The ski season was huge |

The ski season was huge

Summit County’s three mountain resorts hosted a record number of skiers and snowboarders last winter, the Park City Chamber/Bureau said this week, crediting the season’s big snows for the record.

The local record came as the state ski and snowboard industry also posted an all-time high last winter. Ski Utah, an industry group, counted 4,258,900 skier-days in the state, a fifth consecutive record. One person skiing or snowboarding at a resort for all or part of one day is counted as a skier-day.

Bill Malone, the executive director of the Chamber/Bureau, said 1,871,540 skier-days were posted at the three local resorts last winter, up 7.2 percent from the previous season. He said last winter was the sixth consecutive record locally.

"If somebody thinks of Utah skiing, I think it’s synonymous with Park City," Malone said.

The state’s resorts enjoyed major midwinter snowstorms after a relatively dry early winter. Parkites and visitors raved about the snow conditions once the storms started, and Malone said the snow drew more local and regional skiers than is typical.

Park City’s lodging industry fell 3 percent in the ski season from the previous year, Malone said, meaning local skiers likely pushed the Park City resorts to the record. He said the dry early conditions hurt the number of skiers and snowboarders traveling to Park City early in the winter, and an early Easter caused a dip in the numbers late in the season.

The numbers boosted business at some places on Main Street, including Jesse Shetler’s No Name Saloon and Butcher’s Chop House & Bar. He said sales at Butcher’s were up between 10 and 15 percent during the ski season. The No Name was up between 5 and 10 percent, he said.

"It’s a noticeable increase in business. Let’s put it that way," Shetler said, calling the ski season "by far one of the strongest winters" of his 26 years in Park City.

He said both places drew capacity crowds many nights, and afternoons and early evenings were also busy.

"My staff was certainly very pleased, from what I can tell," Shetler said.

Park City, especially in the last decade, has emerged as a top-shelf domestic skiing and snowboarding destination, boosted by its Winter Olympic legacy and wide-ranging improvements at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort and The Canyons.

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