Snowstorm prompts Brighton to open Tuesday, other resorts to follow
"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
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