Utah ski resorts get spruced up for ski season

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 6 2015 1:11 a.m. MDT

Mike Goar, left, announces new changes at the Canyons while Paul Boardman takes shelter under the  new bubble-enclosed quad lift chair. The quad lift offers sophisticated comforts, such as heated seats.  (Tom Smart, Deseret News) Mike Goar, left, announces new changes at the Canyons while Paul Boardman takes shelter under the new bubble-enclosed quad lift chair. The quad lift offers sophisticated comforts, such as heated seats. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Turning the corner into September is a sure sign that another incredible Wasatch winter is on its way.

Utah's 13 winter resorts have been hard at work this summer adding new terrain, on-mountain enhancements, luxury accommodations, programs and packages.

Here's a quick look at some of the new developments and offerings on the horizon.

New terrain

The Canyons Resort will add new terrain to the southern end of its resort property. Iron Mountain, adjacent to Dream Peak, will open 300 acres of northwest facing terrain. Ten new runs, ranging from intermediate to advanced intermediate, will be cut and nearly 300-plus acres of naturally gladed tree skiing will be available. The new terrain brings the resort to 4,000 total skiable acres and makes it the fourth-largest ski resort in the United States.

Park City Mountain Resort will add three new Adventure Alley runs, allowing intermediates the thrill of skiing or riding through the trees. The resort has also continued to glade Crescent Ridge, enhancing the advanced skiing experience.

Powder Mountain will add 1,000 additional acres of expert chutes and bowls to the 2,000 acres of terrain already in use by the Snowcat Powder Safari. The new area, known as La Plata, is named after a nearby ghost town that was founded in the silver rush of the 1890s. Additionally, Powder Mountain will offer guests the opportunity to take a guided backcountry tour of Wolf Creek Canyon with more than 1,000 acres of pristine snow, which includes wide open bowls, glades and steep chutes.

Snowbasin will add a 22-foot superpipe.


Alta planted 1,500 trees, 500 shrubs and spread 500 pounds of indigenous mountain flower and grass seeds through its annual environmental vegetation program.

The Canyons Resort has installed North America's first, and one of the most technologically advanced, chairlifts in the world. The Orange Bubble enclosed quad lift is like riding up inside a ski goggle. It also has heated seats. The new lift increases the uphill capacity from the base by 47 percent, and it whisks skiers to the top in just nine minutes. Additionally, The Canyons is rebirthing its base area by realigning the gondola. Guests at The Canyons can relax and enjoy an apr? ski cocktail on the Resort's new apr? ski beach.

Deer Valley Resort again invested $4.5 million to refresh the interiors of its three main on-mountain day lodges: Empire Canyon, Silver Lake and Snow Park. In addition, it invested heavily in on-mountain equipment, including high efficiency snowmaking, new snowcats, snowmobiles and a new winch-cat to groom the steepest slopes.

Park City Mountain Resort added new snowmaking on the highly popular intermediate Assessment run. The resort has also expanded its night skiing and riding with more lights and longer hours.

Brian Head, Brighton, Powder Mountain, Sundance and Wolf Creek also offer great night skiing.

Snowbird's Cliff Spa (on the ninth and 10th floor of the Cliff Lodge) is currently undergoing its first major renovation since the Spa opened in 1987. Revamped areas include the reception space, salon and retail store, the men's and women's locker rooms, solarium, steam room and treatment rooms. Renovations are scheduled to be completed by December.

Solitude has installed three new quads over the past three years making lift lines even shorter.

Sundance will open its new Redford Conference Center with environmentally friendly 3,500 square feet of meeting space, wrapping patios, a large group fireplace and a full service catering kitchen. Sundance is also in the midst of a multimillion dollar lodging room renovation project.

Great packages, values

Alta Lodge and freeskiing champion Gordy Peifer team up to offer an All Mountain Ski Adventures camp for advanced skiers. Alta Ski Area continues to offer "Ski Free After Three." The iconic ski area opens the RFID gates at 3 p.m. on the Sunnyside lift, allowing skiers to access five beginner runs, two intermediate and one advanced run for free.

Beaver Mountain continues to operate as one of the nation's only family-owned and operated resorts. The resort offers great value, terrain and a laid-back atmosphere.

At Brighton Resort, kids 10 and under ski free when the adult buys any season pass or pack of discount tickets. Busy women will also love the new, one day all-women's workshops.

New hotel

Montage Deer Valley will open in December 2010 with true ski-in/ski-out access to America's No.1 ski resort, as rated by readers of SKI magazine three years in a row (2010, 2009, 2008). It features 154 deluxe guestrooms and more than 66 suites and private residences ranging from one to four bedrooms.

Featured events

The FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships come to Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort from Feb. 2-5.

Aerial, moguls, dual moguls and ski cross competitions will be held at Deer Valley Resort, and the halfpipe competitions will be held at Park City Mountain Resort.

Snowbasin will host the final stop of the Winter Dew Tour, the world's premier season-long winter action sports tour, on Feb. 10-13, with top world athletes in both freeskiing and snowboarding.

Snowbird will host the Subaru Freeskiing World Championships March 9-12.

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