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Lots of snow? Here’s why resorts don’t extend ski season

Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 20:52:10-04

SOLITUDE, Utah — Heavy spring snow on top of a large snowpack won’t be enough to coax resorts into a later closing day, and there are a few reasons why.

“It’s one last gift from mother nature,” said Sara Huey with Solitude Mountain Resort as snowflakes piled up on her hat and eyelashes.

Snow came down hard throughout the day at Solitude Mountain Resort Wednesday, as employees continually shoveled away the snow building up under lifts.

“It’s awesome,” said snowboarder Troy Bell as he stood at the base of a chairlift waiting to do another run.

“It doesn’t matter if you're on a simple little green run or you’re going onto the double blacks, you can find fresh tracks anywhere,” Bell added.

Solitude said this late-season blizzard will push the resort over 500 inches in year-to-date snowfall for the season, but that doesn’t mean their closing day is changing.

“I wish we could extend this, with this kind of snow and this base, we could go into the first week of June!” Bell smiled.

Just six Utah resorts remain open to skiers and boarders,  all but one are set to close in the next two weeks.

“It’s definitely nothing personal and every ski resort sets its own closing date in advance,” Huey said. “It’s really a business decision and we decide way back in October and November based on projected snowfall, as well as our ability to provide a quality experience for all of our guests.”

For many ski resorts, like Solitude, it’s a matter of staffing.

“We really strive to provide a level of service. Everyone from the lift operators, the rental shop folks, ticket windows, lodging and dining,” Huey said. “We need to be able to set that date in advance so our staff knows how long they will need to work. Changing those expectations late in the game is not something that works business-wise.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s the end.

“We have a lot of choices, Solitude closes, we ski elsewhere,” said skier Randy Mitchell. “We get another 40, 50 days after this closes.”

For others, they’re already looking forward to next year.

“I can only pray that next year is the same,” Bell laughed.

A list of ski resorts and their closing day can be found below: