The slopes are almost ready |

The slopes are almost ready

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

Temperatures have dropped significantly since October, allowing local ski resorts to maintain the amount of snow they received in the first snow fall while also allowing them to create new snow.

Krista Parry, spokeswoman for Park City Mountain Resort, said PCMR began making snow on Oct. 25, much earlier than last year, resulting in 200 percent more snow than last year.

"Thanks to cold temperatures, year-to-date we’ve made 200 percent more snow," Parry said on Monday. "This past weekend we were able to make significant strides."

With colder than usual temperatures expected this week, and the possibility of snow fall, all three Park City resorts are hoping to open on schedule.

Park City Mountain Resort

PCMR is scheduled to open on Nov. 21 with at least two of its 15 lifts running. Parry said they have not determined how many of the 108 runs will be open but one thing is for sure, lift tickets will not be at full price.

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"Our prices are contingent upon how much terrain is open," she said.

Parry said that as of Nov. 16, the settled base depth at the top of PayDay lift is 24 inches.

"The beginning of another winter season is a magical time," she said. "There is so much energy around the resort as our team members work hard to ensure we deliver a great on-mountain experience for our guests, starting on day one."

Returning skiers may be happy to see the trees between Willy’s and Erika’s Gold and on Crescent Ridge have been thinned out this year as part of PCMR’s forest management plan. The glading was part of an environmentally friendly management plan PCMR has been working on for three years.

PCMR is looking forward to hosting the final Grand Prix series and the naming of the U.S. Snowboard Olympic Team on Jan. 22-23.

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The Canyons Resort

The Canyons Resort is scheduled to open Nov. 27. As of Nov. 16, there were 23 inches at the base of the mountain.

"We’ll open as many (runs) as possible," said Libby Dowd, spokeswoman for The Canyons. "Wherever the snow is in the best shape. We’ve been busy blowing as much snow as we can, and using the natural snow that came through over the weekend."

Four new runs and one new lift are expected to be added, giving the mountain 165 runs and 18 lifts. The names and locations of the new runs and lifts have not yet been announced. Dowd said she expects the High Meadow and Saddleback lifts to be the first to open.

The Canyons will offer two on-mountain "ski fit" workshop in both December and January. A tree-lighting will be held on Dec. 11as a free event to the community. On Dec. 12-13, World Extreme Skiing Champion Brant Moles will host a steep skiing camp for intermediate to advance skiers. On Dec. 19, the first 50 people who dress in a full Santa costume will ski for free for the day.

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Deer Valley

Deer Valley is scheduled to open on Dec. 5 with discounted tickets still available until Nov. 30. The resort has 21 lifts and 100 runs though all of them may not be open immediately.

Erin Grady, communications manager for Deer Valley, said the resort will be opening with the annual Celebrity SkiFest, a ski race that pairs celebrities and former Olympic athletes on the Birdseye ski run. The race will benefit the Waterkeeper Alliance. The event will include a giant slalom race and will be televised by CBS. The public is invited to watch the ski racing portion of the event adjacent to the Birdseye ski run, according to a press release. A Pro-Am race will be held Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m., with the final race taking place on Sunday, Dec. 6 at noon.

Deer Valley will also be hosting the second to last FIS World Cup before the 2010 Winter Games on Jan. 14-16. This year’s FIS VISA Freestyle International will include moguls events on Thursday, Jan.14, and Saturday, Jan. 16, and an aerial competition on Friday, Jan.15. Approximately 300 athletes from around the world are expected to compete.

For more information, visit