"The difference between now and last year is, really, last year just didn't get the snow everybody expected throughout the season," Winkler said. "We had a great snow year — we still had all of our terrain open, still had great skier visits, but the powder hounds, the Salt Lake City locals just didn't get the season they were expecting."
Struble said morale was low last year, but is already much improved with the promise of a new year with new snow.
"It's off to a good start," she said. "Spirits are high. It's just what we need. The storm really boosted morale."
Stuart Anderson helps run maintenance at the resort and said things were "pretty chaotic" trying to prepare for the big opening day. Still, he laughed and sang as he worked.
"I'm pretty stoked," he said. "It's good to get back into the swing of things. Compared to last year, (the snow) is a blessing."
Some employees said they couldn't imagine working anywhere else but Brighton. Lindsay, a ski instructor, is one of those.
"Its vibes are chill bro vibes, but it's also a family resort," he said. "People who work up here are special. Brighton is always calling us back. We're up here, rearranging our lives to stay. It gets in your blood."
Winkler has spent 22 years on the mountain, 10 of them working for the resort. It's a place for everyone and many friendships are built here, he said.
"We know who we are, what we are and what we can offer. ... You can still come to Brighton with a Crock-Pot and a cooler, plug it in at the lodge and play cards with your family."
Solitude, Brighton's neighbor in Big Cottonwood Canyon, is slated to open Wednesday, just one day behind Brighton. Snowbird, in Little Cottonwood Canyon, is set to open Thursday with Alta and Brian Head to follow on Friday.
"This is the storm we needed to get the season started off right," said Bob Bonar, Snowbird's president. "Lake effect made a good storm into a great storm leaving more than 4 feet of snow throughout the mountain."
Ski Utah will begin its snow reports Tuesday and released the latest opening dates for Utah's ski resorts:
• Alta — Nov. 16
• Beaver — To be announced
• Brian Head — Nov. 16
• Brighton — Nov. 13
• Canyons — Nov. 23
• Deer Valley — Dec. 8
• Eagle Point — Dec. 21
• Park City — Nov. 17
• Powder Mountain — Nov. 21
• Snowbasin — Nov. 22
• Snowbird — Nov. 15
• Solitude — Nov. 14
• Sundance — Dec. 7
• Wolf Mountain — Nov. 23
- Davis County honor student arrested in deaths...
- Steven Powell can't go back to his home,...
- Letters to family show Steven Powell still...
- Man charged with killing Ogden officer found...
- Josh Powell made 'admission of guilt' in...
- Police locate West Point teen called 'person...
- Stump the Smith: Can you answer the questions...
- One third of millenials regret going to college
- Chaffetz not willing to take... 66
- Mia Love announces she's officially... 43
- S.L. draws up airport plans 33
- Couples registry gets preliminary nod... 29
- XanGo co-founder accuses partners of... 25
- 'We're here to serve all boys,' Utah... 23
- Search for Susan Cox Powell is over,... 21
- Gov. Gary Herbert tells Washington... 17