Utah’s ski resorts report record-breaking season
Jun 1, 2023, 6:46 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2023, 10:59 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s ski resorts continue to celebrate an extraordinary winter season.
Record-breaking snowfall has also led to record-breaking visitation.
Numbers released Thursday by Ski Utah show 7.1 million visitations to Utah’s resorts, an increase of 22% from last year, which was also a record at the time.
“This was the year to have a season pass,” Sarah Sherman said with a laugh.
Sherman is the communications manager at Snowbird and she said the resort had a record 838 inches of snow this season, which is nearly 70 feet.
All that snow attracted skiers from all around the world to Utah this season.
We knew it was a record breaking year for snowfall. Now, @SkiUtah is saying it's a record breaking year for visitors to ski resorts. So far, 7.1 million people have skied/snowboarded in Utah this season. I say "so far," because @Snowbird isn't done yet. @KSL5TV at 5 and 6:30. pic.twitter.com/UYPmYZDJPu
— Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) June 1, 2023
Resorts were able to open earlier than normal because of early-season storms and stay open later because of even more snowstorms.
“7.1 million visitors is an amazing amount,” Alison Palmintere said. She works with Ski Utah. “It’s mostly due to just how long the resorts were able to operate.”
Alta, one of Utah’s most iconic resorts, witnessed a jaw-dropping 903 inches of snowfall, setting a new record among Utah ski resorts.
Snowbasin had as much snow this season as it had the previous two seasons combined.
“I believe 12 out of 15 resorts have broken records for snowfall, which is exciting,” Palmintere said.
The record-breaking season has also sent a surge of green into Utah’s economy.
Ski Utah reports skiers and snowboarders contributed a staggering $2.5 billion to the state’s economy this season alone, including a quarter-billion dollars to state and local taxes.
However, Utah’s ski season isn’t finished yet.
Snowbird plans to open its slopes for Father’s Day weekend, and there are even discussions about a potential extension into July.
“We have a lot of snow in the mountain now. It’s melting pretty fast, and we’re seeing some wetter weather come through, so we’re going to keep assessing it and seeing what we can do. We want to ski as long as we can,” Sherman said.
When Snowbird opens for skiers and snowboarders on Father’s Day weekend, visitors can look forward to the resort’s popular trams featuring new open-air balcony decks on top of the trams.
“They’re the only ones of their kind in North America, so it’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else,” Sherman said.
The record-breaking season for snow and resorts, makes many people wonder if this season could ever be beaten.
“You know, they probably said that in 2010/11 when we hit our record, so we never want to say it’s unbeatable,” Sherman said. “We like to have something else to achieve, but it’s been pretty remarkable.”