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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Utah Leaps Ahead With Luxe Ski Area Lodging

The headline above comes from this Associated Press article describing luxury hotels opening at Utah ski resorts in Deer Valley and Park City. We found the article to be very interesting. Below are excerpts.

When David Johndrow was looking to buy a hotel suite for use as a winter home in Park City, he had his pick of new luxury lodging: Montage Deer Valley, the St. Regis Deer Valley or the Waldorf Astoria Park City.

All three newcomer properties... are setting a new standard of luxury in Utah to match anything in Colorado or British Columbia.

Johndrow will have 75-mile views from the ninth floor of the 13-story building tucked under the summit of Deer Valley, voted the No. 1 resort for a fourth straight year by readers of SKI magazine. "There's nothing on the mountain comparable," he said.

Utah also has a longstanding five-star hotel resort, the Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley, named for a Norwegian Olympic gold medalist.

Nathan Rafferty, president of the trade group Ski Utah, said the new hotel developments are a "huge deal" that show resort operators are "bullish on Utah," where skiing is a $1 billion-a-year industry. He added, "They have to know something."

"We were convinced Park City was going to be the next great skiing market," said Jeff Mongan, senior vice president of The Athens Group, a Phoenix development group with an ownership stake in the nearly half-billion-dollar Montage.

Talisker Corp., owner of The Canyons at Park City, is spending millions of dollars to reconfigure the mountain and add North America's first heated chair lift with a bubble shield that swings over passengers like a pair of orange goggles. It is opening an eighth peak for skiing and adding or realigning other lifts while redesigning the village base.

On the other side of the Wasatch range, Snowbird is seeking to extend skiing to nearly 11,500 feet in elevation with a tram from its summit to a higher peak. Resorts on both sides of the narrow Wasatch mountains are discussing a common ticketing system and additional lifts that could let skiers glide effortlessly from one resort to the other, possibly within a few years.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Performances

Music and festivities can be found all around Utah right now. Several performances in the Salt Lake area are of special note.

The Oak Ridge Boys will bring their Christmas show to Salt Lake City on Nov 30, 7:30 p.m. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the show. Here's just one quote: “We’ve become known for our Christmas music,” said Richard Sterban, the quartet’s bass singer. It’s the 23rd consecutive year the Oak Ridge Boys have put on a Christmas tour, said tenor Joe Bonsall, as he promoted this year’s Utah stopover Nov. 30 at Abravanel Hall.

Handel’s "Messiah" will be presented Dec 10, 11, 13, at 7:30 p.m., Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State St., Salt Lake Community College campus. Only this version has a twist: It is a musical program infusing the classic with jazz, R&B and gospel.

Kurt Bestor, a local favorite, will perform Dec 14 at Weber State University and Dec 16-18 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. The Tribune has this article about Bestor. Here's a quote: "Despite working throughout the year on musical projects, Bestor is best-known in Utah for his annual Christmas shows. He spends months preparing for them, incorporating some 30 percent to 40 percent of new material every year... This is the 22nd year Bestor will perform his holiday show."

Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City has music and performances every day during the holiday season. David Archuleta will perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra December 16–19, in the Conference Center. See more Temple Square activities.

Here's an extended list of Salt Lake area productions.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Beware: 'Holy War' has Utah vs BYU on the Hill Saturday

Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium on the U of U campus, Salt Lake City, Utah
Game time: Nov. 27th, 2010 at 1:30 pm MST

This is one of the most intense rivalries in the county and it has been raging since 1896. The #22 Utes are favored and have won 53 of the 91 battles. Last year BYU won the Holy War, 26-23.

Air temperatures will be cold and there will be a storm approaching, but the stadium is expected to be full and traffic will be extremely heavy going to and coming from the game.

Utah started the year strong and hoped for an undefeated season, but fell flat during two games as they lost 7-47 to TCU and 3-28 to Notre Dame. The Utes got back into the winning column last week with a 38-34 victory over San Diego State.

BYU started slow but has surged during the last half of the season. They have outscored their last 3 opponents, UNLV, Colorado State and New Mexico, by the score of 144-24.

Many businesses get into the spirit and participate in rivalry food drives and other activities to benefit the community.

Some fans carry the rivalry to extremes, engaging in verbal exchanges and sometimes even physical confrontations. We encourage people to show their spirit in civil ways.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this newcomers guide to the rivalry.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Exploring Mesa Verde In Winter

Mesa Verde National Park is open year-round, but most visitors come during the warm months. During winter, many parts of the park are almost deserted. The main park roads are plowed and most major ruin complexes can be seen from impressive viewpoints.

I explored the park last weekend and had a great time. I took at least half a million photos and some of them actually came out pretty good. I’m showing 2 of them here.

In Mesa Verde, people are only allowed to enter ruin complexes if they are part of a ranger-led hike. During the summer, rangers led hikes to 3 major ruins: Cliff Palace, Spruce Tree House and Balcony House. During winter, hikes are only offered to one complex. We visited Spruce Tree House and it was spectacular.

The ranger was a “performer,” full of interesting facts and stories. It was fun being there with a small group, so he had time to answer questions and interact with the folks.

We drove to park overlooks and enjoyed great views of all the major ruins. We also hiked short trails to overlooks off the beaten path. The weather was great – breeze with mild temperatures. There was a skiff of snow in shady spots.

That was last week. During the last few days we have been hit by a big, cold storm. I suspect the Mesa Verde area received some snow and that it stuck on the ground. Snow won’t be deep, and they do plow the roads, but temperatures will be very cold for a few days.

After this storm passes and conditions return to normal, there will be many winter days where temperatures will be mild and it will be very pleasant to explore the park.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow, Thanksgiving and Christmas Lights

A big storm is moving over Utah right now, causing travel problems. Weather forecasters say it could get intense tonight before easing Wednesday. After the storm, temperatures will be really cold.

Some activities are being canceled today because the storm is expected to hit so hard. The brunt of the storm is expected later this afternoon and tonight. If you plan to travel tonight, double check to make sure your activity is still being held. Plan for extra time to reach your destination.

Here are just a few events that have been canceled: The University of Utah closed classes and many activities after noon today; Utah State University in Logan closed at 2 pm today. The Granite School District canceled district activities after 3 p.m. today, including sports, plays and a school board meeting. West Valley City is closing its offices at 3 p.m. and canceling a council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night.

Thanksgiving Day is a quiet holiday in Utah. Most businesses will be close. Ski resorts will be going full steam ahead, as will gas stations and convenience stores.

Many restaurants will be open and will offer special dinners. Some move theaters and other entertainment venues will be open. Most people that are not at restaurants or on the ski slopes will be at home enjoying family time.

Christmas Lights
Holiday lights will go on tonight at Trolley Square.

Temple Square will fire up its famous Christmas lights display at dusk on Friday. It is fun to be there as the turn on the lights, and the downtown area will be crowded. The lights will stay on through New Years Day, so people have plenty of time to see them.

Energy Solutions Arena and many other large businesses will have colorful lights.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Ski Resorts Open, More Snow, More Great Reviews

Four Utah ski resorts are scheduled to open this week, in time for the big Thanksgiving weekend. Snowbasin will open Thursday. The Canyons, Powder Mountain and Wolf Creek are scheduled to open on Friday. Six resorts are already open.

Heavy snow over the weekend. Alta now has a 59 inch base, with 22 inches of new snow in the past 48 hours. Another storm is expected tomorrow, and forecasters say it may be bigger than the one last one. All of our resorts should have excellent early-season conditions.

Avalanche danger is high in the backcountry. Avalanche control work eliminates that danger in developed ski resorts and along maintained highways. Use extreme caution if you probe into the backcountry, in into out-of-bounds areas adjacent to ski resorts. says Utah is the "2011 coolest ski destination." In this article written for Europeans, the website gives tips and insights. Below are excerpts:

It would take a lot more than pictures of wide, empty slopes and promises of “great snow” to lure me to North America. After all, aren’t the resorts big and soulless? I expected the ski resort equivalent of a shopping mall.

I resisted the hype until I saw it for myself — it is quite a stretch to expect people to invest in a skiing holiday in the States, braving the seven-hour time difference all in the hope that the meteorologists are right. But whenever I asked more devoted skiers, they kept burbling on about the snow — the snow! Some witchery about arctic air and Pacific water forming storms that sweep in, hit the Wasatch mountain range, then, in the dry conditions of the Salt Lake basin, dump large symmetrical flakes on to the waiting slopes.

I was wrong to be such a ski snob. The resorts were far from soulless whether you paid more to stay in the high-end spots or whether you travelled daily from the state capital Salt Lake City (there are 13 resorts, most less than an hour away by car). The grid-shaped former Olympic city and the home of Mormonism may not be a beauty but it has hidden flair and its location is splendid.

Once I was on those slopes, I betrayed the Alps in a heartbeat. After three days of the faultless lifts, empty runs, Olympic-standard grooming and simply being dazzled by what looked like snow diamonds, the clouds drew in, the temperature dropped and I braced myself for some Wasatch mischief.

It took one blustery day, then it was as if a switch had been flicked and down came the flakes, as promised, large, light and dry. For once the bumper stickers weren’t lying: the snow was the best I’ve tried. The transatlantic journey was well worth the effort.

Deer Valley: If you wanted to experience the antithesis of the worst excesses of the European resorts, this is it. There is no music blaring out on the slopes, valets take your skis, the grooming is so good that you feel as though you’re on icing sugar — I had to stop myself from going off-piste just to taste it. The only queues are for the first-class restaurant in the Stein Eriksen lodge. Snowboards are banned. It is exclusive, a little elitist, with a price tag to match.

Snowbird/Alta: Two resorts, linked by a gate, combine to outdo their cousins with 4,700 acres of terrain. Get a combined pass and you will see the two faces of the different resorts. With their dramatic peaks, compared with the rounded ones of the others, they have an alpine air — reinforced in Alta, with its chalet-style lodges and its ski area...

Sundance: Robert Redford’s playground and home to his film institute, this is the most beautiful of the resorts that I saw. The ski area is much smaller, but staying in this nature reserve at the base of Mount Timpanogos is as dreamlike as Redford wished when he bought the land in 1969.

The Canyons: A giant resort in the land of huge proportions. Nine mountain peaks, 4,000 acres, 182 trails, an eight-passenger gondola — technically superb (although watch out for your calves as you board the Golden Eagle lift).

All the resorts are less than an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eight Reasons to Ski Park City

In this blog on, Mike Doyle gives 8 reasons to ski Park City area resorts. Below are excerpts.

1) Park City is only a 35 minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport and is North America's most accessible winter sports destination...

2) Ski Free on Day Of Arrival Day with Park City's QuickSTART promotion...

3) New Accommodations become part of Park City Luxury Hotel Collection...

4) New Resort Developments at Park City Mountain Resort include expanded night operations, the Pick N' Shovel Terrain Park, three new Adventure Alley runs...

5) $4.5 million investment in enhancements for the 2010/11 season at the #1 rated Deer Valley Resort...

6) Debuting at The Canyons Resort in 2010-11 is North America's only bubble-enclosed high-speed chairlift...

7) New for apres ski enjoyment is the Sky Blue bar at The Sky Lodge with a large outdoor deck...

8) And the Skiing begins (early opening dates)...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Week Storms Will Hinder Traffic, Delight Skiers

A series of winter storms are bearing down on Utah. Friday is expected to be windy and warm, and then precipitation will start to fall on Saturday. Northern Utah mountains could receive snow every day from Saturday through Thanksgiving Day.

Most of our ski resorts will be open by the holiday, and these storms will ensure great conditions.

People traveling need to use extra caution. Snow will fall at higher elevations statewide and could cause traffic problems. The storms look wet enough to drop heavy snow in spots. Crews will be plowing and sanding, and major highways should remain open. However, even Interstate highways could become slick and snowpacked in spots.

Monitor weather reports and road condition reports for the latest details. Plan extra time to travel and carry emergency equipment.

As the storms clear, temperatures will fall and Utah will see its first really cold temperatures of the season. Again, use caution if you are traveling or engaging in outdoor recreation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicago Tribune Praises Western Ski Resorts

In this article, the Chicago Tribune gives an overview of skiing opportunities in the Western US. The article says many positive things about Utah resorts. Below are excerpts:

The West is the best. Really, for those of us who grew up skiing on frigid, windy, icy slopes of the East Coast or Midwest, skiing out West is pure heaven. You're likely to find incredible views (Snowbird), skiing history (Squaw Valley), uncrowded slopes (Solitude), high terrain (Telluride), sunny skies (Sun Peaks, British Columbia), Wild West spirit (Sun Valley) and friendly people (Northstar-at-Tahoe).

Utah, known as "The Greatest Snow on Earth" — It's a perfect place to visit to experience an amazing ski vacation. Many airlines (particularly Delta, fly to Salt Lake City, with 11 world-class ski resorts less than an hour and a half from the airport. Plus, the area finally has altered its curious liquor laws to allow more liberal sales. (Try a fine Utah microbrew, Polygamy Porter).

The Park City Chamber of Commerce once again is offering visitors the excellent Quick START program. During non-holiday periods, visitors flying into the Salt Lake City International Airport can ski for free the day they arrive at Park City's resorts, including the wonderful Deer Valley Resort (, The Canyons ( and Park City Mountain Resort ( The date of redemption must be the same as the date that appears on the visitor's airline boarding pass. Users must register at before arriving. Some restrictions apply.

Less than an hour from the Salt Lake City airport, Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon is home to Snowbird (, one of the coolest resorts anywhere. Snowbird's huge snow, massive steeps and wide bowls are enjoyed by many, and it is touted as the only resort in North America with a long ski-through tunnel. Connecting the front-side Peruvian Gulch to the large, bowl-laden Mineral Basin, the ski tunnel is cold but fun.

Also in Utah, Alta ( long has been known as a fabulous old-school resort. Celebrating its 72nd anniversary, Alta is still known for its annual snowfall (typically more than 540 inches) and legendary powder. Alta also is just for skiers; no boarders allowed.

Solitude ( is another friendly Little Cottonwood Canyon ski resort. It's a place where you really can feel as if you're the only one on the mountain. Don't miss Solitude's yurt dinners on the mountain.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter Sun Festival in Moab

If you are looking for a fun way to kick off the holiday season, consider going to Moab for their Winter Sun Festival, which runs Dec 3-4. The information below was provided by

Winter Sun Festival is an annual event in Moab. The Moab Half Marathon folks put on a 10k road race and the community has a variety of activities to enjoy, to ring in, the December Holiday Season. The Main Street merchants will have sales, handmade items are displayed at two location for crafts, Santa will make an appearance, here and there, so be on the look out for the red suit.

The Winter Sun Festival at a glance:

December 3
4-8 p.m. - Grand Center Craft Fair, 182N 500W

5-7 p.m. - Tree Lighting @the county courthouse, 125 E Center St

6:30 p.m. - Dave Steward & David Earl Brown play @ Eddie McStiff’s;

McStiff’s also serving pre-race past specials for the Winter Sun 10k

December 4
9-11 a.m. - Winter Sun 10k – Golf Course to High School Track

9 a.m. -3 p.m. - Grand Center Craft Fair, 182N 500W

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Moab Arts and Recreation Center Craft Fair – 111E 100N

6:00 p.m. - Electric Light Parade begins rolling

6:30 p.m. - The Littlest Birds (live music) @ Eddie McStiff’s

9:30 p.m. - The After Light Parade party @ Frankie D’s 44W 200N

Line up for the parade along 100 West from Swanny Park to Center Street, then along Main Street south to City Market.

The Tree Lighting will be lively with carolers, cookies & hot chocolate, and an additional ceremony, in which the Mayor awards the Business and Citizen of the Year for Moab.

Dance with the Sparkle Motion band at Frankie D’s after the Electric Light Parade.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Golf in red rock country: The secret is out

The LA Times has this interesting article about golf opportunities in the St George area. The title above sums up the article. Below are excerpts.

Lush greens set amid black lava rocks and red sandstone cliffs make St. George one of the more scenic desert golf destinations in the country. But there's another equally alluring draw: the value.

The economic downturn and an abundance of high-quality courses within a 20-minute radius of this southern Utah community have helped make it an increasingly popular and affordable golfing getaway.

Green fees that include unlimited rounds, range balls and a cart can be had for about $40 in the hot off-season months, which for most courses lasts through September. Some courses throw in lunch packages and have cheaper "twilight rates" starting as early as 10 a.m.

Even during the peak golfing season — roughly October to May — the fees range from about $50 to $125 and are less than many comparable courses in Las Vegas, Palm Springs and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Many newcomers are retirees. That growth, in part, led to the construction of the city's nicer courses, which anchor upscale housing developments. Several of those courses, including Sand Hollow and Coral Canyon, apparently have aspirations of becoming private clubs someday, according to local golfers. One such course, the Ledges at St. George, is a beautiful 7,200-yard championship course that has struggled financially and recently changed owners.

The Ledges was virtually deserted during an early morning, midweek round that cost $40, including range balls and a GPS-equipped golf cart that lets golfers know precisely how far their ball is from the pin.

As a result, golf managers are increasingly looking to attract players from outside the city's limits. Besides golf, there are other outdoor activities to entice visitors, including mountain biking, hiking and excursions to nearby state and national parks. St. George is just a 35-minute drive to Zion National Park.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Utah Agencies and Industries Support Alternative Fuel

Zion National Park has been given a $10,000 grand to help purchase a hybrid vehicle, and to help support its propane-powered shuttle system, which includes 30 vehicles. The grand came from an Automobile Association of America.

That's just one example of alternate energy use described in this article in the Salt Lake Tribune. Other examples include governmental agencies and businesses cooperating to promote clean energy. Below are excerpts from the article.

“They [Zion] walk the talk,” said Robin Erickson, southern Utah director of Utah Clean Cities.

Ivins mayor Chris Hart is high on natural gas and hopes to cut this southern Utah city’s $25,000 annual fuel budget in half by converting the city fleet to the clean burning fuel.

Hart was one of several southern Utah mayors who gathered Friday at the office of Automobile Association of America in Washington City to show support for converting their fleets to alternative fuels that include natural gas, electricity, ethanol and biodiesel.

To help accommodate clean fuel programs, three refueling stations are coming online to offer commercial trucks liquified natural gas. The first, at the Flying J Truck stop at 845 W. 2100 South in Salt Lake City, will open next month. Two others will be built later in Beaver or St. George and in the Ogden area.

Rolayne Fairclough, spokeswoman for AAA, said Utah has the second best infrastructure in the country after California for supporting the emerging technologies.

“Alternative fuels are the next chapter in the history of the automobile and AAA is leading the way by funding cutting-edge research and development of sustainable fuel options,” she said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good Snow Allows Ski Resorts To Push Up Opening Days

Heavy early snow has allowed some Utah Ski Resorts to push up their opening dates.

Brighton is opening today. Because today is Veterans Day, all veterans and active military personnel can ski or board today for free.

Solitude will open tomorrow. Snowbird will open Saturday - 1 week earlier than scheduled.

Heavy snow fell earlier this week, creating a good base. Forecasters say more snow could fall this weekend. If the expected weather pattern holds, we cold see the best early-season conditions ever.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the resort openings. Below are excerpts.

“We definitely go for it as soon as we can,” said Brighton spokesman Jared Winkler. “Because we’ve gotten the snow, it takes only a day or two to prepare the lifts. And our customers are ready. Nobody is upset we’re pushing forward.”

With an 18-inch base and a solid snowpack at higher elevations, Brighton is opening the Majestic and Snake Creek Express chairlifts Thursday. An adult all-day lift ticket costs $62.

Accordingly, Alta is scheduled to begin operations Nov. 19, followed the next day by Park City Mountain Resort and Wolf Creek Utah in Ogden Valley.

By the important Thanksgiving weekend, the ranks of open resorts will expand to include Ogden’s Snowbasin and Powder Mountain resorts, and The Canyons resort outside Park City.

Solitude’s opening-day lineup includes the Moonbeam, Apex and Link lifts. Adult passes cost $49, said spokesman Nick Como.

At Snowbird, resort President Bob Bonar said “the wait is over for what is sure to be a fantastic 40th season. The combination of recent snowfall, cold temperatures and a promising forecast should help us work toward opening additional terrain leading up to Thanksgiving week.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Rock Film Festival Set To Begin In St George

The fourth annual Red Rock Film Festival is set to begin in St George and Springdale, near Zion Park. It runs Nov 11-14, 2010. It includes screenings and other activities that are open to the public. Below is information from the festival website.

The festival includes competitions, premieres, exclusive screenings, parties, market, and spotlight screenings as it expands to the Dixie Center in St. George! Check out the ever growing schedule online.

The festival is a gathering for cinematic art in Zion Canyon of Southern Utah. It is a retreat for independent premieres, films, and panels that both enlighten the senses and empower the mind.

The festival accepts entries of ALL GENRES from shorts to full-length features, and is held in Southern Utah beneath the majestic red mountains of Zion National Park.

To encourage the independent spirit, Red Rock strives to find a home for all films that qualify in competition. This gives the filmmaker a chance to give their work exposure even if they may not make the festival finals.

See the festival schedule.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Skiing Starts Friday At Solitude, Brighton

Our ski season officially kicks off on Friday, when Solitude and Brighton open. Other Utah resorts will follow quickly. Most will be open by Thanksgiving weekend. (See this schedule of tentative opening dates.)

A major storm yesterday dropped almost a foot of snow in the Wasatch Mountains. Another storm will hit tomorrow. It now looks like tomorrow's storm is moving south and will blast central Utah, but our northern mountains will still see good amounts of new snow.

Brighton now reports 11 inches of new snow and a 27 inch base. That's very good for this early in the season. Longterm forecasts say we should expect a stormy fall and winter, so ski conditions should just get better and better.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about yesterday's storm. Below are excerpts.

Another cold storm system is poised to drive into Utah by Wednesday and could bring more precipitation statewide. But that system will track through central Utah and won’t bring as much rain and snow to northern Utah as Monday’s storm did, Graham said.

The combination three-day punch could bring another 18 inches of snow to ski resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, according to weather service forecasts.

By 2 p.m. Monday, Brighton and Snowbird were reporting 7 to 8 inches of new snow.

“We’ve got about 6 to 8 inches of new snow, depending on where you’re standing,” said Brighton’s Jared Winkler. “We’re ramping up the snowmaking. We’ll be good to go by Friday.”

It was dumping snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon, as well.

“It’s been snowing heavily all day,” said one Alta employee. “There’s a ton of people here, trying to ski and snowboard.”

Alta is scheduled to open for skiing Nov. 19. Snowbird has announced a Nov. 20 opener, and Park City Mountain Resort plans to open the same day.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Winter Storms Will Impact Travel in Northern Utah

A winter storm now over northern Utah will produce rain in valleys and snow at higher elevations. Wasatch Mountain areas could get up to 2 feet of snow, which is exactly what the ski resorts want to kick of their season.

Southern Utah will not get as much precipitation, but some valleys will see rain at times and some mountain areas will pick up a little snow. Snow is expected at today Bryce Canyon National Park.

This storm will end tonight or early tomorrow, as much colder air moves in.

Another powerful storm is expected to hit Wednesday. It will follow much the same track, hitting northern Utah with rain in valleys and snow in mountains.

Crews will be out plowing roads and major highways should stay open. However, there may be treacherous conditions at times in some areas. High-elevation secondary roads may become snowpacked.

Seasonal roads will now be closed for the season. These include:

  • Hwy 150 through the Uintas

  • Hwy 39 over Monte Cristo

  • Hwy 35 between Woodland and Hana

If you are traveling, take care and monitor weather forecasts.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ski School, Ski Deals, Ski Passport, Ski Gear

Salt Lake City's daily newspapers are offering a wealth of information about Utah skiing, including info on deals at local resorts. Below are some story headlines and lead paragraphs.

Time to hit slopes for Deseret News/KSL News Radio Ski and Snowboard School
It may not seem the right time, with barely a trace of snow on the ground, but it won't be too long before the slopes are white and ski lifts will be running daily.

Which means, of course, registration has begun for the 63rd session for skiers and the 12th session for snowboarders in the Deseret News/KSL News Radio Ski and Snowboard School.

As in the past, there will be three classes. The first will be Nov. 20, followed by a break for Thanksgiving, and the final two classes will be Dec. 4 and 11.

Ski resorts storm the slopes with new apps
This season, there's more to technology on the ski slopes than the new shapes in skis.

As skiers and snowboarders head online to book vacations and then brag about it, Colorado resorts are amping up their social media and smart phone applications to reach them, offering everything from geotagging to automatic Twitter updates.

Ski resorts offer great deals this season
If the concrete jungle is getting you down, there is a cure.

Getting away from it all doesn't mean skiers, snowshoers or hikers have to leave the state. Some of the country's best resorts are right here in Utah.

Here's some information on how to find awesome deals and interesting ideas...

Ski Season: Best deals on gear to be had at swaps
Preseason ski swaps are a great place to pick up gently used and cheap gear. While the popular Rowmark and Black Diamond ski swaps wrapped up last week, three more swaps remain this fall for people looking to acquire new or used equipment at reduced prices.

Best Utah skiing could come early this year
Winter could come quickly to Utah, with skiers enjoying the best skiing early in the season.

At least that’s the long-term forecast from the Salt Lake City National Weather Service office. But making such forecasts can be difficult during a La Niña winter pattern, which is expected to affect the 2010-11 winter weather.

Ski Season: Passport program gets youth on the mountain
Getting kids hooked on skiing and boarding is at the heart of Ski Utah’s Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Passport program, which has attracted 8,000 participants annually since it began.

Fifth-grade students who acquire the passport for a $25 processing fee get three free days of skiing or boarding at each of Utah’s 14 resorts. Sixth-graders are eligible for one day at each resort. Downloadable application forms and additional information are available at Questions will be answered at and 801-534-1779.

Game Day Football At the University of Utah in Salt Lake City

There will be a big football game in Salt Lake City on Saturday, when the 5th-ranked University of Utah Utes hosts 3rd-tanked TCU. The game begins at 1:30 in Rice-Eccles Stadium, on the U campus on the east side of Salt Lake City.

Traffic will be crazy in that area before and after the game. The Trax light rail system runs from downtown Salt Lake City to the university and it is a good option for people traveling to the game.

ESPN has chosen the clash as its “Game Day,” and that will add to the tumult. Game Day-related activities will be held Friday and Saturday.

Tickets for the game will certainly sell out – if you don't have them now you may be able to find someone scalping them on a street corner near the stadium.

Broadcast coverage:
Radio: KALL 700

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Movie Showcases Utah Canyon While Telling The Story Of Aaron Ralston

There is a lot of hype right now about the movie “127 Hours," about adventurer Aaron Ralston. He's the guy who got his arm stuck under a boulder while exploring a slot canyon alone. He was pinned there for 127 hours, until he cut off his arm to gain freedom.

The movie is said to be “intense” and is expected to draw a large audience. It shows off some of Utah's most beautiful scenery, along with terrain that is dangerous.

So the question arises, “Will this be good or bad for Utah?” Utah's Office of Tourism thinks it will be positive. KSL has this report about the movie, complete with a trailer. Below are excerpts.

A movie about a famous incident in Utah opens Wednesday night in select cities around the country. The story will likely be inspiring to some, gruesome to others. Either way, state travel officials are angling to capitalize on the movie's spectacular views of Southern Utah.

James Franco is the star, But Utah scenery also has a starring role in the new movie "127 Hours". Franco plays Aaron Ralston, solo adventurer extraordinaire, who climbs alone into a slot canyon and gets his arm trapped by a boulder, pinning him there for 127 hours.

The movie has Oscar talk.

Leigh von der Esch, Utah's travel chief, hopes worldwide exposure will draw tourists.

"Southern Utah is just spectacular on this film, and really, really showcased," she said.

There's a potential marketing problem. How will audiences and tourists respond to scenery so dangerous, it nearly kills off the hero, until he saves himself by cutting off his own arm?

"It's uplifting--a story of a young man that wanted to survive against all odds. And I think that's what we have to remember," von der Esch said.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Notable Religious Paintings Displayed At BYU Museum of Art

A notable exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art will showcase religious paintings by Carl Bloch. It will run from Nov 12 through May 7.

This is from the museum's website:

Carl Bloch: The Master’s Hand will feature five large altar paintings from churches in Denmark and Sweden. Four of these paintings will be taken out of their altar settings for the first time since they were originally installed in the late 1800s. The other painting, “Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda,” has become the museum’s signature piece since it was acquired in September 2001. Additional religious paintings and etchings along with genre, history, portrait and landscape paintings from Danish museums also will be included in the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on view in the Marian Adelaide Morris Cannon Gallery on the museum’s main level from Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 through Saturday, May 7, 2011. The museum will extend its operating hours for this exhibition. For the run of the show, the museum will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is free; however, visitors must register for tickets online before their visit .

See the museum's website for more information.

The information below is from this KSL news report:

After years of planning and negotiating with Danish museums and churches, the priceless paintings -- national treasures -- traveled by air during an international terror alert late last week. Still, they arrived safely and will remain in Utah for six months.

The finest artwork of a great painter, Carl Bloch -- that is what visitors to the Museum of Art are about to experience. The largest pieces came from Danish churches, removed temporarily from the most sacred areas where parishioners receive communion. The request was unusual; agreeing to it, equally so.

Carl Bloch was an Evangelical Lutheran but Latter-day Saints are familiar with his works because reproductions hang in their meetinghouses and appear in Church publications.

"To see these altar paintings in their true size, see the real thing, there is nothing like it. They are amazing," Pheysey said.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Utah Ski Resort Opening Dates

Below are tentative opening dates for Utah ski resorts. We will post updates as they become available.

Nov 12 - Brighton Ski Resort
Nov 12 - Solitude Mountain Resort
Nov 19 - Alta Ski Area
Nov 20 - Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
Nov 20 - Brian Head Resort
Nov 20 - Park City Mountain Resort
Nov 26 - Powder Mountain
Nov 26 - The Canyons
Dec 4 - Deer Valley Resort
Dec 10 - Sundance Resort
Dec 15 - Eagle Point
TBA - Beaver Mountain Resort
TBA - Snowbasin, A Sun Valley Resort
TBA - Wolf Creek Utah
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