A winning season for the resorts | ParkRecord.com

A winning season for the resorts

Mother Nature deserves some but not all of the credit for Utah’s record-breaking 2005-2006 ski season. The increase in skier (and snowboarder) days, fueled in large measure by Park City’s three resorts, comes from years of hard work and statewide cooperation. Yes, this year, Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley and The Canyons were the lucky recipients of several snow-laden storms, but key personnel at the Park City Chamber/Bureau, at Ski Utah and at each resort knew exactly what to do as soon as the flakes started falling.

Both Ski Utah and the Chamber/Bureau kept close watch on the weather forecasts and were ready at a moment’s notice to blast fresh powder alerts all over the globe. The two groups also applied years of relationship building with travel writers and key media outlets to keep Utah’s resorts in the limelight.

In the meantime, before dawn each morning, the resorts were humming with activity groomers, snow safety experts and others were busy ensuring that Utah’s hard-won visitors received the level of service they were promised.

From the young enthusiastic lift attendants to the seasoned ski industry veterans, it was a winter of constant hard work and commitment.

This week’s announcement that Utah’s 13 resorts topped the four-million skier days, a previously unmatched benchmark, is the payoff for a complex coordinated effort. There are many to thank, including state legislators who, over the last few years, have allocated additional funding to the Utah Travel Council and have passed a variety of bills to support winter, as well as summer, tourism.

Lodging owners, city transportation personnel, restaurant owners and their staff also deserve credit for the season’s success.

Ever since Park City turned its sights toward the bounty on the mountain instead of beneath it, doubters have proclaimed that the ski industry would never pay its own way. For instance, they warned that the snow couldn’t be counted on. So the resorts invested in snowmaking. And when they said Utah could never earn a reputation as a world-class destination, local leaders made a winning pitch to host the Winter Olympics.

Certainly there have been countless challenges along the way, but this past ski season, more than any other, has silenced the skeptics and proven that Utah’s ski industry has become an important driver of the state’s economy and is now making huge contributions to every Utah citizen’s quality of life.

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