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Alta closes for season; Skier marks 30 years of being the final lift rider

Posted at 10:56 PM, Apr 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 01:07:18-04

ALTA, Utah — 83 years have come and gone at Alta Ski Resort as the sun set on the final day of their 2020-21 ski season Sunday.

“Honestly, most people don’t want it to end,” resort spokesman Brandon Ott said. “They started the year skiing in a pandemic — we didn’t know what that meant, and really, the year has blown past every expectation.”

But someone you’ll see every season at Alta's closing day is Mike Wisland.

“I came out here and went to Alta in my very first day here [in Utah],” he said. “I was blown away, and I used to come here every weekend.”

While coming to every single closing day for Alta a is feat on its own, Wisland has an even more prestigious title.

For 30 years, he’s been the last one on the Sunshine lift on the final day the resort has been open.

“I did it for five or six years,” he said, and then “it just became something I did.”

Others shared their end-of-season thoughts with FOX 13 Sunday.

“Surprisingly, I had a lot of really great powder days,” one skier said.

Another added: “All my joy in this hard time came from skiing and skiing with these guys, so this is where my happy place was all year long.”

It also is a wacky day because those on a final day of a resort usually wear costumes.

“Kind of like the Halloween of ski season,” said one skier, who was wearing ears and a tutu while standing next to her friend the tiger.

But last up also means last down for Wisland, who also was the last in the parking lot and was already thinking of next year.

"I think next season is going to be a real big one,” he remarked “Get your tickets early… I know I am!”

After Sunday, the only ski resort in Utah still open is Snowbird. It is scheduled to stay open until May 31, although some lifts and areas of the resort are now closed.