Record Utah Snow Leads To Record Skiing, First Time To 5 Million Mark
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Utah winter resorts set a record this year for skier days, hitting five million for the first time. The record is still running because the season isn’t over and the snow is still falling.
“If you like skiing soft powder snow, this was a great year to do it,” said Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah.
Ski Utah said it’s all about the greatest snow on earth. According to their records, Utah received at least one inch of measurable snow on more than 100 days this season. For skiers and snowboarders, that’s just too much powder to resist.
“If you’ve got a season pass in your pocket, and the skiing was as good as it was all year long, you’re going to use it.”
“The faucet really turned on in January,” said Rafferty. “There was a stretch in February that was out of this world, and it kept coming and coming.”
Consider this: since the ski resorts opened in November, Utah has not gone more than seven days without snow.
Every high elevation watershed basin in Utah is at 135% of average snowpack or more. Statistically, the resorts had about twice as much snow this ski season as last season.
“Snow drives visitation,” said Rafferty.
Great storms delivered the all-time record: 5,125,441 skier days.
That’s the third record in four years — up 24% from last year. One resort telling Ski Utah, pass holder visits were up 40% this season. That always helps boost skier days.
“If you’ve got a season pass in your pocket, and the skiing was as good as it was all year long, you’re going to use it,” said Rafferty.
Snowbird is the only resort still open for the season. It’s closed during the week, and will re-open for the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Snowbird has received nearly 700 inches of snow, and it was still snowing there today with more in the forecast.
Crowds present traffic and parking challenges. So, resorts have responded with new solutions. Snowbird rolled out a ride-sharing app. Alta provides priority parking for carpoolers. Ski Utah promotes the ski bus.
Tomorrow, Rafferty meets with Park City and Summit County transportation leaders to talk about ski season traffic challenges in that community.
“Our resorts are really taking a hard look at both short-term and long-term solutions,” said Rafferty.