After what is being referred to as one of the worst ski seasons in Utah history, Ski Utah President, Neil Rafferty recently told the Salt Lake City Tribune, “Considering Mother-Nature, we’re pretty pleased.”
These comments come off the heels of a season, where skier visits dropped a measly 5% below the average after snowfall totals at Alta amounted to 324’’ (Alta’s average snowfall total is 514’’). That difference, according to Rafferty was not significant enough to cause panic amongst resort officials around Utah. The Ski Utah president added, “From talking to resorts, I’m hearing positive things. People had money to spend. The resorts created great skiing conditions for what they had to work with.”
Although locals crusted over with dismay at the low-tide season, tourists seemed not to mind skiing on-piste, under bluebird skies, with unseasonably warm temperatures for much of the season. While Season pass holders stayed home, tourists flocked from the unbearably dry Sierra Nevada and the Pacific Northwest to Utah for its consistently good skiing.
That consistency can be attributed to recent advancements in snow making systems, which have allowed resorts to open earlier and keep lifts running longer with more consistent coverage.
Now all that snow making companies need to figure out how to create Powder conditions to get crusty locals out of their beds and onto the hill.