Citing "8,000 to 15,000 busy signals a day that I can't even answer," Advanced Reservations president Mickey Smith predicts a record ski year for the West.

The Park City-based ski-tour operator, who books reservations throughout the West, attributes his 35.8 percent increase in business to strong advertising, eager skiers and good Thanksgiving snow."We didn't do that large of business over Thanksgiving, but good snow then solidifies the perception that we're in business with a good product," he said Tuesday.

"If we don't get Thanksgiving snow, we're almost dead in the water," said Kay Tucker, president of Emporium 1-800-UTAH-SKI, another reservation service. "The news travels so much slower."

Nine of 15 Utah ski resorts are open with four more scheduled to open by this weekend.