Resorts look ahead to the rest of the 2005/2006 season
Park City-area resorts are headed for a strong finish to a long season. The resorts’ closing days will be a week after last year’s to coincide with this year’s late Easter date, April 16.
Steady snowfall in the past few weeks has resorts reporting unusually high snow depths. Park City Mountain Resort boasts a grand total of 372 inches of snowfall so far for 2005/2006 (nearly 20 inches more snow than the average annual tally), with the Canyons Resort web site posting 354 inches as its current accumulated snow total for this year.
Should the skies clear up, however, resorts will continue to offer a variety of events to attract and entertain the spring skiing crowd.
Last Saturday, the Canyons kicked off its après-ski Spring Concert Series with John Lee Hooker, Jr. at The Canyons Resort Village. For the last weekend of March, the resort has booked Coco Montoya, for April, the resort has booked Rising Lion and Jesse Colin Young. Concerts begin at 3 p.m.
April 1, the Canyon’s will host its 9th annual Pond-Skimming Contest, a competition during which participants wear costumes and come down a snowy hill in an attempt to cross a 100-foot pond on skis or a snowboard.
Eldridge predicts the recent snow will continue the resort’s strong season. This year has been record breaking for the Canyons on many fronts from season pass sales to the number of visitors to snow conditions, she says.
"To have that steady powder through March has been amazing. Yesterday, according to many of our guests was one of the best powder days of the season," she reports.
After the resort closes, it plans to install a new lift by the Dreamscape chair called "Dream Catcher" according to Eldridge. The lift will give access to an additional 200 acres of new intermediate and advanced terrain.
The Canyons Resort will open for summer operations mid-June.
Deer Valley Resort has also had a banner year, according to the resort’s communications manager Erin Grady.
"We’re looking great in terms of bookings we’re looking really strong and definitely through the end of March with spring break visitors," she said. "I think this has to be one of our best seasons on record. We’ve been up over last year as far as Christmas and Presidents’ Day Weekend."
For Easter, Deer Valley will host the Easter Bunny at the Snow Park Lodge beginning at 9 a.m., until 11 p.m.
Deer Valley Resort will open for summer operations mid-June.
Park City Mountain Resort spokeswoman Krista Parry says the resort will host two races this weekend — the National Ability Center Challenge, as well as the Learn to Race program’s final race, which will now be called the "Ted Ligety Learn to Race Finals."
"Ted Ligety came up through the Learn to Race program, and Mike Sussman who oversees that program asked Ligety’s father and he said he would be honored to have that race named after his son," she said.
The Learn to Race program is a Saturday tutorial for kids who are too young to join farm teams or high school teams, Parry explained.
The Cammy Potter Memorial Race, an amateur slopestyle event for skiers and snowboarders, is scheduled for April 8. The race is in honor of a local athlete who died of breast cancer, and a portion of the proceeds will be used to establish a charitable fund in Potter’s name.
Closing day, Parry says the resort plans to hide eggs in the Kids’ Corral for he Mountain School for kids six years old an under, and a larger egg hunt throughout the mountain for big kids of all ages. The resort-wide egg hunt will feature redeemable prizes, with a grand prize of a season’s pass for next year.
According to Parry, after the resort closes, it will add an "Alpine Coaster," a two person ride that is similar to a roller coaster which starts at the base of the mountain for use during the summer months. The resort opens for summer operations on Memorial Day.
This upcoming week is strong in terms of bookings, she says, but typically, the following week, bookings "level off." Parry expects the weather might change things, however.
"I know the snow that we got and keep getting will continue to make our phones ring for those end-of-season vacations. I think a lot of people wait more last-minute at this time of the year to see if the conditions are good we have so much snow," she explained.
This week, the resort plans to reopen its six-person high-speed McConkey’s chair, after closing the chair for several weeks, due to mechanical issues, Parry said.
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