It was a historic 2022-23 season for Utah. Record snowfall fell at most of its resorts, and these mountains saw record visitation. In response, Utah ski resorts are spending lots of dinero to keep up with the record demand.
Back in October, Ski Utah detailed the investments coming to ski resorts across the state. These projects include new chairlifts, trails, lodges, snowmaking, remote avalanche control towers, and more. Here are the best improvements coming to Utah ski resorts this winter. First, here are some honorable mentions:
- Alta completed their final phase of converting to remote avalanche control towers. This offseason, they added five new Wyssen Towers, which will allow them to retire the use of military artillery. In addition, after 60 years of service, the Albion chairlift was removed this past summer.
- Beaver Mountain expanded its parking lot and added a vault toilet near the base of the Marge’s Triple chairlift. Work has begun on a new 25,000-square-foot lodge, which is expected to be finished in the fall of 2024.
- Brian Head has added new gladed terrain for this winter. The trees under the Wildflower chairlift and the Shotgun run. More efficient snowmaking equipment has been added to the Lower Aught trail, which will help them with their early-season operations.
- Cherry Peak has undergone snowmaking improvements and is adding a new downhill tubing run.
- Deer Valley is planning to spend $6 million in the next year, which includes “upgrades to snowmaking, grooming, rental equipment, employee housing, food and beverage, lift infrastructure and building maintenance.” They also announced that they will be operating the Mayflower ski resort that is being built right next to them.
- Eagle Point made $200,000 in upgrades to the Skyline and Monarch Chairlifts. They also made repairs to Highway UT-153 and Upper Meadows Drive.
- Park City Mountain Resort, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this season, replaced the Red Pine gondola cabins. The new ones are so fresh, so clean (until some idiot scratches the glass with his/her poles).
- Snowbird Resort has added a new mountain center, which is situated on the Plaza level of the Snowbird Center. A new food spot, Tram Sundries, will also be opening at the Plaza. The Woodward Mountain Park will be returning next Spring after a successful first season. Eight Wyssen towers have been added, increasing their total to seventeen.
- Sundance Resort has improved the road circulation around the Jake’s base area. They did a road realignment and added eighty parking spots to Jake’s base area. A new beginner trail has also been added from the top of Jake’s to the base area’s parking lots. For overnight guests, they are adding a pool, hot tub, and sauna area for guests to chillax.
- Woodward Park City’s improvements include the return of the Big Air feature, additions to the High-Performance Terrain Zone, more lights in the snow tubing area, and the purchase of a PistenBully Park Pro Snow Cat.
5. Nordic Valley: The trajectory of Nordic Valley changed during the 2020-21 season when it opened up the Nordic Express chairlift. Over the past couple of years, they’ve continued to add trails to this new terrain pod. Nordic Valley has added two trails for this winter, with them likely being of intermediate and advanced difficulty. The other major projects involved parking improvements. Two hundred spots were added to Lot 4, and Lot 1 was resurfaced.
4. Powder Mountain: This September, Netflix’s co-founder Reed Hastings became the majority owner of Powder Mountain. His $100 million investment at the Utah ski resort began this offseason, with snowmaking being added for the first time ever, the replacement of Tiger Tow with a magic carpet, the introduction of cross-country trails, a new temporary structure will house their ski school, rentals, and retail. For expert skiers, they will have a new guided experience in the backcountry that features 500 acres of steep terrain.
3. Solitude Mountain Resort: The oldest detachable chairlift in Utah was removed this offseason. The Eagle Express is being replaced by a high-speed six-pack chairlift. Three new Wyssen tower remote avalanche control systems (RACS) will be installed across Fantasy Ridge. Additional off-season improvements include modest renovations to The Inn at Solitude and their signature restaurants: Honeycomb Grill and St. Bernard’s.
2. Brighton Resort: Two major investments will mark the beginning of a new era for Brighton. The first is the replacement of the Crest Express with a Doppelmayr D-line high-speed six-pack chairlift. The second major improvement is the addition of a mid-mountain lodge. Located near the Snake Creek Express chairlift, the Sidewinder Grill will include “brews, burgers, and bathrooms.”
1. Snowbasin Resort: The biggest investment at the ski resort since 1999 will see a new chairlift, additional trails, an expanded lodge patio, more bathrooms, and the expansion of one of their parking lots.
The Demoisy Express will be adding a needed capacity increase to the Staweberry terrain pod. The high-speed six-pack will have a ride time of 10 minutes and an uphill capacity of 2,400 riders per hour. The location of the top terminal of the lift allows for the creation of two new trails around it.
Over at the Strawberry base area, a large heated outdoor patio is being added to the Strawberry Lodge. For parking, 124 spots have been added to the Canyon Rim lot. More of Snowbasin’s majestic bathrooms will be added to the Grizzly Center. If you’ve been inside one of Snowbasin’s bathrooms, you know that addition alone is worth the number pick on this list.
Image/Video Credits: Ski Utah/James Niehues (Featured Image), Snowbasin Resort (Header Image), Park City Mountain Resort, Sundance Resort, Nordic Valley, Powder Mountain, Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton Resort