Park City Mountain, enjoying snow and cold temps, moves up opening day

Park City Mountain on Friday continued to make snow as cold temperatures allowed the operations to extend into the daytime. The resort on Friday said it will start the ski season earlier than scheduled. | David Jackson/Park Record
| David Jackson/Park Record

Park City Mountain on Friday said it would open two days prior to the scheduled date, indicating the recent snow and temperatures cold enough for snowmaking operations made the early launch of the ski season possible.

The resort said it will open on Wednesday rather than Friday, which in August had been announced as the first day of the ski season. Park City Mountain said the opening next week would mark the earliest opening date since 1996, when the resort was under prior ownership.

Park City Mountain said it intends to operate lifts on the Park City side and the Canyons Village side of the resort on opening day, giving skiers and snowboarders options at both base areas. According to the Friday statement, the Payday Express and First Time lifts would be open on the Park City side. The Saddleback Express and Over and Out lifts, as well as the Red Pine Gondola, would be operating on the Canyons Village side, the resort said. The Cabriolet on the Canyons Village side, which takes people from the parking lot to the center of the base area, will also open.

The statement said Park City Mountain has received more than 81 inches of snow recently. The snowmaking operations added to the natural snow.

“When it comes to skiing and riding, we know every day on the mountain counts, and we are excited to welcome guests back earlier than planned for the 2022/23 winter season,” Deirdra Walsh, the vice president and chief operating officer of Park City Mountain, said in a prepared statement, indicating she is grateful to the staffers at the resort.

The snowmaking operations will continue after opening day and more terrain is expected to open within weeks. A timeline is dependent on snow conditions.

The earlier opening day will begin a ski season at Park City Mountain that will be closely watched by skiers, snowboarders and the wider community. Park City Mountain will introduce measures designed to better manage crowds after widespread complaints about the operations during the 2021-2022 ski season.

Park City Mountain, notably, will introduce a paid-parking system on the Park City side of the resort this ski season. Parking reservations as part of the paid system are not required for people headed to the Park City side on Wednesday and Thursday. They will be required starting on Friday, the original planned opening date. Park City Mountain this week started to accept reservation sign-ups for people planning to park on the Park City side between Nov. 18 and Dec. 11.

Park City Mountain owner Vail Resorts will also limit daily lift-ticket sales across the firm’s mountains, another step meant to better manage crowds.

The 26 years that have passed since the 1996 opening day have witnessed extraordinary change and growth at Park City Mountain, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the end of the America’s Opening ski races, the sale of Park City Mountain to Vail Resorts and the linking of what was Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain into a single resort.

Deer Valley Resort is scheduled to start its ski season on Dec. 3.

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