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17 Nov 2022
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Powder Snow Skiing and Snowboarding

We have some absolutely amazing news for anyone looking forward to skiing this winter season! Thanks to generous snowfall, resorts are already starting to open up, allowing skiing enthusiasts in Utah to get an early start. So, let’s take a closer look at Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season.


The unexpected snowfall

There’s been a lot of unexpected snow this past week or so in Utah! Of course, this is hardly bad since it led to Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season, with more alternatives to follow! As things stand, most resorts have at least a light sprinkling of snow as decoration, with quite a few having decent snow covering. This means that first-timers to skiing in Utah will have a lot of fun getting a head start on most other states! If that is what you’re looking forward to yourself, remember to stick to the beginner slopes until you’ve had time to learn.


The early opening

The sudden announcements of Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season shocked almost everyone. Interestingly, both resorts announced their intentions on November 9th, with Solitude claiming they ‘can’t wait any longer’ in their tweet. They also used the hashtag ’LongestSeasonInUtah,’ clearly showing their expectation that this year will be a long and enjoyable one for all skiing enthusiasts. Brighton also had a strong start, bolstered by their announcement that all veterans and military would be allowed to use their facilities and ski for free on the first day of their opening, with spouses of the same qualifying for a discount. Even without a discount, if you are wondering where to have fun after moving to Utah, you should take a trip here and enjoy the fantastic ski resorts!


The possible downsides of Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season

Unfortunately, not everything is quite perfect in this scenario. Namely, while snowfall is something the industry has been fervently hoping for, it also brings with it the risk of avalanches. Particularly if the frequent snowfall continues for as long as people are hoping it will. Complicating things a little further are weather forecasts which hint at possible storms in the future. A storm would absolutely have the possibility to set off an avalanche, and the experts from the Utah Avalanche Center have already claimed that they’ve seen some naturally occurring avalanches. Now, unless things get really out of hand, the chances of an avalanche threatening the safety of people in a ski resort is unlikely. However, it can result in a resort temporarily closing down while they deal with all the risks of one and its effects. At the very least, some slopes would be rendered inaccessible.


The rush

The early opening seems to have had quite a positive effect on skiing enthusiasts. The resorts which have opened early are already seeing large numbers of visitors. Interestingly enough, despite Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season, the one to claim the title of being first to open was Brian Head Resort. In fact, according to the Utah Office of Tourism, this was the fourth earliest resort opening in the state's history! The two resorts' sudden move may have responded to this since Brian Head Resort saw impressive visitor numbers. The opportunity is unique, as some of the resorts are among the best places to see fall colors in Utah, and the experience is only enhanced by snow, which can explain at least some of the enthusiasm we are seeing.


What can we expect?

Things are looking bright for ski resorts in Utah! And that's not just all the light reflecting off the snow. The fact that we are seeing so much snowfall and that resorts can afford to open early this year signals excellent things for their financial stability. It is no secret that resorts were hit somewhat hard by the pandemic and all it entailed, with many resorts even having to cut down on their staff numbers. So, as we hinted before, everyone hopes that snowfall will continue. And that resorts will have one of their best years yet. Thankfully, it is very likely that we are in for a very picturesque and snow-filled winter. Come Christmas and New Year's Eve, this will make for a lovely atmosphere even if you are not planning to spend the time in a ski resort.


Expected opening dates of other Utah resorts

Of course, with Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season, you might be wondering when other resorts will follow, especially if you are planning to get a vacation rental and make the most of this season! So, let’s take a look at the currently revealed opening dates.

  • Park City Mountain – November 16th
  • Alta Ski Area – November 18th
  • Snowbasin Resort – November 18th
  • Snowbird – November 18th
  • Woodward Park City – November 18th
  • Deer Valley Resort – December 3rd
  • Nordic Valley – December 9th
  • Sundance Mountain Resort – December 9th
  • Eagle Point Resort – December 16th

Resorts missing from the list have yet to announce anything concerning their opening dates. You should also note that, in spite of the fact that Brian Head Resort had opened earlier than everyone else, the resort has been temporarily closed again. We currently have no info on when the reopening is going to happen.


Final word

With Brighton and Solitude resorts opening sooner this season, and other resorts following closely behind, we really can expect a very fun winter season. Things are looking quite promising for the industry in the coming months, too! Of course, the one downside of increased avalanche risks still exists. But, this is something that can be overcome through proper planning and management. And even if a resort temporarily closes down, we can expect them to reopen in record time in order to take full advantage of the boundless enthusiasm of skiing lovers this season.

Insane Powder!