OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Brian Head Ski Resort delays opening day

Nov 8, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: 1:56 pm

A skier shreds powder....

FILE - A skier shreds powder at Brian Head Resort. (Mike Saemisch/Brian Head Ski Resort)

(Mike Saemisch/Brian Head Ski Resort)

BRIAN HEAD, Utah — Brian Head Ski Resort announced on Tuesday that it will delay its opening for the 2023/24 ski season. 

According to the ski resort’s website, the updated opening date will be November 17, 2023. The resort will only open if conditions become cold enough to make snow. 

Delays in snowmaking have caused the postponed opening, according to an email from Brian Head.

According to KSL Meteorologist Matt Johnson, October brought a good amount of early mountain snow. However, a lot of it melted during a recent warm spell.

Johnson said the delayed opening for the Southern Utah resort is not a sign of bad luck. Mountain snowfall has been just below average this year. 

A storm passed through Northern Utah on Tuesday and early Wednesday. Johnson said it dumped 12 inches of snow at Snowbasin and 10 inches at Deer Valley. Alta received eight inches. Snowbird and Park City Mountain both received six.

Additionally, Johnson said, more snow could be coming early next week. There is a low-pressure system moving in from California, just in time for the planned November 17 opening weekend.

How do resorts make snow? 

According to WCNC, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based news network that is affiliated with NBC, weather conditions need to be conducive to snowmaking. “The colder and drier the better,” read the article. 

The snowmaking process is started by sending water and pressurized air through a hose on the machine. When they reach the fan, they are propelled into the cold air, according to WCNC. 

While the water droplets are airborne, they freeze, creating artificial snow. 

Ski season is coming

Unlike Brian Head, resorts in Northern Utah have not postponed their openings. 

According to their websites, Solitude, Alta, and Park City Ski Resorts have announced targeted opening dates of November 17, 2023. Snowbird’s website said it aims to open shortly after, on November 30. 

According to Deer Valley Ski Resort’s automated chat, Ask DV, “The 23/24 ski season dates are Dec. 2, 2023 – Apr. 14, 2024, conditions permitting.”

Brighton Ski Resort has not published a targeted opening date on its website or social media. 

Ski Utah’s website has a section with a list of all opening dates for Utah’s ski resorts. 

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Brian Head Ski Resort delays opening day