – Solitude Ski Resort lived up to its name Friday, but not in the way managers would’ve liked.

The slopes were empty due to an ongoing power outage that began Thursday morning. Strong winds knocked power lines down in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

It cut off power to close to 500 Rocky Mountain Power customers. Solitude General Manager Kim Mayhew said it was a frustrating situation because there was nothing the resort could do.

“We have a lot of folks that came from out of town here to enjoy the Wasatch Mountains, and to enjoy Solitude, and we haven’t been able to meet their expectations,” Mayhew said.

Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson David Eskelsen said crews had to wait for the storm to pass to try to repair the lines, which meant leaving the area in the dark overnight. Crews weren’t able to reach the downed lines until Friday afternoon.

“We do have snow cats that are used in places like this, because in certain areas where the lines are down, it’s essentially forest and wilderness type of location," Eskelsen said.

Crews restored power to the resort at around 3:45 p.m., but it wasn’t enough time to salvage a ski day. Many guests who came in from out of state ended up going to nearby Brighton Ski Resort for the day, but they say it was tough to look at the freshly groomed slopes and not be able to ride.

“It’s painful,” said visiting skier Vick Mokarry. “This is a short two-day trip, and this is usually a great place to be, and you guys have had great snow this year.”

Solitude marketing managers say the resort is working with guests who pre-purchased tickets to get refunds. The lifts are scheduled to open back up on Saturday.