Utah ski resorts plan for good year despite low snow, pandemic

Dec 31, 2020, 5:16 PM

FILE: A fresh powder day at Alta. Photo: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — 2020 has been one of the driest years on record in Utah, with many ski resorts reporting very little snow on their mountains. However, the resorts also think this season will be a good one.

Utah ski resorts plan ahead for low snow years

Ski Utah President and CEO Nathan Rafferty says this is not the worst snow year he has ever seen. But resorts also plan for low snow totals. 

“Many of our [resorts] have such sophisticated snow making systems these days that they are available to get a lot of lifts and a lot of terrain open,” Rafferty said. “And then when Mother Nature does come, which we know she always does, that just adds to that.” 

Rafferty is also optimistic because several storms with significant snowfall are predicted in the next few weeks. 

Fewer travelers because of COVID

Andria Huskinson with Alta Ski Area says there are fewer international and U.S. travelers because of COVID-19. 

However, they have also been expecting many Utah skiers to hit the slopes. 

“This summer, you saw…the canyons were very busy,” Huskinson said. “People were getting out because there wasn’t a whole lot of other things going on. So, we knew going into the season that demand would be pretty high.”  

Rafferty agreed. 

“Skiing is a great opportunity and, really, in a lot of ways a good mental health break,” Rafferty said. 

Resorts have also been putting in safety measures so skiers feel comfortable being outside during the pandemic. 

Capacity in many places has been capped. Some lanes have been closed, and social distancing and masks are required. 

Ski Utah also encourages people to visit their website to see the most up to date information about ski run availability and COVID-19 restrictions.

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Utah ski resorts plan for good year despite low snow, pandemic