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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ski Magazines Tout Utah Resorts, Snow

Ski Utah provided this news release.

SALT LAKE CITY – Following two consecutive seasons of above average snowfall and three years of record-breaking skier day numbers, it is no surprise that Utah resorts are appearing in greater numbers in the polls of the various ski and snowboard magazines.

“It’s great to see that the ski and snowboard publications and their discerning readers are recognizing Utah for its abundant snowfall, unmatched accessibility, value and variety,” commented Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah. “We’re also pleased that word is getting out about some of the resorts that have been our best kept secrets.”

The polls of magazines such as Skiing, SKI, Transworld Snowboarding and Freeskier tend to be highly influential on riders and skiers each fall as they start planning their winter getaways.

Below are some highlights from the magazine polls and how Utah resorts fared in them:

Skiing magazine
- Four of Utah’s resorts placed in Skiing magazine’s Top 25 resorts list:
Alta/Snowbird (#2), Snowbasin (#10), Park City Mountain Resort (#11), Solitude #25

- Utah ranked #1 for Secret Powder Stashes (obvious choice - Alta/Snowbird, next up - Powder Mountain)

SKI magazine
- The Top 30 Readers Poll named seven resorts: Deer Valley (#2), Park City (#5), The Canyons (#15), Snowbird (#21), Solitude (#25), Alta (#28), Brighton (#29)

- In a list of Top Resorts for Snow, six of 6 of 10 resorts are located in Utah: Powder Mountain (#1), Alta (#2), Snowbird (#3), Brighton (#4), Solitude (#6), Deer Valley (#8)

- Top 10 for Best Access included seven Utah resorts: Park City (#2), Deer Valley (#3), The Canyons (#4), Snowbird (#5), Solitude (#6), Alta (#8), Brighton (#9)

- In the Value category, four of 10 resorts belonged to Utah: Powder Mountain (#1), Alta (#2), Brighton (#6), Solitude (#9)

- Top 10 for Overall Satisfaction included 4 Utah resorts: Alta (#1), Deer Valley (#4), Snowbird (#7), Powder Mountain(#8)

- Four Utah ski areas were recognized in the best Weather category: Deer Valley (#1), Brighton (#2), Solitude (#3), Alta (#5)

- Deer Valley once again clinched the #1 slot for Grooming.

- In the Service category, Deer Valley ranked #1 and Snowbasin #3.

- For best Lifts, Snowbasin came in at #1 and Deer Valley #5.
- Best Terrain/Variety: Alta (#6), Snowbird (#7)

- Best Terrain/Challenge: Snowbird (#2), Alta (#3)

- Best On Mountain Food: Deer Valley (#1), Snowbasin (#2)

- Best Service: Deer Valley (#1), Snowbasin (#3)

- Best Terrain Parks: Brighton (#7), Park City (#8)

Transworld Snowboarding
Park City Mountain Resort was awarded Terrain Park of the Year for 3rd consecutive time. This marks the first time a single resort has earned the top slot three years running.

- Alta/Snowbird ranked #3 in the Top 5 Rocky Mountain Resorts.

- The Best of the Rest list placed Snowbasin at #6.

- Park City Mountain Resort came in at #4 in the list of North America’s Greatest
Terrain Parks.

- Salt Lake City ranked #1 in the list of Best Rail Cities.

Outside Traveler Fall/Winter 2006/07
- Best Supersize Mountain: Honorable Mention – Park City and The Canyons

- Best Purist Mountain: Alta; Honorable Mention - Snowbasin

- Best Luxury Mountain: Deer Valley

- Best Side Country: Powder Mountain

Also noteworthy, the Dallas Morning News will name Wolf Mountain’s Soapbox Derby as the Wackiest Event on Snow in their annual ski section.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Southern Utah Ancient Rock Art

Ancient Native American cultures left impressive rock art in many areas in southern Utah. It is great fun to seek out the images, drive or hike to them, and view them, trying to understand what they meant to the creators.

Here are some of the better areas to view accessible rock art:
Nine Mile Canyon
Freemont Indian
Newspaper Rock
Horseshoe Canyon
Parowan Gap
Grand Gulch

The Salt Lake Tribune has this interesting new article about Utah rock art.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Storms Raise Lake Powell By 5 Feet In October

October storms have caused the surface elevation of Lake Powell to rise 5 feet, according to this article in the Grand Junction (Colorado) Sentinel.

Normally, the lake’s level drops slightly through the fall, and the lake doesn’t start to rise until snowmelt swells in the late spring. But October storms have dumped on southern Utah and western Colorado, and the resulting runoff eventually ends up in Powell.

This is the 50th anniversary of the Colorado River Storage Project Act of 1956, which authorized the building of Glen Canyon Dam. The Sentinel article says Lake Powell proved its usefulness during the recently ended drought. Water stored in the reservoir was released to keep Colorado River flows up, minimizing drought damage in the Southwest. Some environmentalists favor decommissioning the dam, but Bureau of Reclamation officials say that isn’t going to happen.

The National Park Service has issued this news release touting fall recreational opportunities at Lake Powell, which is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Forbes: Utah is Gorgeous and Generous

Utah is the most generous state in America, according to a new study published on Forbes website.

“Charitable giving among the affluent is strongest in the Midwest and South, according to a new study, with chart-topping Utah residents donating more than double the national average.”

“...volunteering rates largely mirror charitable giving. The RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas-Austin tracks volunteerism rates by state. At the top of the list? Utah, where 46.5% of residents volunteer.”

The article included photo slideshows depicting the most charitable states, and also the least charitable. Utah’s image is a beautiful Lake Powell scene.

Gorgeous and generous, just two of the factors that make this a great place to live and visit.

Read the entire article.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Moab Folk Music Festival

The annual Moab Folk Music Festival will take place Nov 3-5.

The festival brings top regional and national performers to Moab, including some of the best folk singers and songwriters. Weather conditions are moderate at this time of year and the scenery is always outstanding.

Combine that with the outstanding recreational opportunities found in this area and it makes a great vacation or weekend getaway.

See the festival website for details.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Warren Miller Ski Movie Showcases Utah

This is year 57 for the Warren Miller ski productions, and this time the Utah Office of Tourism is a film sponsor. From October through December, the movie will have 400-plus screenings in more than 180 cities in 35 states.

Entitled OFF THE GRID, the latest production includes an 8-minute Utah ski segment featuring renowned, locally-based athletes Jeremy Nobis, Jamey Parks, Jamie Pierre, Julian Carr and Jenn Berg. A Utah commercial will air before each screening to provide additional exposure for the state’s ski industry.

This is from a news release about the film:

Warren Miller Entertainment is the most recognized and respected name in the action sports film industry. It is only fitting for Utah, the home of The Greatest Snow on Earth®, to team up with them,” added Nathan Rafferty, Ski Utah’s president. “We’re pleased that the State recognizes the Warren Miller films as a viable outlet to promote Utah skiing. Utah’s sponsorship of this tour coupled with the epic snow footage in our segment provides unmatched exposure for our superior ski product to hundreds of thousands of skiers nation-wide.”

The local screening schedule:

Oct. 19: Park City, George S. and Delores Dore’ Eccles Center, 8 p.m.
Oct. 20: Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 21: Ogden, Peery’s Egyptian Theatre, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Nov. 9 and 10: Logan, Kent Concert Hall at Utah State University, 8 p.m.

Read the complete news release.

Here’s what the Deseret Morning News said about the movie.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Utah Ski Resorts Plan November Openings

Ski Utah has released these tentative opening dates for Utah ski resorts. Many resorts are planning to open in mid-November, taking advantage of the cool, snowy weather that has already arrived in Utah. But it is still early to make predictions – much could change if Mother Nature turns fickle.

Alta - Nov. 16
Beaver Mountain - early to mid December
Brian Head - Nov. 17
Brighton - TBA
The Canyons - Nov. 18
Deer Valley - Dec. 2
Park City - Nov. 17
Powder Mountain - mid November
Snowbasin - Nov. 23
Snowbird - Nov. 18
Solitude - Nov. 17
Sundance - Dec. 9
Wolf Mountain - Nov. 24

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ski Magazine Readers Like Utah Snow

Ski Magazine surveys its readers annually and publishes “best of lists.” We’ve previously blogged that Deer Valley was named the #2 Resort in North America by the magazine’s readers. Park City was ranked #5.

The magazine has now released other tallies. In the ranking for Best Snow, Utah cleaned up:
1 - Powder Mountain, UT
2 - Alta, UT
3 - Snowbird, UT
4 - Brighton, UT
5 - Grand Targhee
6 - Solitude, UT
7 - Snowmass
8 - Deer Valley, UT
9 - Vail
10 - Steamboat

For Best Grooming, Deer Valley is #1.

For Ten Great Family Resorts, Deer Valley is #3 and Park City is #6.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dates Set for Ski, Snowboard School

Interested people who sign up quickly can learn to ski for a very reasonable price at the Deseret Morning News/KSL Radio Ski School, to the held Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 at Alta Ski Resort. This is the 59th year the newspaper has offered this school.

Wannabe snowboarders can learn skills at the Des News/KSL Radio Snowboard School, to be held at Snowbird, also on Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. This is the 7th year for the snowboard program.

Space is limited so register now.

Read all the details.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Delicate Arch Trail Closed By Flooding

The access road and trail leading to Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park, is temporally closed because of flooding.

Arches is located on top of a mesa and normally gets very little rain or snow. But it got dumped on last weekend. Salt Wash, near the trailhead, turned into a raging torrent that actually stranded a group of hikers for a few hours. The water is subsiding now, but the flood washed out parts of the road, undercut a bridge and did other damage, leaving the area unsafe.

Repairs should be made quickly and access to Delicate Arch may be possible by this weekend.

Main roads in the park are open and safe. Backroads may have washed out spots.

At this writing, Delicate Arch is the only attraction listed as inaccessible on the Arches National Park website.

This Salt Lake Tribune article has more detail.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Free Events Preview Utah Ski Season

Utah ski resorts usually begin to open around Thanksgiving. This year we are getting cool temperatures and lots of early mountain snow. Who knows, you may be able to ski at some of the resorts in early November. Here are some of the events being scheduled in anticipation of the season.

Free Tram Rides at Snowbird

Snowbird will offer free tram rides in exchange for a can of food donated to the Utah Food Bank during its Customer Appreciation Days, Oct 14-15 and Oct 21-22.

“One can of food equals one free Tram ride during Customer Appreciation Days. In lieu of food, a donation may be made for a Tram ride. All food donations benefit the Utah Food Bank and monetary donations benefit the Wasatch Adaptive Sports program.”

Snowbird’s ZipRider, Alpine Slide and Bungy Trampoline will also be open, but are not offered as part of the food exchange deal.

Ski Utah has the press release.

Rockin the Powder Party

Ski Utah will host a free “Rockin’ the Powder” season kickoff party on Nov. 11 from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

“Rockin’ the Powder is geared for powder hounds of all ages and will feature live music by 80s cover band, the Metal Gods and music spun by DJ Knucklz. Other offerings will include the Ski Utah Photo of the Year contest, ski and snowboard videos, gear demos, beer garden, food vendors, giveaways from all Utah resorts, local celebrity pro athlete poster signings, best ’80s ski outfit contest, and more.”

First Tracks online ski magazine has this report.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Toddlers on Skis - Safe and Fun

Newsweek (Oct 16 issue) has a great article about new opportunities to get young kids on ski, in a way that is safe and enjoyable.

“Toddlers used to have to sit on the sidelines—or home with Grandma—while their parents had all the fun. But in the past few years, resorts and equipment makers have made it easier for even the littlest kids to get in on the action.”

The article describes programs at both Snowbird and Alta that are geared for young kids.

“Last year, after repeated requests from parents, Utah's Alta ski area ( started a pre-ski program, in which a mascot in a bear costume shows kids ages 2 and up how to put on their boots and grab their poles. Then, instructors take them out to flat, snowy ground where the kids learn to shuffle on the snow. "We get children excited about the idea of learning how to ski," says Joan Nichol, director of the Alta Children's Center.”

Read the entire article.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall Hunting Seasons Look Promising

Major hunting seasons are starting now, and conditions look good for most species.

Key season dates are:
Bull Elk: Oct 7-19
Deer: Oct 21-29
Duck: Oct 7-Jan 20
Geese: Oct 7-Oct 19 and Oct 28-Jan 28
Pheasant: Nov 4-19

These are general season dates and there are plenty of exceptions. Always check the current proclamation for information about the area and species you want to hunt.

Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources has these reports:
Elk tags still available
Plenty of bull elk in the backcountry
Ducks should stay in Utah longer this season

Deseret Morning News has these articles:
Utah's big elk
Utah hunter sets new record
Duck-hunting season should be a whopper
Utah elk herds are on the increase
Trophy elk take about 10 years to mature

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Plan Will Add Vitality to Downtown Salt Lake City

A $1 billion overhaul of downtown Salt Lake City was announced yesterday. It will affect 20 acres and three city blocks, between West Temple Street and 200 East. The work will create new commercial, residential and retail space, but will require the demolition of some longtime landmarks.

The LDS Church owns the property, which is just south of Temple Square. Work will begin about Nov. 1 and should be completed in 2011. Existing properties affected include the Inn at Temple Square, Key Bank Tower, the Deseret Building and the Crossroads and ZCMI shopping malls.

There will be traffic disruption at times during demolition and construction.

The work will create an attractive and vital downtown area with parks and open space. It will be pedestrian-friendly and will be easily accessible via mass transit.

Nordstrom and Macy's plan department stores to anchor the project, which will be called City Creek Center.

Reaction to the announcement has been very positive. City officials, developers and consumer advocates understand it will inflict growing pains, but will be a tremendous step forward for Salt Lake City.

Here’s what the LA Times has to say about the project.

The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News had extensive reports.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Moab Hosts Fall Bike Races

Mountain and road bikers will converge on Moab during the next two weekends, to participate in two major races. The town will be busy and crowded, with lots of fun activities for race participants and casual tourists alike. This is a fun time to visit Moab.

The Moab Century Tour will take place Oct 6-8. This annual road cycling event offers mountains, canyons and the Colorado River – some of Moab’s best scenery. Riders can choose from three routes: 45 miles, 65 miles and 92 miles. Ride begins in Moab and climbs over the La Sal loop road. Over "The Big Nasty" ( 3000 feet in 7 miles) throught the base of the mountains down into the spires and canyons of Moab and then along the mighty Colorado River.
Supported Ride. Fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong Foundaion

The annual 24 Hours of Moab team relay bike race will be Oct 14-15. This is an extremely popular 24 hour mountain bike race set in our spectacular red rock desert. Sections of this course follow an old jeep trail while others challenge some wild downhill regiments. The course climbs 1,100 feet per lap and crosses some deep sand.
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