Deer Valley slated to roll out corduroy carpet, as scheduled, on Saturday

The opening date remains intact even amid the spell of warm, dry weather

There was little snow at the lower elevations of Deer Valley Resort early in the week as the opening day of the ski season, scheduled on Saturday, approaches. It was not clear which lifts would start operating on opening day and which runs would be open.
David Jackson/Park Record

Update: Deer Valley Resort on Wednesday provided more information about the terrain that will be open Saturday. The resort said seven chair lifts will be operating, providing access to nine runs across Bald Eagle Mountain and Bald Mountain.

Deer Valley Resort is slated to roll out the corduroy carpet on Saturday, indicating early in the week the resort will open for the ski season on schedule despite the recent warm, dry weather.

Deer Valley did not release details about opening day by Tuesday morning. It was not clear which lifts would start operating on opening day and which runs would be open on Saturday. More information was expected to be released by sometime on Wednesday.

Skiers, though, will be encouraged the resort is confident in the opening date after the weather challenges in recent weeks. The area has suffered through a stretch of especially dry weather during a period when snow usually starts to form a base at the higher elevations of the mountain resorts.

The temperatures, meanwhile, have remained unseasonably warm, providing limited opportunities for the snowmaking crews at Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort to work. The snowmaking systems are crucial to the early weeks of a ski season since snowfall in October and the beginning days of November is usually scattered, particularly at the lower elevations of the resorts.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday morning forecasted high temperatures in the 50s through Saturday with a dip into the 40s on Sunday. Low temperatures were forecasted to be in the 30s and 20s. The forecast called for dry conditions through Sunday with a slight chance for snow on Monday,

A National Weather Service hydrologist in the Salt Lake City offices who tracks storms and snow pack in a recent interview explained a high-pressure system remained in the region in late October and in November. The high pressure moved the storms to the north of Utah and kept above-average temperatures in the region, Glen Merrill said. Lots of the early-season snow that fell prior to the arrival of the high-pressure system melted, he said, indicating snow that fell at elevations below 9,000 feet essentially was lost in recent weeks.

The warm, dry weather forced a delay to the start of the ski season at PCMR after the resort was unable to open as scheduled on Nov. 19. Opening day was pushed back until Sunday, and PCMR was able to open just a small number of runs on the Canyons Village side. The Park City side of PCMR is scheduled to open on Wednesday with the PayDay and First Time lifts operating.

The warm weather, meanwhile, impacted City Hall’s plans to turn the tennis courts at City Park into outdoor ice for the first time this winter. There will not be a refrigeration system, meaning the ice at the tennis courts depends on freezing temperatures. Officials wanted to open the ice in early December, but the debut will be delayed until later in the month with the week before Christmas seen as the earliest possibility for an opening.

The Deer Valley opening is scheduled just days after the president and chief operating officer of Deer Valley Resort left the organization. Jeremy Levitt led Deer Valley for a little more than a year and departed on Monday. His tenure was marked by Deer Valley’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the early discussions between the resort and the Park City Planning Commission regarding a major development proposal at Snow Park.

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