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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Crowds Hit The Slopes For Utah’s Ski Opener

Brighton and Solitude opened for skiing today and good numbers of people showed up to enjoy the early season adventure.

The two resorts were able to open early because of recent snowfall, cool temperatures and snowmaking machines. Many other Utah ski resorts will open during the next couple weeks. By Thanksgiving weekend, most resorts will be open and ski conditions should be very good.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the two resorts opening. The story also includes fun photos taken today. Below are excerpts.

Solitude got the jump on Brighton for first-to-open honors by pushing ahead its start by six minutes, firing up Moonbeam lift early for the dozen or so people in line for the honor of being on the season’s first chair.

Unfazed by coming in second, Brighton spokesman Jared Winkler said "there’s a pretty good crowd of kids up here having fun" on runs off of Majestic and Explorer lifts. "It was a good year for season pass sales so it isn’t surprising we have a lot of people up here now."

"The intrinsic value of early season snowfall is the incredible excitement and buzz it generates. Consumer enthusiasm for skiing and snowboarding is at its peak at the beginning of the season," said Ski Utah spokeswoman Jessica Kunzer.

"Destination visitors, in particular, interpret early openings and snow as the sign of great season conditions to come," Kunzer said. "There is a direct correlation between early season snowfall and vacation bookings throughout the season."

As Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty observed in a Tuesday news conference, the ski industry contributed almost $1.2 billion to Utah’s economy last year, up 67 percent since Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics (annual skier visits are up 41 percent in that period).


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