PCMR extends season, providing bonus to skiers and snowboarders
The closing date moved to April 11 in ‘a way of saying thank you’ for season
Park City Mountain Resort on Tuesday extended the ski season by one week, providing a bonus seven days during a winter that was challenging on various levels.
The resort moved the closing date to April 11. PCMR had been scheduled to close on April 4. The original closing date is Easter. Crowds at mountain resorts typically thin in April, and Easter sometimes is seen by some as the end of a ski season.
PCMR in a prepared statement said the “extended season means more time on mountain and on the snow.”
“The announcement is a way of saying thank you to our pass holders and guests for their continued support, for following safety protocols and showing personal responsibility during this unprecedented season, and for helping us open and stay open,” the PCMR statement said.
The additional week in April will likely be welcomed by Park City-area skiers and snowboarders. The mountain resorts typically are not as busy in April as they are at other times of the ski season, meaning lift lines are usually shorter, restaurants are less crowded and there is more space on the slopes.
Some see April skiing as an opportunity to enjoy spring snow conditions with friends and family after several months of navigating the crowds of skiers and snowboarders from outside of Utah. Season-pass holders, meanwhile, enjoy another week of benefits from their purchase.
The 2020-2021 ski season is a historic one as the industry remained open to date even as the spread of the novel coronavirus continued throughout the winter and accelerated earlier in the season. PCMR enacted numerous measures meant to combat the spread of the sickness at the resort, including introducing a reservation system for skiers or snowboarders who wanted access to the slopes on any given day.
The ski season has appeared to be busier than some had anticipated, but final numbers on a statewide basis are not expected to be released for months by the industry group Ski Utah. There was concern as the winter approached that the coronavirus and the economic havoc wrought by the sickness could dramatically impact the ski season.
There is evidence, though, that the winter was economically solid. City Hall recently released sales-tax figures from December, the first full month of the ski season, that showed the numbers beat projections by a wide margin. Lodging numbers have also generally climbed over the course of the ski season as more people booked vacations.
Park City has benefited from the apparent willingness of people to travel during the pandemic to destinations that offer activities outside. The travelers have seemed to see activities like skiing and snowboarding as appealing options for vacations.
The extension of the PCMR ski season could provide at least some benefits to the broader economy as people spend money in the community during the additional days of the season. Many late-season skiers are believed to be people who live in the area, though, something that caps the potential for any added economic benefit.
The extended season at PCMR follows one year after the ski industry suddenly shuttered in March of 2020, several weeks prior to planned closing dates, during the early days of the pandemic.
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A member of the Park City Planning Commission for at least the second time in less than a year spoke publicly about a concept that would financially involve City Hall in a development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort. Planning Commissioner John Phillips did not address the concept in any depth during a lengthy meeting.