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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Holiday Festival, Skating & Tubing

Olympic Parks of Utah provided the following info about public events:


The Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns is hosting its fourth annual Holiday Festival on Friday, December 2 from 6-10 p.m. this year. Public skating will be available beginning at 7 p.m.

The public is encouraged to bring gifts as donations to the Toys for Tots program.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youths ages 3-12. Enjoy craft making, photos with Santa Claus, aerial bungee rides and inflatables.

“Our fourth annual Holiday Festival is sure to be fun for the entire family,” said Scott Bradford, Guest Services Lead for the Oval. “Bring the kids for crafts and photos with Santa Claus and spend time together and skate on the same ice that Olympians set world records on in 2002.”

The Utah Olympic Oval is located at 5662 South Cougar Lane (4800 West), Kearns, Utah 84118. Please call (801)968-OVAL or visit our website at for more skating information.


The Olympic legacy facility at Soldier Hollow will open its tubing hill on Dec. 10. Soldier Hollow is geared up for even more winter sport enthusiasts with a second lift in operation for tubing and the early snowfall in Wasatch Mountain State Park.

New this winter season Soldier Hollow will open at noon during the week instead of 4 p.m.

“Opening earlier will allow families with young children to tube during the warm part of the day,” said Howard Peterson, Soldier Hollow general manager.

Soldier Hollow offers the longest tubing lanes in Utah at 1,000 feet. Lift service tows people up the hill for tubing day or night under the lights. To assure a quality experience, Soldier Hollow limits the sale of tubing tickets. On Saturdays and busy holidays, in particular, we encourage pre-purchase of tubing hill tickets.

For more information, call Soldier Hollow at (435) 654-2002 or visit our website at

Dec. 17, Luge Ice Engineer’s Open, Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 16-18, Nordic Combined World Cup “B”, Soldier Hollow/Utah Olympic Park
Dec. 27-28, Speed Skating US Championship – Olympic Team Trials, Utah Olympic Oval
Dec. 30-31, Speed Skating US Championship – Olympic Team Trials, Utah Olympic Oval
Jan. 3-10, 2006, U.S. Cross Country Championships, Soldier Hollow
Jan. 6-8, 2006, Visa Winter Series #1 – Olympic Team Tryouts, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 15, 2006, Luge Masters Nationals, Utah Olympic Park
Jan. 28-29, 2006, North American Pack Style Competition, Utah Olympic Oval
Feb. 3-4, 2006, Visa Winter Series #2, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 4, 2006, Wasatch Luge Club – Founders Race, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 25-26, 2006, Visa Winter Series #3, Utah Olympic Park
Feb. 28 – Mar. 5, 2006, Luge Junior Nationals, Utah Olympic Park
Mar. 3-4, 2006, Visa Winter Series #4, Utah Olympic Park
Mar. 8-11, 2006, Ski Jumping Nor Am Jr. Championships, Utah Olympic Park
Mar. 11-12, 2006, World Record Challenge, Utah Olympic Oval
Mar. Junior Olympics, Soldier Hollow

Monday, November 28, 2005

Big snow, posh lodging and fun resorts

Brighton Ski Resort reports 26 inches of new snow during the past 48 hours, with more expected Tuesday. Snow has been widespread over Utah, with accumulations ranging from 11 inches at Snowbasin in the north to 10 inches at Brian Head in southern Utah.

A winter storm watch has been issued for Utah mountain areas from late tonight through late Tuesday night. 4-10 inches of new snow is expected.

Meanwhile, we’ve dug up some interesting accolades for Utah Ski Resorts: includes Sundance in its list of the 10 Coolest Ski Resorts. “The overall look is rustic, with exposed beams and plenty of quilts. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, guests can spend their time visiting the on-site art center, or taking a workshop on photography, pottery or jewelry making.”

The Forbes article also names Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley as one of the most expensive cool lodges associated with a ski area. “This Park City ski lodge is the creation of 1982 Olympic gold medal winner Stein Eriksen. This slope-side inn has a classic ski lodge look and feel, complete with exposed beams and lots of natural materials. The largest suites are more like apartments, with kitchens and living rooms. For relaxing, there's a spa and a heated pool. Rates start at $670.” lists Alta/Snowbird at the top of its list of the 12 best resorts for early season snow. That article based its rankings on info from

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Travel + Leisure Profiles Salt Lake City

Travel + Leisure, (Nov 2005) includes an extensive article about how Salt Lake City has matured. Long known as the gateway to some of the best skiing in the country, the article says the city is becoming a destination in its own right, with “great art and architecture, shopping, music, food—and, yes, drink.”

Chip Brown authored the piece, an unbiased look at the city’s unique culture and emerging cosmopolitan nature. Floating in the middle of the narrative he makes this interesting observation:

“Over and over during the time I spent there not long ago, I found myself wondering whether America had become more like Salt Lake or Salt Lake more like America. Or whether it was a bit of both. And it wasn't just the old tension between sacred doctrine and secular authority, or the city's perennial accent on the now widely fashionable idea of "family values." It was also new trends that ran counter to Salt Lake's native fundamentalism, such as the surprising heterogeneity of its populace, or the struggle of religious and civic leaders to revitalize the urban core and to manage growth without sacrificing natural beauty. Add them all up and you could make a case that this homegrown Zion, which for decades defined the outlandish fringe of American life, was suddenly the quintessential American place.”

Read the complete article

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Trail Ride on Thunder Mountain

Utah’s weather has been warm and sunny lately, allowing people to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities. Some ski resorts are open and skiers and riders are having fun working the slopes. Conditions statewide are great right now for hiking, biking, jeeping and other adventures.

I took the opportunity to go on a trail ride over Thunder Mountain, located down in Bryce Canyon Country. We didn’t even need jackets as we saddled up in Red Canyon and rode up into the hoodoos, pinnacles and other interesting rock formations.

We rode with Marty Rich, owner and operator of the Bryce Canyon Pines motel and Red Canyon Trail Rides. He knows the country well and guided us on a very enjoyable ride.

This short video clip shows the trail ride.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Favorite Utah Holiday Festivities

Thankgsiving will be a quite day in Utah, with residents and tourists alike enjoying traditional dinners with family members and friends.

Our weather is expected to be sunny, with mild temperatures. Several more ski resorts are expected to open this week, even though there is no new snow in the forecast. Snow making machines will supplement the natural stuff already on the ground.

Holiday festivities kick into high gear on Friday:

Temple Square turns on its famous Christmas lights display Friday evening in downtown Salt Lake City.

A nondenominational community Nativity celebration also begins Friday featuring more than 300 Nativity scenes from around the world. It will be held at the historic Tabernacle building in Kaysville.

The popular Festival of Trees, which benefits Primary Children's Medical Center, will begin on Nov. 30 at the South Towne Expo Center.

See this article for more info on these and other holiday events.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Brighton Resort Opens For Skiing

Today Brighton Resort opened its Crest Express, Majestic and Explore lifts, with 20 inches of snow at mid-mountain. Additional lifts will be opened as conditions permit. This is the 69th ski season for Brighton Resort.

Brighton is the first Utah ski resort to open this season. The Canyons will follow on Saturday (Nov 19). All of our resorts will open during the next few weeks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

BYU/Utah Football Rivalry Week

One of the most fierce college rivalries in the country will come to a head Saturday when football players from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah clash in Provo.

BYU is riding high, 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West Conference, and has played very well in its last few games. Utah started the season strong but has since stumbled. The Utes lost their starting quarterback and a key receiver to injuries last week in a loss to New Mexico. They are 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the MWC.

But records and projections don’t mean much in this rivalry. The game it always an emotional dogfight. It will be played Saturday, Nov 19, 1 pm (MST), and will be televised on ESPN+Plus. The game can be seen locally on KJZZ-TV Channel 14.

Here’s some of the media hype previewing the game:

Salt Lake Tribune:
Anything can happen in the Utah-BYU rivalry
Y., U. coaches have history
Utah Notes: Blown knee means no bowl?
Utes: So, what now?

Deseret Morning News:
Rivalry week fact sheet
Neutered coug? Rivalry fuels gag
A beginning and an end for 2 Cougars
Merchants hope fans pony up to the register

Latest Ski Resort Opening Dates

Here are the latest projected opening dates for our Ski Resorts, provided by Ski Utah.

Brighton - Nov 17
The Canyons - Nov 19
Solitude - Nov 21
Park City Mountain Resort - Nov 23
Snowbasin - Nov 24
Brian Head Resort - Week of Thanksgiving
Powder Mountain - Mid-Nov
Snowbird - TBA
Alta - TBA
Beaver Mountain - TBA
Deer Valley - Dec 3
Sundance - Dec 9
Wolf Mountain - Dec 17

Friday, November 11, 2005

Register Now for Ski Or Snowboard Classes

With the ski season ready to begin, now’s a great time to consider taking a class to improve your skills. Classes are offered at all of our winter resorts. Check their websites or give them a call to find out about signing up.

The Deseret Morning News is again offering its ski and snowboard school – the 58th year for ski instruction and the 7th year for riders. Cost is just $25 for three classes, which will be held on Nov. 19, Dec. 3 and 10.

More details.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Correction To Ski Resorts Opening Dates

In a previous post we said Brian Head planned to open for skiing on Nov 11. We based that information on media reports.

When calling the resort to confirm the opening date we learned it now plans to open sometime during Thanksgiving week. Below are the latest anticipated dates for all our resorts. They are still tentative at this point:

Alta — Nov 17
Solitude — Nov 18
Snowbird — Nov 19
Park City Mountain Resort — Nov 19
The Canyons — Nov 19
Brighton — Mid Nov
Powder Mountain — Mid Nov
Brian Head — Thanksgiving Week
Snowbasin — Nov 24
Deer Valley — Dec 3
Sundance — Dec 9
Wolf Mountain — Dec 17
Beaver Mountain — TBA

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ski Resort News & Opening Dates

An intense storm is expected to hit Utah over the next couple days, with the biggest punch coming Tuesday. It will bring rain to our valleys and more snow to mountain areas. It should give our ski resorts a solid base and allow most to open earlier than normal. Tentative opening dates are listed below, courtesy of

In other ski news, Alta/Snowbird have again been named the top ski area in the US by Skiing Magazine. The resorts are located adjacent to each other in Little Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City. They offer a combined pass and so Skiing Magazine considers them together for its rankings. This is the fourth year in a row they have earned the top US ranking.

The magazine ranked Alta/Snowbird No 2 in North America behind Whistler Blackcomb. More details.

Tentative Ski Resort Openings
Brian Head: Nov. 11
Alta: Nov 17
Solitude: Nov 18
Snowbird: Nov 19
Park City Mountain Resort: Nov 19
The Canyons: Nov 19
Brighton: Mid Nov
Powder Mountai: Mid Nov
Snowbasin: Nov 24
Deer Valley: Dec 3
Sundance: Dec 9
Wolf Mountain: Dec 17
Beaver Mountain: TBA

Friday, November 04, 2005

National Parks Map and Newsletter has published a Map and Guide to help people explore the national park country of southern Utah, western Colorado and Northern Arizona. It includes a detailed driving map plus comprehensive information about what to do and where to say.

The Map and Guide is available free of charge and can be ordered from our website.

In addition, we have launched a monthly email newsletter that will provide current information about travel conditions and opportunities in our national park country. The newsletter also includes discount coupons from prominent area businesses.

You can view the newsletter here. There are subscribe/unsubscribe links at the bottom.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ski Resorts Ready to Open

Utah’s ski resorts are gearing up for another great season and most will open within the next few weeks.

Brian Head intends to lead the pack with its tentative opening set for Nov 11. Tentative opening dates for all the resorts are listed below.

Last season was the best ever for our resorts, as was the season before that. During the past two seasons Utah's total skier days have risen a total of 17 percent. Resorts have been expanding and making improvements to accommodate more skiers while also providing a better overall experience. This article describes improvements at the resorts.

Alta: TBA
Beaver Mtn: TBA
Brian Head: Nov 11
Brighton: early Nov
The Canyons: Nov 18
Deer Valley: Dec 3
Park City Mtn Resort: Nov. 19
Powder Mtn: mid-Nov.
Snowbasin: Nov 24
Snowbird: TBA
Solitude: Nov 18
Sundance: Dec 9
Wolf Mtn: TBA

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Study Abroad to Bring Skiers to Utah

Westminster College is launching a one-of-a-kind study abroad program that should bring in students who are passionate about skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. The program allows them to live, study and play in Utah for a winter semester during their college years.

Called Winter at Westminster, the innovative program is the first of its kind in the country.

More details
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