SALT LAKE CITY - Do not hit the panic button on the ski season, opening by Thanksgiving is not a key ingredient for one of Utah’s biggest industries.
“Last year we had the most skier visits on record and the year before also," said Katie Van River, the social media and communications manager for Visit Salt Lake.
In 2016, most resorts opened after Thanksgiving. This year, at least three will open before or on Thanksgiving.
Resort 2016 Opening Day 2017 Opening Day
Brighton November 25 November 21
Park City Resort November 26 November 23
Alta Ski Area December 1 December 2
Snowbird November 26 November 22
The so called “greatest snow on earth” seems to have its biggest impact on hotel bookings, restaurant visits and flights to Utah, when large amounts of snow fall in a single storm.
“Snow in Utah makes national news every time. People that follow the storm track, they always see what’s happening here. We see massive spikes when everyone gets excited about those storms,” said Van Riper.
What has changed for the winter sports tourism industry is when people confirm their visits. People are waiting longer and longer to book a trip, but they are still coming.
“Families that used to book their vacations in August for say February are now booking in December, or even early January for that same February vacation,” said Van Riper.
With snow beginning to accumulate on mountains throughout Utah, skiers and snowboarders from the community and the world are getting ready, waxing their gear and grabbing their gloves. Ski resorts are getting ready too.
Here is an updated list of opening days for resorts throughout Utah:
Updated Resort Opening Dates:
Alta Ski Area: December 1
Beaver Mountain: TBD
Brian Head Resort: November 24
Brighton Resort: TODAY
Cherry Peak Resort: December 18
Deer Valley Resort: December 2
Eagle Point Resort: December 21
Nordic Valley Resort: December 9
Park City Mountain: November 23
Powder Mountain: TBD
Snowbasin Resort: TBD
Snowbird Resort: November 22
Solitude Mountain: December 2
Sundance Mountain Resort: December 8
For more information on ski resorts, snow reports and weather information, visit www.skiutah.com