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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Powder and Hot Deals

Powder conditions are great at Utah's ski resorts. The storm that has now exited the state dumped on northern Utah - and another storm is expected for the weekend.

Alta picked up 20 inches of new snow over a 48-hour period. Snowbird got 19 inches. Down south, Brian Head received 14 inches new. See our snow report for details.

The Sundance Film Festival will bring crowds to Park City Jan 21-31. This year's crowd is not expected to be as big as previous years and so there is plenty of lodging available. Many properties are offering hot deals for lodging during January, including the Sundance period.

Crews have been doing a good job keeping roads open during storms, but travel conditions become difficult when we get dumped on. Check Utah highway conditions here.

All this snow has created significant avalanche danger in backcountry areas. Avalanche control work is done along major highways and at developed ski resorts and so danger is low there. People skiing or boarding out of bounds at ski resorts face put themselves in danger, as do people who snowmobile or cross country ski into backcountry areas.

The Utah Avalanche Center says there is now high danger in northern Utah mountain areas and considerable danger in the mountains east of the Wasatch Front, in the Uintas and in the La Sal Mountains east of Moab. Watch for advisories on the Avalanche Center website.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thousands Expected at Salt Lake's 'Eve' Celebration

A big celebration underway in Salt Lake City will climax on New Year's Eve, attracting thousands of revelers to the city center. The celebration replaces First Night activities that have been held in years past.

Fox 13 has this video describing the events.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article.

The Trib reports, "Across 14 venues, from the Gallivan Center to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, EVE will feature live music, film screenings, dance parties, ski and snowboard competitions and laser shows. Activities begin each day at 3 p.m."

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Winter Wander Through Zion's Sunny Lowlands

coalpits wash

The temperature was a balmy 4 F as we pulled away from my home in Springville on Dec 26. The forecast called for haze and a daytime high of a balmy 24 F.

We drove south heading for Utah's Dixie, where the summer sun spends the winter. I wanted to explore some of the lower areas in Zion Park, to hike, stretch my legs and work the smog out of my lungs.

Coalpits wash drains some of the Zion's southwest desert area. Where the wash crosses Hwy 9, between the towns of Virgin and Rockville, the elevation is about 3650 feet - the lowest point in Zion Park. (Zion lodge, in Zion Canyon, sits at an elevation of about 4270 feet.)

Because of the low elevation, Coalpits receives little snowfall. What does fall melts quickly and so the area is ideal for hiking during the winter months. It is not a great summer hiking destination because daytime temperatures get blazingly hot.

Zion was awash in sunshine we pulled into the Coalpits Trailhead. The trail looked dry, no snow, but I knew it would have mud in shady areas. In the distance we could see some of Zion's high country, where snow and ice frosted the craggy peaks.

It was about 11 am when we started up the trail. That was by design - we wanted to let the air warm up a bit before we headed out. The temperature was about 40 F when we started hiking, and it warmed to about 45 F during mid-afternoon. We quickly shed our jackets as we hiked in the sunshine, but put them on again when we went through shady areas.

We hiked up Coalpits and then returned the way we came. It was a great winter wander, just the ticket for someone who wants a moderate route free from ice and snow.

The lower part of the wash is open and hiking is easy. The wash forks about 1.7 miles up from the trailhead. Coalpits goes to the left when you are facing up canyon. The right fork is called Scoggins Wash and it is also a great hiking route. As you continue up these canyons the trail becomes faint and you find yourself scrambling over boulders and hopping rocks across the small stream. That's the fun part, in my opinion.

In Coalpits, a small stream flows year-round, except perhaps during the hottest, driest summers. In Scoggins there may be flowing water in some areas but it is intermittent and usually dries up during the summer.

A series of small waterfalls adds to the beauty of the stream in Coalpits.

The Chinle Trail cuts across the upper parts of Coalpits and Scoggins and then drops down into nearby Huber Wash. It then continues east and ends in the town of Rockville. Because it connects the washes, it provides a variety of options and allows hikers to do extended loop routes.

Our trek was easy and enjoyable. I was sad when we pointed the truck north on I-15 and drove away from the land of sunshine.

I'm already planning a return visit.

- Dave Webb

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday River Expeditions Offers Holiday Savings

Below is a news release from one of our long-time friends, Holiday River Expeditions.

It's Happy Holiday's for the guests of Holiday River Expeditions

It's a new year and we have a new pertinent logo and a renewed sense of gratitude for the countless guests who have traveled the rivers and trails with Holiday River Expeditions over the past 43 years. To celebrate the beginning of the 2010 river season, Holiday River Expeditions has announced a new 2010 special: 20 percent off with 10 or more people.

To quote Dee Holladay, founder of Holiday River Expeditions, "It's not just a business, it is a passion and a life-long journey to share these wild places with anyone curious enough to come along." Canyonlands National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Tavaputs Plateau and the Four Corner region of southern Utah are all available in the 2010 Special offer.

Every summer folks from all over the country flock to the rivers of Utah and the Colorado Plateau system. Utah River trips offer the perfect summer vacation for multigenerational families, groups of friends and corporate retreats. Trips are available ranging from 1 day to 8 days for all levels.

For more information visit the Holiday River Expeditions website.

Explore Bryce Canyon's Gardens of Stone

Kristin Jackson wrote this article for the Seattle Times, describing a November trip where she "escaped to the red rock and blue skies of the Southwest."

She toured Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks. Below are excerpts from her narrative.

Each (park) was stunning in scenery and geology. But it was at Bryce, the more remote and less visited of the three parks, that I found the best cure for my rain-sodden mind and body in its peaceful sun-drenched gardens of stone and star-spangled nights.

Geology has run riot in Bryce, creating one of the world's unique landscapes in the southern Utah wilderness. Soft, colorful limestone has eroded into a maze of rock fins; a handful of slot canyons just a few yards wide; and hundreds of fantastically shaped rock spires called hoodoos.

Some hoodoos tower 150 feet tall, slender totem-like spires that thrust into the sky. Shorter hoodoos, some just the height of a person, bulge and curve. Some are named after the images they evoke, from Queen Victoria to the Chessmen and Thor's Hammer.

If you can hike only one trail, make it the three-mile route that combines the Navajo and Queens Garden trails. It twists through a slot canyon whose sheer rock walls glow in the sun and among hundreds of hoodoos in otherworldly gardens of stone.

No matter how cold it got, I wasn't going to miss Bryce's star show. The park is renowned for stargazing, thanks to its natural darkness in a remote area hundreds of miles from a big city. It's one of the least light-polluted areas in the continental United States.

On clear and moonless nights, about 7,500 stars can be seen from Bryce, say park officials — more than three times what can be seen in many U.S. rural areas. The park's "dark rangers" take visitors stargazing in the evenings, with astronomy talks and telescopes.

Read the entire article.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunset Calls Alta 'The Last Great Ski Resort'

Sunset magazine has this article about Alta Ski Area, calling it 'The Last Great Ski Resort'.

I’m instantly happy to be here at 10,550 feet, on leased U.S. Forest Service land at the resolutely un-corporate resort, where faded one-pieces outnumber Bogner jackets, chairlifts seat at most four across, and five no-frills lodges, scattered up Little Cottonwood Canyon, sleep 1,200 skiers, tops. Skiers. Not shoppers. Not ski bunnies. And, above all, not snowboarders.

Geared up, Didi, her dad, and I creep along in a bar-less triple chair, surrounded by nothing save blue sky and the towering peaks of the Wasatch Range. “Same as it was in the ’60s,” says Geoff Linburn, who first came to Alta from California in search of what he’d heard was the best snow in the West. Back then, lift tickets cost $8, and there were only five slowly moving chairlifts, but apart from building a couple more and raising ticket prices to a reasonable $64, Alta remains Alta.

Didi’s dad smiles. “Still the best snow in the West.” A whopping 500 inches annually of light-as-a-feather powder―and I can’t wait to try it.

From the chatter around the lift line, it’s clear that it’s not just the powder that draws people to Alta―it’s also the people themselves. Old college buddies, moms and sons, widows who used to come with their husbands … everyone returns without question. Likewise, all the locals I meet say they’d intended to come out for a season and do the ski-bum thing. But before they knew it, 10, 20, 30 years had passed―and they’re still here. “Alta just swallows you up,” says Craig Dillon, Didi’s ski shop crush, who, it turns out, is 41 and has lived here half his life.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Park City Opens Terrain Parks and Superpipe

Park City Mountain Resort has opened its Eagle Superpipe and Pick 'N Shovel terrain park, according to this report on Below are excerpts.

"We've spent endless man hours building the pipe and park over the last few weeks to provide the best possible product for potential Olympians who will use our pipe as a training ground for the 2010 Winter Games."

Park City Mountain Resort's Eagle Superpipe is the first and largest Superpipe to open in Utah for the 2009-10 season. The historic pipe, where U.S. athletes swept the men's podium and won gold in the women's event during the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, will entertain the masses with Olympians again. The U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix makes its final stop at Park City Mountain Resort for back-to-back night competitions, Jan. 22-23, after which the winners will be crowned and the 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Olympic halfpipe team will be named.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NY Post Features Snow Basin and Powder Mountain

The New York Post has this article featuring Snow Basin and Powder Mountain ski resorts. Below are excerpts.

Besides the commonality of fresh snow in abundance, both are relatively uncrowded, there’s no glitz or glamour and spending time at both is pretty easy on the wallet compared to the likes of Deer Valley.

To me, an old hand that’s watched skiing in North America trend ever more luxurious, skiing in Ogden — particularly at Powder Mountain — is the sport as it used to be. Simple, rustic, basic. There are no frills here. No tissue boxes at the lift stations, no gourmet mushroom salads, no valet parking. Just lots and lots of snow. And absolutely no people.

But as agreeable as Powder Mountain is, some want more luxury. Here. Snowbasin is happy to oblige. Both resorts were built by Utah billionaire Earl Holding, who owns Sun Valley in Utah; Snowbasin’s official name is actually “Snowbasin — A Sun Valley Resort.”

At Snowbasin. the gondolas are hand washed on a regular basis. Squint in one of the gilt edged lodges and you’d swear you were the actual Sun Valley — same blond, peeled logs, same comfy leather sofas, same huge stone fireplaces. Along with gourmet meals, endless swaths of marble, Italian burl ceilings and enough polished brass to give you a sunburn. And there are some runs here, including one so steep you can hardly stand up, that will definitely grow hair on your chest.

Sun Valley fancy, Utah snow, Montana prices? Yes, please.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beware of Avalanche Danger in Utah's Backcountry

Heavy weekend snowfall has resulted in considerable avalanche danger in backcountry areas, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. People venturing into mountainous backcountry areas need to follow safety precautions.

A man was buried under an avalanche near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon over the weekend. He was rescued by companions without serious injury. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the incident.

Avalanche control work is done routinely in developed ski areas and along public highways and so those areas are usually safe. Backcountry areas can become very dangerous. Every year there are avalanche-related fatalities in Utah involving skiers, boarders or snowmobilers. Much of the danger can be avoided if people learn about the danger and follow safety rules.

The Utah Avalanche Center provides daily reports summarizing avalanche potential in various areas around the state. The center also conducts educational workshops and provides detailed information to help people stay safe.

Visit the Utah Avalanche Center website.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brighton Gets 48 Inches of Snow in 48 Hours

A wet storm blasted Utah over the weekend, dumping on Utah's ski resorts. According to snow totals posted by Ski Utah, Brighton picked up 48 inches in 48 hours.

Current new snow totals are given below. See our snow report for daily updates.

Brighton Ski Resort - 48"
Solitude Mountain Resort - 46"
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort - 44"
Alta Ski Area - 39"
Sundance Resort - 36"
Snowbasin, A Sun Valley Resort - 30"
The Canyons - 28"
Deer Valley Resort - 28"
Park City Mountain Resort - 28"
Brian Head Resort - 10"
Wolf Creek Utah - 21"
Powder Mountain - 15"

Zion National Park Partners With Park in China

Utah's Zion National Park has formed a sister relationship with Danxiashan National Park in China. has this article about the relationship. Below are details.

"The real value is in the exchange of culture," he said. "It leads toward a peaceful co-existence."

He added that the agreement between the parks will involve sharing ideas, staff and research in an attempt to better understand both parks and cultures.

Danxiashan Director Yu Changyong said his park contacted Zion about a possible relationship because the two parks share a similar formation of red rocks.

"Among all the red rock in America, Zion is the most diverse," he said through a translator. "We would like to work together for conservation and research of the red rock."

"Their climate is much wetter," she (Zion Park Ranger Adrienne Fitzgerald) said. "It ends up looking different, but it's geomorphically very similar."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Park City With Kids

Park City is a great vacation destination for families with kids, according to this article by Julie Taylor. She writes: "There is lots to do, so the kids were never bored. And neither were we!"

She gives tips on:

Where to stay:
  • Marriott Mountain Side
What to do:
  • Trolley Ride
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • Ski School
  • Alpine Coaster
  • Ice Skating
  • Gorgoza Tubing Park
Where to eat:
  • Jean Louis
  • Good Thymes
  • Care Rio
  • Eating Establishment
"All in all, we had one of the best vacations of our lives in Park City. I can't wait to go back!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

See Hundreds of Wild Elk

(Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources provided the news release below.)

See Hundreds of Wild Elk

Hyrum -- You can take a sleigh ride that gets you close to as many as 600 wild elk. The rides are available four days a week at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area.

On Dec. 9, more than 100 elk were at the WMA. Now that winter weather has arrived, more elk should be visiting the ranch soon. Hardware Ranch is 17 miles east of Hyrum. Its winter elk viewing season begins Dec. 18. The WMA offers the following during its winter season:

Sleigh rides
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Utah’s state mammal by taking a sleigh ride through a herd of up to 600 Rocky Mountain elk.
The sleigh rides last 20 to 30 minutes. They wind through the center of the elk herd and make occasional stops so you can get a perfect photograph.
During the rides, the sleigh drivers share the history of the ranch and explain why the elk behave like they do. They’re also happy to answer questions you might have.
The sleighs are pulled by a team of large breed draft horses. If snow conditions get poor, the sleighs can be converted into wagons.

Visitor center
In addition to the sleigh rides, the Hardware Ranch WMA also operates a visitor center. The center has interactive wildlife displays and staff who can answer your questions.

When it’s open
The WMA’s winter season should run until March 15. The sleighs are running and the visitor center is open during the following days and times:

Friday – noon to 5 p.m.

Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday – noon to 5 p.m.

The WMA will be closed on Dec. 25.

If you want to take a ride through the elk herd, you must buy a ticket at the visitor center before 4:30 p.m. The last sleigh ride leaves at 4:30 p.m.
The sleigh rides cost $5 for those nine years of age and older, and $3 for those four to eight years old. Children three years of age and younger can ride for free.

How to get there
The Hardware Ranch WMA is located at mile marker 22 on SR-101 in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. The ranch is about 115 miles north of Salt Lake City (about a two-hour drive). It’s about 17 miles east of Hyrum and 22 miles southeast of Logan.
Good lodging, food and entertainment are readily available in Cache Valley, within 45 minutes of the ranch. The roads up Blacksmith Fork Canyon are usually plowed and sanded by noon each day.

For more information about the Hardware Ranch WMA, call (435) 753-6206 or visit on the Web.

Hardware Ranch is a wildlife management area owned and operated by the Division of Wildlife Resources. It provides important big game winter range for elk, deer and moose.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Moab Called Best Small Town in America

Is Moab the best small town in America? The Moab Travel Council is claiming that title. Below is their news release explaining why.


Moab Travel Council
CONTACT: Tina Snyder
TEL: 800-635-6622

MOAB, Utah-Moab, Utah is definitely the best small town in America; just ask any mountain biker, river runner, hiker, climber, four-wheeler…well, actually anyone. Moab has something for everyone, old or young, family or solo, soul-soothing or exhilarating, and that will fit into any budget, whether you like to rough it or be pampered.

Moab will surround you with the warmth and hospitality of a small resort town at the center of one of the most stunning red rock landscapes on Earth. Moab’s unique combination of beautiful red rock scenery and the cool waters of the Colorado River, has made it one of the most sought after destinations in the southwest for lovers of the outdoors.

Considered the gateway to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Moab’s perfect climate has also made it a magnet for outdoor events and festivals. The downtown business district has risen to the occasion with a great selection of restaurants, shops, and galleries. Moab’s diverse cuisine will please any palate, from regional southwestern fare to world-class gourmet. Stroll though the downtown shops for a great selection of southwestern arts and jewelry, souvenirs, t-shirts, and much more. Our extensive selection of accommodations will suit any taste, from comfortable hotel rooms, condos and bed & breakfasts with a regional flair, to luxury resorts complete with spas.

Only in Moab Utah can you enjoy “Black Tie” cuisine in the comfort of casual attire. Moab boasts not one, but four restaurants which would not only survive, but thrive in New York. Chef Tim Buckingham, owner of Buck’s Grill house, wanted to take local ingredients and combine them with classic and regional dishes from the area. Hence, his famous buffalo meat loaf. The Center Cafe's chefs and owners, Paul & Zee McCarroll, have built a reputation on outstanding service with innovative and classically prepared menu items. For history buffs, there are two restaurants housed in historic buildings. The Sunset Grill perched 220 feet above the town of Moab, where well trained chefs prepare some of the finest food available, in the historic home of uranium king, Charles Steen. The casual atmosphere and patio dining provide a wonderful way to relax after seeing some of Utah's most unique sights. Chef & owners, Karl & Michelle welcome you to the Desert Bistro, located in a beautiful historic Ranch House at Moab Springs Ranch where they hand craft each entrée to order.

Locals shop for unique items in the shops located in Moab. While there are far too many to name them all, you will find trading posts featuring fine Indian crafts & jewelry, gift shops offering local arts and crafts, as well as upscale art galleries.

Local mascot, aside from the high school mascot “Red Devil”, would have to be the Kokopelli, a prehistoric deity depicted often in ancient rock art found throughout the canyonlands area. Frequently shown as a hump-backed flute player, this mythic being has survived in recognizable form from Anasazi times to the present, and is often business names and logos.

As for weird folklore, there is plenty, for example, the legend of Dead Horse Point State Park.  DeadHorse Point is a peninsula of rock atop sheer sandstone cliffs. The peninsula is connected to the mesa by a narrow strip of land called the neck. There are many stories about how this high promontory of land received its name.

According to one legend, around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck, which is only 30 yards wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush. This created a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs, affording no escape. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and let the culls or broomtails go free. One time, for some unknown reason, horses were left corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.

Everything in Moab easily qualifies as cool. There are several organic coffee shops, as well as two breweries, two wineries with tasting rooms, two riverside resorts, restaurants in historic buildings, two museums, and the Millcreek parkway that winds throughout the town can be enjoyed by foot, bike or segway.

Moab is unique in so many ways and the diversity of events is no exception and whether participating or spectating, you are sure to enjoy one of Moab’s annual events.

The Annual Western Stars Cowboy Poetry Gathering, featuring Suzy Boggus and Dave Stamey on President’s Day weekend in February kicks off the year with cowboy poets, music, square dancing, chili contest, western art and much more.

Spring in Moab is full of events with March offering marathons, barrel racing, and cycling events. April brings a blast from the past with the Annual April Action Car Show, a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Saturday, stroll the park and admire hundreds of classic cars, hotrods, muscle cars and street rods on display; then relax that evening as the same classics take to Main Street in an endless nostalgic parade. Memorial Day weekend, the Annual Moab Arts Festival again fills Swanney City Park with vendors, games, crafts, music throughout the day.   The Annual PRCA Rodeo in June offers three nights of barrel racing, bronc riding, roping and bull riding at the Old Spanish Trail Arena.

The fall season begins with the Moab Music Festival, where music from around the world amidst the spectacular red rock canyonlands of Moab, Utah and wraps up with the Moab Folk Festival the first week of November with some of the finest singer/songwriter musicians in the country. Other fall events include the Gem & Mineral Show, Pumpkin Chunkin’ Festival, Big Horn Sheep Festival as well as more cycling, four-wheeling, and running events. 

Got toys? Then a play date in the outdoor wonderland of Moab is an absolute must.  No matter what your toy preference, motorized or non-motorized, Moab is the place to bring your toys and family to play, or if you like to travel light, Moab is also a great destination if you want to play without the hassle of packing toys. An abundance of outfitters are available to take you on an adventure, or rent your own toys and do your exploring. There are also many great activities that do not require anything but a desire to experience nature at its best.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

American Children's Christmas Festival

One of American's best Christmas festivals for children and families is going on right now in Cedar City. The American Children's Christmas Festival portrays the holiday spirit through dance and musical performances by regional and national performing groups. It runs through Dec 17.

The festival features a storybook cavalcade, musical and dance productions, Christmas village, Santaland, Festival of Trees and more. It is Held in the Cedar City Heritage Center (105 N 100 E, Cedar City), Fridays through Mondays.

See the festival website for more information, or call 435-865-5107.

Why Utah has The Greatest Snow on Earth

Storms this week are dumping huge amounts of "the greatest snow on earth" on Utah mountains. Here's a youtube video with a meteorologist explaining why we can claim the best snow.

"We've been claiming it for a long time, but, here is the science to back it up. Utah Meteorologist and Ski Utah Blogger Jodi Saeland on the Weather Channel explaining why Utah has The Greatest Snow..."

Monday, December 07, 2009

Big Snowstorm Hits Utah

Snow is falling as I write this. There is 6 inches of new snow on my front lawn, and that could grow to more than a foot by tomorrow evening. Northern Utah mountains are expected to pick up 1-2 feet. Southern mountains may get 2-4 feet of new snow.

This is a big storm. Skiers are loving it. Resorts will have plenty of powder this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of central and southern Utah. The text of the warning is given below.

Crews are out plowing and putting salt and cinders on roads. Major roads are open and drivable at this point, but there could be problems in some areas. I-15, I-70 and I-80 will probably be kept open during the storm but there may be periods when travel is difficult or impossible in areas. High passes will be treacherous. Travelers need to check local road conditions and current weather forecast.










Friday, December 04, 2009

Utahns Can Learn to Ski For Just $25

Park City Mountain Resort is offering a "Start Now" program to encourage Utah residents to learn to ski.

For just $25, first-time skiers and boarders get an afternoon ski lesson, lift access (1:00 – 4:00 pm) and ski or snowboard equipment rental.

Plus, with the StartNOW bounceback offer, participants can return four additional times during the season for only $25 per day (choice of afternoon lesson, lift access, equipment rentals or any combination of the three).

See the Park City Mountain Resort website for more details.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Soldier Hollow Opens for Snow Sports

The tubing hill at Soldier Hollow will open for the season on Saturday, December 5. Depending on weather conditions, area cross country ski trails will open on December 12.

USA Today lists Soldier Hollow among "10 Great Places to Peacefully Glide Cross Country." Below is an excerpt from the USA Today article.

"Located just 20 minutes from the trendy downhill ski enclave of Park City, Soldier Hollow served as the cross-country ski venue for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. "Mere mortals can ski the same trails as the world-class athletes — and then head for a Park City cafe to relax and celebrity-watch," Frado says. The resort has more than 20 miles of groomed trails for all skill levels, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding Wasatch Mountains."

Soldier Hollow is part of Utah's Wasatch Mountain State Park.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Utahs Olympic Legacy Means Great Skiing

The 2002 Winter Olympics put Utah skiing on the map and it has been getting better ever since, according to this travel article on the ABC News website. Below are excerpts.

The Olympics brought international acclaim, dozens of new and faster lifts and thousands of more acres of skiable terrain. Traffic on the slopes was up by 37 percent in the six years after the Olympics, before the economy soured, making Utah skiing a $1 billion industry.

The most noticeable Olympic legacy has been nonstop development, most recently at Solitude Mountain Resort, which just added its fourth new chair lift since the 2002 Games.

Off the slopes, this season's biggest improvement is a new set of state liquor laws. The reforms broke up a private club system that made getting inside a bar without a membership a hassle. Utah still strictly regulates drinking venues, a quota system limits their numbers, and regular strength draft beer is banned, thanks to the influence of the teetotalling Mormon church.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Utah Governor's Mansion Opens for Christmas Tours

Add one more stop to your downtown Salt Lake City Christmas tour. In addition to the famous light displays at Temple Square and the Gallivan Center, the Utah Governor's mansion is decorated and open for public tours.

KSL has this report. Below is an excerpt.

"The governor and first lady are welcoming the public to tour the mansion and see the Christmas decorations. The free holiday tour schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Friday, Dec. 4, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 10, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m."
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